There’s no getting around it: hunting for jobs is a pain. It’s time consuming, stressful and occasionally disheartening. Worst of all, it’s easy to lose focus, potentially keeping you unemployed for even longer.
However, there are certain steps you can take to be more productive with your job hunt and avoid losing focus. You’ve probably heard this before, but just in case: when you’re unemployed and searching for a job, you need to think of your job search as your full-time job. Treating your search this way makes it much more likely to yield results.
Here are some tips that you should consider:
- Plan out your days. Just as you would with an average work day, plan out what your days look like while on the job hunt. You might reserve certain days for networking sessions, or set aside blocks of hours looking for jobs online. You should also reserve time to tweak your resume, fill out applications, write letters, etc. Stay organized with your planning so that you start to get yourself into a routine; that makes it much easier to stay focused.
- Track everything. Keep a thorough spreadsheet of all your job seeking activities. Track the jobs that you’ve applied for, when you applied for them, who your contact person was and when you followed up. You should also track all of the networking contacts you’ve made and when you had correspondence with them. Update this spreadsheet regularly to make sure that you’re staying organized.
- Take advantage of technology. Use social networking or job hunting sites to your advantage. Many of them even have email alert systems when jobs that match your searches or your qualifications show up. You can get alerts as soon as listings are posted, so you can have an inside track on applications.
- Revise your resume and cover letter for each application. You won’t find great results if you use the same generic resume and cover letter for every position you pursue. Research the target organization and what they’re looking for in an applicant so you have a better understanding of how to frame your application materials.
- Keep your schedule arranged like you would at work. Get up early, stay well groomed and dressed, take lunch breaks and call an end to your job hunting activities by a certain time of the day. This will make your transition into your eventual new job a lot easier, and also keep you more productive during your search.
Getting that important work position is critical. Take these and other steps that each increase the probability of a successful pursuit. Good hunting!
John J. Hall, CPA
John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.
Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”