The job search can be a long, arduous process for many — from the recent graduate to the seasoned professional. When you’ve sent out countless resumes, networked your heart out, and followed up as much as possible, and still aren’t landing the perfect position, it may be time to change your strategy. That is, you may be going about the job search the wrong way.
If you’ve hit a job search brick wall and you don’t know which direction to take, check out these three reasons why you may want to switch up your plan of action:
You don’t know what you’re looking for. Many job seekers go to college, do a few internships, land a job, and think that’s all there is. However, even more job seekers don’t actually know what they are looking for — or how to look for it.
For example, say you graduated with a degree in advertising. You may believe you want to work at a big agency, but who’s to say you aren’t a better fit at a start-up or non-profit? Further, what if advertising isn’t your thing after all?
How can job seekers really find the right fit without wasting their time (or the time of a future employer)?
• Take the time to find out exactly what you want to do by attending industry meetings, following thought leaders on your social networks, or even connecting with old employers to help give you some sort of direction.
• Take advantage of online resources like the My Next Move to help you figure out your calling.
• Go old school by making a pros and cons list.
• Connect with those who already work in your desired profession or industry and ask for feedback.
You’re not taking advantage of job search resources. There are tons of resources out there for job seekers, from social networking sites to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These resources can do more for you than just tell you what jobs are out there. They can tell you how to look for job, negotiate salary options, the best places to relocate to for your profession, projected earnings, etc. By doing your research and continuing to learn, you not only gain more information, you set yourself on a better job search path since you’re more knowledgeable about the process.
For example, if you’re looking for a job in Georgia, when most of the jobs in your industry are in California, you delay positive results. Likewise, if you look for jobs under occupational categories instead of just job titles, you will probably find more opportunities.
The change to your job search strategy wouldn’t have happened had you not taken advantage of the resources out there, so use all of the materials at your disposal. After all, they are there for a reason!
You’re stuck in the past. Over the past few years, the job search process has changed dramatically. No longer are paper resumes the only way to seek out opportunities. Now, online profiles and resumes, social networking, and connecting with employers directly are the way to go. However, if you’re stuck in the job search past, you’ll likely make your search more difficult.
So, it order to get yourself up to speed, take the time to bring your job hunt to the 21st century by putting your resume online, connecting with employers directly through sites like Employment Pipeline, and creating an online presence so employers can actually research and find you. You’ll be in much better shape than you were before and will find (and hopefully land) more opportunities.
What other things are job seekers doing to go about their search the wrong way?