How To Make Most Of Your Job Search

By Rene Santana on January 27, 2020

One of the most inconvenient situations you’ll find yourself in is when you have to look for a job. Whether or not you’re employed, job hunting is always stressful. That’s why it can help to have a game plan ready when you out there looking for your next career step. Even if you’re comfortable at your current job, it never hurts to keep that resume up-to-date and your LinkedIn profile fresh. I keep my eyes out on occasion, too, as there’s always a better future opportunity waiting to be chased down. And so, here are a few things I recommend if you are ready for that next career step:

1. Research. I’ve mentioned it before in an earlier post, but I honestly can never stress enough the need to research the company you’re applying to. Researching is more than just reading the requirements on the job listing, it’s about reading the company’s articles, social media posts, and their name in the news. You need to able to know exactly what that company is providing to the world, and why you would want to join them in their mission. A careful and considerate crafted resume and cover letter are almost always received tenfold better than fifty or more generic applications.

2. Study your strengths. Look at the previous positions you’ve held and ask yourself what you accomplished. Were you an ace trainer, hardcore seller, or excel wiz? Maybe everyone always asked you to read their emails because yours were so on point and concise. Yes, be humble, but don’t be so modest that you neglect to uphold your best traits.

Image by William Iven from Pixabay

Image by William Iven from Pixabay

3. Practice the interview questions. If you can’t yet answer the questions “tell me about yourself,” and “tell me about a disagreement you had with your colleague,” confidently, then you may want to stop applying to jobs until you can do so. The interview questions are simple, but not easy to answer. A bit of hunting and pecking online and you can find a list of common questions asked in job interviews. But the real work comes from sitting down and speaking out your replies.

4. Take a Break. If you’ve read my previous articles, I always encourage taking breaks. Thing is, burnout is real, and not enough people seem to realize how dangerous it is. Even I struggle with this simple rule, as I will feel the need to go over the top with my goals and then give myself no break. This often leads to a depressing state, which in turn, makes me useless as I feel unable to focus on job hunting. Don’t overdo it, and don’t worry, a little break can go a long way.

5. Figure out what you actually want to do. Be honest with yourself, and don’t think you can’t change your careers, even if you got a degree for it. Keep yourself to new options, as you may end feeling stuck and lost at a job quickly if you don’t look for new challenges. Getting a nice big paycheck is fine and all, but don’t let that guide your career path. Find something you know you can be the most helpful at. That way when the hardest days come, you won’t be wondering why you bother with the work you do.

At the end of the day, most people just want to pay their debts and buy a few nice things. We need jobs to make a living. Quality of life is just as important as career fulfillment. That being said, I suggest not letting the fear of unemployment get the best of you. Job searching is mainly about research, planning, and patience. Even if you did get a call back from the hundred of applications you sent out, what are the chances that the company that contacts you is a good fit? Unless you went through the work of researching each one hundred of those companies, chances are, you’re going to be stuck in a dilemma where you may not be interested in working for that company.

To end, I would like to tell the disclaimer with any job advice: there are no hard and fast rules for job hunting. There are also no excuses as to why you should give up searching. IF there is a list of hard and fast rules out there, I wouldn’t doubt for a second that having grit, patience, and persistence are on that list, too.

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