You’re doing all the seemingly right things, but not yet getting the results. Your applications go unanswered, interviews are unsuccessful and there’s no response from the headhunters. This article discusses what needs to be done to maintain your job search momentum.
Employers look for candidates who are agile, trainable, competent, show genuine interest, is likeable, enthusiastic, smart, has a can-do attitude and fits with the company’s values.
It’s important if you’re currently in between jobs not to fall into depression and feel overwhelmed by the lack of results. Most job seekers start out very enthusiastic, but when results are not forthcoming, they can be easily demoralized, resulting in self pity, wallowing, and most significantly no continued effort to generate more job opportunities.
Too many job seekers become desperate and this desperation, though they try to hide it, likely surfaces during the course of an interview. Interviewers and employers are put off by candidates who are desperate.
Another major emotional blunder is to become jaded. After many unsuccessful interviews, the job seeker becomes worn-out, irritated with having to repeat the same story many times over. The job seeker sounds annoyed; the answers sound practiced and weary, at worst cynical. However, this is the first time the potential interviewer is meeting the job seeker and hearing these answers! The job seeker has effectively sabotaged his chances of securing the job.
Employers want to hire enthusiastic candidates.
Keep a daily or weekly to do list
No matter how demoralized you are feeling, you must do something everyday that leads to getting a job. Such tasks include scanning job advertisements, contacting someone in your network, reviewing trade magazines, writing a cover letter, writing a tailored resume, sending thank you notes, building a database or people file, and getting a referral. If you spend your time mainly exploring the internet, you fall victim to being an armchair job seeker. It does not get you very far.
Set up a point system and allocate a point to these activities. Aim for at least 20 points a week or more. The point system will help you measure your productive activities that will lead you to fulfilling your goal. Such point systems are frequently used in most organizations to measure the productivity of the staff.
In essence the job seeker’s work week should not be too different from a usual work week e.g. What does your week’s schedule look like? How many meetings have you confirmed? What are your targets for the week? Do they meet your job search objective?
Reflect on how to improve yourself
Don’t take rejections personally. Talk to your mentor or coach to discuss areas for improvement in the interview and job search process. You may want to approach friends for their feedback on your non-verbal communication cues, idiosyncrasies, and style of professional grooming. You may even want to speak to the employer that rejected you to get a post mortem.
The transition period is a great time for new learning. Signing up for enrichment courses in your field may keep you updated, and allow you to network with your course mates. You may also want to consider studying something new – an area you were keen on but did not have the time to develop.
Find fixed term contract or part time opportunities
Some companies are unable to secure permanent headcount. It would be good to take on the contract job anyway as it would keep you busy while you wait for your dream job. Consider the possibility that the contract job could lead to something more permanent in the future. The people you currently work with may even refer opportunities to you in the industry.
- Stay calm and take time out for yourself. Take time to do the activities that you always wanted to do, but did not have the time. Curl up with a good book, catch a movie during off-peak hours, take the day off for a hike, reach out to friends whom you have not had the opportunity to meet for a while.
- Dress well: If you look sloppy, you feel sloppy. If you look good, you feel good. It’s psychological, so try not to stay in your pajamas the entire day. It’s not healthy.
- Be thankful for what you have: Each morning is a fresh day to regain your energies, and any lost ground. Keep upbeat and positive. Each day is a gift and there are worse things. Avoid hanging around negative people.
- Exercise: It’s very important to stay healthy as it affects your moods. Eat well, exercise moderately, and keep fit. You tire less and will have more stamina.
Take every opportunity to further your network, meet new people, and stay positive to keep the job search momentum going.
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