When there are no new interviews or leads, and you feel like giving up, it’s time to look at ways to re-energize your job search. Looking for work can be a fatiguing process; not physically, unless you are tramping the streets, but mentally. You need a positive attitude, but in the face of little encouragement or constant rejection, it certainly isn’t easy. It’s so important to persevere, so when you’ve reached the point when you need a little fillip, here are some ways to re-energize your job search.
1. Rewrite Your Resume
If your resume is limited (you may have just left full time education), there may not be much material to work with, but you have to maximize what is there to make it work for you. One of the ways to re-energize your job search is to completely rewrite your resume. Some industry experts say you should write your CV for every application but this is terribly time-consuming. A more reasonable approach is to have different types of CVs. It is worth having a skills based resume, an experience based resume and one that concentrates on your achievements. In a resume, we generally try and get in all these things, which means that sometimes it might be diluted. If you read job advertisements carefully, you can usually pick up a few clues as to what kind of focus the employer is looking for and you can apply with the relevant style of CV.
2. Spring Clean Your Cover Letter
If you are revamping your resume, it makes sense to do the same for your cover letter(s). Many job seekers make the mistake of using the one cover letter as a template and just tweaking it as necessary for each application. If you are going to adopt the multiple CV approach outlined in the first point, follow suit with your cover letter. Write a cover letter for each type of CV you have. Also, review the information you have in your cover letters. Are you showing yourself in the very best light? And importantly, are you forthcoming on what you can bring to the job? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Your cover letter should be a show stopper. When applying online, don’t be tempted to just write a couple of sentences stating the obvious – “Dear Sir, I am applying for XXX, here is my resume, I look forward to hearing from you…” Take the trouble to show the prospective employer you really care about your application.
3. Change of Direction
Another of the ways to kick start your job search is to critically evaluate the type of job you are applying for. It’s great to have an ambition to work in a specific job or sector, but don’t be narrow in your aims. Analyze your transferable skills and think about other areas you could apply them. Do some serious lateral thinking and some interesting avenues might open up for you. This is also a good time to consider the idea of relocating. Are there better/more job openings in a different town/city or state? You may not have thought about it before, but it is an option.
4. Get Connected
Social media is a major player in the job market, but you need to be clued up on how to harness its power. Join the right sites and have a professional profile. If you have a Facebook page, keep your social life well away from the limelight – best have 2 accounts. Have a LinkedIn profile and join relevant groups. Network with the right people and raise your profile as much as you can. Find ways to show that although you might not have a job, you are active in your sector and are keeping up with the latest news and happenings. Find relevant online communities and become active in them.
5. Set New Goals
It’s hard to admit that your job search isn’t working, but in order to inject new life into your search for employment you need to take a good look at what you’re currently doing. Now is the time to rip up the old plan and make a new one. If you haven’t been following any set plan, you should be. Sticking to a plan will stave off any feeling that you are drowning because you’ll know you are achieving the goals you have set yourself even if you haven’t yet been successful in gaining employment. Create a weekly timeline, including time for reading job boards, following up on email notifications of new vacancies, networking, and attending events.
If there is free advice available – use it. Talking to a third party is one of the great ways to re-invigorate your job search. If you’re a recent college graduate, find out if you can still attend careers fairs and graduate events. Do you still have access to a careers guidance service? If you can afford it, invest in a session with a careers counselor. Another option is to find a mentor- maybe a tutor you enjoyed a good relationship with or a successful businessperson you know personally or through your family. Join a job-search group if there is one near to you. Don’t spend hours reading the same advice over and over. Niche sites and business sites will do you more good than endless blogs advising on how to get a job.
7. Agency Cull
Now is also the time to review the agencies and online job sites you are registered with. Despite the job boards shouting at you to upload your CV online, there is very little rate of return with these. The simple fact is that recruiters don’t have the time to sit there reading millions of CVs. You are much better off with signing up to email alerts and diligently following up any leads on them. If you are going to register with a large number of sites, you will run yourself ragged trying to keep up with them. Invest some time in finding a few more specialist or niche sites and concentrate on those. Better still, identify companies you’d like to work for and keep an eye on their job boards. If you can make contact via LinkedIn and Facebook with the company, even better.
The most important thing about looking for work is to not to give up. Every so often, take a breath, step back and look at ways to re-energize your job search. How do you make your resume stand out?