Looking for a job and finding one that you love are pretty strenuous tasks – for most of us. It’s not an exact science and one needs to go through the motions to see what comes up. Although looking for job profiles that fit the skills you have could be a logical starting point.
Before you start looking for a job, it’ll be a great idea to take stock of what’s in your skills inventory. Jot down your skills and the jobs/experiences that justify it. It’ll be very helpful when you write your cover letters for different job roles you apply to. This inventory can also build the foundation for your answers during the interview. This will be like master sheet for your reference. (a helpful master sheet for your job applications coming up later)
1. Develop an action plan: Chalk out a plan that will keep you on track, even on your bad days. Set a minimum number of companies you will apply to each day. Or have a research goal that you’ll stick to. You can also highlight follow ups or add other notes and reminders in this sheet.
Looking at this sheet will also assist you to keep track of the passing time. You can see the efforts you’ve been putting in and the kind of responses you’ve got.
2. Track down leads: Get online. Contact your contacts. Find sources which can lead you to job leads. Connect with people who could introduce you to other resourceful people. Trawl job sites to see what they can offer. Update your profile and rewrite your Linkedin profile, if required.
3. Tap your network: Hopefully, you’ve been active on your social networks before you need them. So you can now cash in on some of that investment. Even if you haven’t been, this is a good time to start shooting messages to people. Make sure that you don’t start asking for favours right away. Start with something general to create a connection. Don’t be shy to look through your contacts and message people who can connect you to more people in your industry.
4. Send resumes constantly: It is said that Colonel Sanders of the KFC fame had to knock on a few hundred doors before he got the first order for his fried chicken. I don’t wish that fate on you but still it’s a good idea to be prepared for the long haul. And the fact that recruiters spend just a few seconds scanning each resume doesn’t tip the scales in your favour. So make sure that your resume at least lands in the pile of recruiters’ resumes. (And if you’ve worked on building a resume that stands out, you might even catch the attention of the recruiter) Your success rate in this phase should be counted by the number of resumes you sent out. And as depressing as it sounds – the number of refusals you get. You move past them and send some more resumes.
More resume tips:
Here are 6 blunders to avoid in your resume that can cost you a job opportunity.
If you are a fresher, make sure you have these 6 important things in your resume
5. Get out often: And not just to network with people. It’s not enough to get online everyday. Stepping out to meet the recruiters personally can make a huge difference to your chances. When you personally turn up, you stay in the memory for longer. You transform into a real person rather than just a piece of paper with your credentials on it.
Also, having some place to dress up and go to will keep you in good spirits. The bonus is that nothing works better than personally meeting people to push your candidature.
6. Follow up religiously: – Just sending out resumes and waiting to hear back from recruiters isn’t the best way to approach this. The action plan sheet will help you keep track of your correspondence with companies and recruiters. Follow up using the appropriate medium at appropriate time gaps. Striking the right balance is very crucial. Don’t be clingy and message incessantly. It wouldn’t put you in a good light to begin with.
Here are some great tips to follow up in a professional way.
7. Get feedback wherever possible: Like Albert Einstein once said:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”
Also, every time an investor refused to invest in Howard Shcultz’s business venture before Starbucks, he’d always get back to them to understand their objections. Fortunately for him, his persuasion convinced a lot of reluctant investors.
Taking a page out of his notebook, seek feedback wherever you can. Not everyone will be open to it. But there’s no harm in bringing it up to understand what really happened. Make sure that you incorporate relevant feedback in your future applications.
8. Prep for the next stage: Before you know, you’ll start getting interview calls. And this is the time you’ll have to live up to the potential your resume promised. Look at the specific application you sent out – the same resume for every job profile isn’t a good idea. And then look up the company that sent you the interview call. Prepare your answers accordingly and practice them. Devote time to finding the best outfit and comfortable shoes.
You’ll also need to make some lifestyle changes in order to survive this phase of your life. Some of them include:
9. Create a daily routine: Spending the day in your sweat pants isn’t really going to help. Nor will it put you in a mood for projecting your best professional self. Create some goals that give you a reason to start the day each morning. It could be going for a run or prepping your kids to go to school. Schedule events to go to or even catch up with your favourite exhibit at the city museum. Remember that this is also a time when you can relax and find time for things that a full time job wouldn’t permit the luxury of.
10. Keep yourself busy. If you can’t think of many ways to fill your day, find a hobby. After you’ve spent a few hours stooped over your laptop sending out resumes, you have your hobby to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be something expensive. A simple walk in the park can help you get out of the rut and clear your mind. Drawing, watching a movie, arts/craft or even reading stories to your kids or some joint projects with them – anything that takes your mind off the unemployment woes
Here are 5 surprising benefits of walking by Harvard Health
11. Be patient and persevere. If things don’t work out initially, take heart. When you spend your days solely in the pursuit of a job, time seems to drag on. Bank on the support of your family and friends, cultivate hobbies and crate a system to keep hitting the right job spots and you should do well.
It is said to have taken Edison over 10,000 failed attempts before he arrived at the electric bulb that worked. The number of rejections you get don’t mean that you failed. You just found another way that did not work. You further hone your resume and get ready for the next round. Wishing you all the very best for your job search!
If you are looking for job tips or want me to take a look at your resume, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. I’ll be happy to help you.