It’s Sunday morning, your day starts out with loads of excitement. On Friday, you started dreaming of the possibilities for a career move and today was the day you’d make a start on looking for a job!
Full of enthusiasm, you dive head first into updating your resume, look up jobs online and chat to friends about your new plans. A few days later, you reach out to a couple of recruiters and start touching base with some of your past colleagues. All the while submitting a few applications to online ads.
Still, in excitement mode, you continue to apply for several more positions the following week. You think to yourself “any moment now I’ll get a phone call to come in for an interview”.
By the third week, you start to worry about the lack of response. Doubt sets in. You review your resume to make sure it’s suitable and presents you well whilst checking to make sure you included the right phone number and email address. You scratch your head, wondering what might be going wrong, but you reassure yourself it’s only week three. There is still time to call.
Now it’s week four and you’ve got nothing except a range of negative emotions and a few “thanks but no thanks” emails. Your downward spiral starts now.
Why You Might Be Lost Or Stuck In Your Job Search
Negative thoughts and feelings mixed with a poorly executed job search strategy is a true recipe for failure. There are many reasons for why your job search isn’t getting the results you hoped for and here are a few;
- You’re applying for positions for which you do not have RELEVANT and CURRENT skills, experience and/or qualifications.
- You don’t know what job you REALLY want so you fire out applications for a range of jobs in the hope you’ll get an interview.
- Your resume isn’t TARGETED to the role you are applying or doesn’t communicate your value correctly.
- You’re only applying for jobs using JOB BOARDS.
- You’re getting interviews but not job offers.
How To Turn Your Job Search Around
People who are most successful in finding — and landing — the job they want have several things in common. Below are the core ingredients that make a job search successful.
#1: Clearly Defined Goals
When looking for a job, goals come in two parts. Before you start searching and conducting your search.
Before: In order for any job search to be effective you need to be very clear on what you want. This includes identifying companies you’re interested in working for, potential job titles, contact information for people in the position to hire you, and knowledge of the skill, experience and qualifications you need relevant for your target position.
Writing this down and being clear on what you want will speed up your job search and produce better outcomes. Once you are clear, make sure your marketing documents (resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile) all reflect your target profession.
During: Setting personal weekly goals for the actions and activities you want to complete and the time you want to complete them in is important in a job search. It helps keep you on track and motivated.
#2: Use Many Resources
Those professionals who invest in a range of tools and resources will increase their chances of uncovering a new role quicker than those who rely solely on job boards.
That’s because 80% of all jobs are hidden, and research suggests that only 2-4% of job seekers land a job using Internet job boards.
Savvy job seekers include a combination of resources in their jobs search which includes but are not limited to: recruiters, specialised job boards, networking, associations, trade journal research, social networking sites, and direct company contact.
The average job-search takes just over six weeks. 75% of Australians who are currently searching for a new job have been looking for up to six months and of those, 26% have been looking for three to six months.
Successful job seekers recognise it takes time, energy and money to find their next position. Importantly, they are realistic about the process and overall investment.
Those who focus on developing a strong resume and other career communication documents, obtaining the right qualifications and skills, undertaking career assessments and invest in coaching to improve skills necessary for success in the job search (i.e., interview preparation, salary negotiation), etc achieve their desired goals quicker and easier.
Food For Thought
Carving out a results-oriented and successful job search is a combination of timing, common-sense strategies and the right resources.
Once you know how to avoid traps that lead to a failed job search, you will land on the right path to achieving your career goals.