By Kimberly Smith
Career Coach, APUS
In an ideal world, the first job you apply for leads directly to a position at a company you admire. In reality, the job search experience includes obstacles, dead-ends, delays and turnarounds. So how do you keep your spirits up when your job search isn’t going as well as you had hoped?
1. Maximize Your Effectiveness as a Job Applicant
One of the detractors from success in job searching is presenting a less-than-stellar resume for targeted opportunities. It should be a concise representation of your experience and accomplishments relevant to the role you are seeking. Make sure your resume is always up to date and free of errors.
Review all position descriptions carefully. If a posted vacancy is not in line with your desired work environment and qualifications, save time by not pursuing that opportunity.
2. Switch Your Approach and Look at Other Job Sites
After trying the same approach for a few weeks without success, set a goal to change your job search activities. Research new job postings and company sites. Sometimes, the right position is hidden away on company websites and not displayed on popular job forums.
3. Organize Your Job Searching Efforts
Avoid mishaps in communication by tracking your job search activities in a way that makes sense to you. When you apply for a position, always copy and paste the full position description into a Word document for later reference.
When a position attracts a substantial amount of applications, vacancy listings can be pulled from websites while the hiring process continues behind the scenes. This practice could lead to confusion if you get called in for that coveted interview and you cannot find that posted job description on the website.
4. Ask for Feedback from Recruiters and Hiring Managers
Asking for feedback might evoke a negative connotation, but changing your perspective allows you to use this valuable tool to improve and polish your job search performance. There is no rule preventing you from asking interviewers about how you can deliver a stronger performance in the future. Then aim to implement their suggestions if they are reasonable and consistent with your goals and values.
5. Reflect on Your Job Searching Progress
Searching for a job is hard work, and it can take significant time to land a position you want. Take a few moments regularly to review the journey.
Consider how your goals might have changed since you started actively job searching. Be honest with yourself and alter your approach if you find there are areas where you are inhibiting yourself from moving forward.
6. Develop a New Hobby to Deal with Job Searching Stress
Distraction is a great remedy when job searching becomes stressful. Take up a new hobby to fill the time you spend eagerly awaiting to hear from companies you’ve applied to or vacancy updates.
Explore interests you have previously ignored, even if it’s for only an hour or two each week. Learning a new skill can be a source of joy at a time of stagnation, and a cheery disposition will carry over into your subsequent job interviews.
Following these suggestions will lift your mood as you tackle your job search and goals. Remember to use this period to grow personally and professionally, and develop good habits that make the overall experience a positive chapter in your life.