Finding a job is one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through. Trying to find the position that speaks to you among literally hundreds of postings on an online job board is difficult enough. On top of that, sending out countless resumes and cover letters with no response can quickly become demoralizing.
But the job search doesn't have to be hopeless. In fact, it's important to keep in mind that even the most protracted job search won't last forever. If you're feeling down and out as a result of a so-far-fruitless attempt at landing that dream career, keep these tips in mind.
1. Approach each day with vigor
After weeks or maybe even months of searching for a position with no luck, it's only natural that you get discouraged at the prospect of another day of trawling through postings on Monster.com and Craigslist. While your disillusionment and weariness are understandable, they can also make it more difficult for you to be successful.
Brains are tricky things, and the power of suggestion shouldn't be underestimated. If you start your day feeling bleak and hopeless, you likely won't get very far. Instead, approach each day as though today is the day you find that job. As Monster pointed out, the first 30 to 60 minutes of work set the pace for the whole rest of your day. With this in mind, it's best to start off on the right foot.
2. Look at what you're doing, and change what doesn't work
Are you still using the same resume and template cover letter that you were sending to recruiters when you began your job search? If so, are you really surprised that you haven't had any luck? As the old saying goes, if you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting what you're getting. Look at your resume and your cover letters to see if they need to be revised. Ask a friend or family member to read over them to get an outside opinion on whether the information is clear - and to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors, which can be fatal to a job search. You may even want to look up resumes and cover letters people have used to successfully land jobs. While your own circumstances will undoubtedly be unique, you can take some general pointers from those who have fought the good fight already and won.
"Approach your job search as though it were your actual job."
3. Treat it like a job
Think about the last job you had, and how you conducted yourself while at work. If you had a project to work on, chances are you didn't chip away at it idly in between turns of Words With Friends - you dedicated yourself to completing the task at hand. Even though you're currently unemployed, approach your job search as though it were your actual job. This doesn't mean you need to sit in front of your computer for eight hours a day, but there are small changes that can make a big difference. Start by getting out of bed or off the couch and sitting at a desk in a designated work area. Next on the list - change out of those pajamas. You may not think so, but these habits can send subtle messages to your brain that you aren't fully committed to what you're doing, which can result in a less enthusiastic search and worse results.
4. Give yourself a break
It's easy to be overly unrelenting on yourself while you're in the midst of looking for a job. You may feel like any minute you aren't spending filling out applications, writing cover letters or updating your resume is time wasted that could better be spent advancing your search. But like with any work, finding a good balance is essential to success. Mental fatigue is a real phenomenon, and its effects can be as significant as they are subtle. After several hours of reading about experience requirements and desired skills, anybody would develop highway hypnosis. Break your job search up into more manageable chunks - spend an hour applying for positions, then give yourself a break to walk around and rest your mind before returning back to the task at hand.
5. Don't go it alone
Despite what you may think, you aren't on your own in your search. Or at least you don't have to be. Recruiters and staffing agencies endeavor specifically to find jobs for people of all ages, experience, expertise, and skill levels. Remember, staffing agencies often work closely with employers who are seeking new talent, and as such may have a line on an opportunity you would otherwise never have known about. You've got the talent, staffing agencies have the connections - if you combine both your powers, you can maximize your chance of success.
This content brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.