In my last post, I wrote about polishing your resume. If that got your attention, you’re probably job hunting. In today’s economy, it’s not unusual for talented, driven professionals to seek new opportunities regularly. There may be any number of reasons to seek out the next step in your career. However, it’s not all smooth sailing in the job search world. If you’ve hit some bumps on your road, or ladder, to career success, check out this post.
Tricky Terrain on the Search
You’re certainly not alone if you’re finding the job search discouraging. There are many real obstacles to finding a great new role. This article identifies quite a few. For instance, working professionals often don’t have the time they’d like to dedicate to looking for a new role. On top of that, you’re probably exhausted by screens. Staring at one longer than your regular eight-hour workday might seem overwhelming.
On top of that, it takes a massive amount of work to land a new job. Typically, candidates have to scan hundreds of job posts. Then, you might apply to dozens of those over the course of months. Eventually, you’ll end up going through interviews with several companies. All this, just to land one offer. Given that the average application takes nearly 20 minutes to complete, the work piles up. As this Forbes article notes, job search burnout is common. This has many of the dangerous hallmarks of workplace burnout.
So the road feels long and arduous, and you might lose motivation. To get your hopes back up, let’s review some strategies for success. First, stop engaging in bad practices that just waste your time.
This article from Fast Company draws on an interview with a career expert who’s conducted nearly 10,000 interviews. He’s certainly seen a lot of faux pas. He cautions job seekers against applying too broadly. Not every listing is a great fit for you. Plus, as this HBR article points out, different companies think of the same job titles in different ways. It’s important to dig into job descriptions and requirements. Carefully consider whether this role even warrants your effort to apply.
Once you have decided to apply, your resume matters a lot. You might be applying to a record number of roles, but if you’re using one resume for all of them, you’re unlikely to succeed. Revisit that earlier blog post on resume writing often. You’ll want to spiff up your application to each new role to give yourself the best possible shot. And remember, it’s not enough to have proof of your previous job duties. Keep track of and showcase impact. That’s the stuff that will pique a hiring manager’s interest.
Strategies for Success in the Job Search
Once you’ve stopped making those common mistakes, you’ll want to supercharge your process. This article suggests treating your job search as a second job. Work 10-20 hours per week. Keep to a set schedule, and block out the time on your calendar. (You can recycle plenty of my tips for timing productivity here.) In fact, having a designated workspace will help too! (See advice on that subject in this previous post.)
To keep the search productive, try to keep about six opportunities on the horizon at all times. This way, you’ll keep up hope and momentum. This will also help you constantly sharpen your skills. Plus, juggling multiple applications gives you a better chance of success than putting all your eggs in one basket. To make sure you’re choosing the right six opportunities, narrow your search down constantly. Check with job descriptions and recruiters right away to make sure you’re looking at a compatible opportunity.
If you find yourself losing steam, that’s okay. These tips for outsmarting procrastination may come in handy. You can also refer to the advice given in this article about burnout. For example, keep “positive proof” nearby. This can be encouraging messages, positive news stories, or anything else that sparks hope for you. Refer to this positive proof to boost your spirits when you get discouraged. Also, remember to visualize your success. As Theodor Herzl said, “If you will it, it is no dream.” Success can become real in the blink of an eye. Finally, keep your goals in mind. (If you’re struggling to set great goals, check out this post.)
Job Search Tips for Newbies
You might be new to the professional world and uncertain how to even start the job search. Whether you’ve had the benefit of internship experience or not, you might not know what to look for. It’s okay for your search to be less straightforward. This HBR article was written by the executive director of Vanderbilt University’s career center. She has some strategies to get you going.
First, ask yourself some key questions. Who do you want to work with in your job? What do you want to do? Where do you want to engage in this work? And why are you driven to do this? Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll have something to work with. Just because you can describe your dream job, through, it doesn’t mean you can name it. If you’re unsure of what job titles mean exactly, check out this resource from Youth Central. Their directory of career profiles can give you a lot of insight into different jobs. Good luck! The hardest step is often the very first one.
Tools to Use
Speaking of resources, there are tons of brilliant software solutions out there to make job searching easier. This Forbes article lists eight of the best ones. Some you likely know well, like Google and LinkedIn. Still, dig into the capabilities of familiar tools. For example, be sure you’re using LinkedIn search features to the max. Other commonly known tools include Glassdoor, Jobscan, and JobSeer. One new tool I hadn’t heard of is called Shapr. This app has revamped networking. (That’s a good thing, because building a network remotely is hard.) If swiping for professional connections intrigues you, check Shapr out.
Of course, you’ll want to organize all these tools and steps for yourself. That’s where Pyrus’s automated workflows can come in handy for you. To stay on top of your applications, you’ll find multi-step workflows super helpful. Add in checkboxes and timelines to organize your process further. Your job search tasks will be organized in a clear, easy-to-read to do list. Best of all, you’ll have the satisfaction of checking tasks off, one by one. So why wait? Let Pyrus take your job search productivity through the roof!