Top 6 Ways to Rev Up your Job Search
We’ve all been there…you’ve sent out countless resumes, but the callbacks have stopped and your job search has stalled. Searching for a job and the rejection involved can be taxing on anyone, reducing your motivation to continue in the hunt; however there are a few things you can do to jump-start your stalled job search and get you out of your slump.
- Self-Assessment: Conducting a self-assessment can focus your job search efforts, and make sure you land in a job that is right for you. Assess what you want out of your next position personally and professionally. What type of company would you ideally like to work for (industry, culture, size)? Is it time to look into other opportunities? A new career? Go back to school? Develop new skills? Determine what makes the most sense for you at this point in your life and what will lead to your future success.
- Market Assessment: Assessing the current market before diving in headfirst is an excellent way to ensure that your job search is fruitful. Take time to do your research. Look at the current market in which you work, is there growth potential there? What do the city’s unemployment numbers look like? Are more companies hiring in the market than laying off employees? Is there better opportunity for professional growth in another city? Is there opportunity for growth in your industry? Is the industry you want to work still suffering from the recession (banking, construction, real estate), or is the industry in which you want to work a growth area like mining and energy? The DOL provides monthly insights into which industries are creating jobs and which industries are losing jobs. In fact, the DOL has provides occupational outlook information by state. This information can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/business/projections/eta_default.cfm. The DOL also provides insights into which states have the lowest unemployment rates. It might be time to move. Asking yourself these questions and assessing your current market will help you make realistic decisions surrounding your job search.
- Create a Job Search Plan: Throw out your old plan, and start with a white sheet of paper, if your job search has stalled. One of the best ways to get out of a job hunt slump is to put together a personalized Job Search Plan, which is a like a roadmap with measures, distances, contacts and attractions. For example, your Job Search Plan should lay out your five-year plan for professional growth and development. Where do you see yourself in five years? What are the top five companies you would like to work for? In addition, your Job Search Plan should outline the tactics you are going to use to find a job, how you plan to use them, the amount of time each day you will dedicate to each tactic and provide you with a way to measure success. Maybe it’s LinkedIn, a staffing firm, or a reference from friends and family? Did you know that 1 in 6 workers use social media networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to find a job? Whatever the tactic may be it should be outlined in your plan to provide direction and accountability.
- Network: We’ve all heard about the importance of networking, but are you really putting in the necessary work? Stay involved in your chosen industry by getting involved with professional organizations even when you’re out of work. Be a connector. If you know people who should know each other, organize networking lunches. Get published. Come up with compelling topic ideas for articles for your industry’s trade journals, and then build relationships with editors, offering to write a column or an article. Prepare an elevator pitch about you, your industry, your experience and your accomplishments. Every time you meet someone new, either in a personal or professional context deliver your elevator pitch. Let people know what you’re doing and what you’re interested in. You only have one chance to make a first impression and you want to make sure it’s a memorable one. Also reach out to your professional network on social media websites like LinkedIn. Let your network know that you’re looking for employment and don’t be afraid to ask for a reference for that dream company in your Job Search Plan, after all, nearly 10% of job hunters last year got a job referral from LinkedIn.
- Build a strong online presence: We are all aware of the pervasiveness in which social media networks have come into our personal lives, and the same is true for our professional lives. Today social media networks can be used for more than just funny pictures and short updates on your day. Think of your social media sites as opportunities to brand yourself. When used correctly, social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be job-searching jewels.
- Build a relationship with a respected staffing firm in your area: Professional staffing firms can often help you tap into the hidden job market and get your resume into the hands of the right company. Many times, jobs aren’t advertised through online job boards, or on corporate websites, but rather are sourced through a staffing firm. Staffing firms are dedicated to their candidates and clients and to providing the best talent for the position, which leads to a win-win situation for everyone involved. Today 90% of Fortune 500 companies are working strategically with staffing firms to fill positions.