Clearly, channel surfing and Facebook stalking are going to slow down your job search. So will sleeping all day, eating nonstop, and shopping till you drop. But that fact’s a no-brainer. If you want to kick your job hunt into high gear, take a look at a few things you might not have known were slowing you down.
Diving in headfirst
You want to get this job search party started, but if you go in half-cocked you’ll waste valuable time conducting an unfocused search. Don’t just randomly apply for every job opening you see. Instead, spend time evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, skills, and interests at the outset so that you’ll be in a better position to uncover the job opportunities for which you’re best suited.
Sticking with one strategy
Don’t rely solely on online job boards, LinkedIn groups, or your college alumni office – engage all of these platforms. Head down to your local employment office and community college, and even call a few nonprofits that are not actively hiring to see if they can use your skills. Tell everyone you know, in person and via social media, that you’re looking for a job. Leave no stone unturned.
You need a job, but recruiters are not interested in your needs. Their job is to meet the needs of their company. So your goal is to demonstrate how you can meet the company’s needs. “Be an aspirin,” said Susanne Goldstein, career development consultant and author of Carry a Paintbrush: How to Be the Artistic Director of Your Own Career. “Learn about the company, find out what the company’s pain is, and show them how your skills can be solution to that pain.”
A safety net
Are you really all in for your job hunt, or have you gotten comfortable cashing in on unemployment? The downside of unemployment benefits is the psychological safety net it offers, rendering your job search efforts less serious and intense. Consider this: if the money were to run out tomorrow, would you step up your game? If the answer is yes, don’t wait till your benefits run out – go all in now.
A bad attitude
If you feel like your job search is taking forever, it’s possible that you’ve started to lose heart and are becoming bitter about your prospects. You might think you can put on a good face for interviews, but if you’re cultivating a negative, cynical attitude, recruiters can see right through you. Ditch the chip on your shoulder and surround yourself with positive people to keep your head on straight and your smile genuine.
Holding out for the “perfect” job
Do you feel like you should hold out for job you really want, the one you think you deserve? Are you worried that taking a lower-level job will short-circuit your career? Actually, prolonged unemployment could do even more damage to your career. Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resources Solutions and author of Suddenly in Charge, put it best: “Who cares what color your parachute is? Take the right-now job, excel at it, and keep networking until you find the dream job.”