Whether you’re freaking out about finding a job before graduation or you’ve been on the job search for a while now, you’re reading this article because you need help. Whatever you’re doing isn’t working. Or worse, whatever you’re doing is actually slowing down your job search.
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If you’ve been on the job hunt for AGES now but still haven’t managed to secure a job offer, you need to reevaluate your strategy. You might not realize it, but you could be slowing down your job search. Here are five signs you’re dragging out your job search unintentionally:
1. You’re focusing too hard on one part of your job search.
If you’re focusing too much on one aspect of your job search, you’re slowing yourself down big time. (Moreover, fixating on one part of your job search strategy is actually a sign of other underlying issues.) I know it’s tempting to spend all of your time writing the perfect resume or cover letter, but if that’s all you’re worried about, you’re going to fall short in other areas of your job search (like interview prep).
It’s important to manage your job search so you can spend time on each part of it. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. If you want to conduct a successful job search, you need to dedicate time to each area of your strategy.
2. You’re not making your job search a priority.
I know it’s tempting to put off your job search until it’s more convenient, but the truth is, great opportunities don’t wait. You need to be on your game and show up to play at a moment’s notice. Also, you’ll soon realize that it will never a convenient time to job search. There’s always something better to do, you’re always going to be too tired, and you’re always going to want to snuggle on the couch watching TV rather than rewrite your resume.
Make time for your job search. If you truly want to find a new job, you need to make your job search a priority in your life right now. If you’re struggling to get going, remember why you’re doing all of this. It will give you the motivation you need to push through.
3. You’re ‘spraying and praying.’
Okay, so you’ve applied to 200 jobs in the last 30 days. Yet, you still haven’t landed a job interview. Sure, you’re putting in all of this time and effort applying to these jobs, but it’s pretty clear that something isn’t working.
The truth is, if you’re spending all of your time applying to jobs online, you’re wasting your time. Unfortunately, online job boards are flooded with candidates, which makes it extremely difficult to stand out. Moreover, if your resume isn’t customized for the job to which you’re applying, it will likely get tossed automatically by those pesky applicant tracking systems (or ATS).
Conducting a small-scale job search and targeting your efforts is a much more effective use of your time. Identify companies you’d love to work for and start networking your way in. Study job descriptions and tailor your resume to showcase relevant skill sets, accomplishments, and keywords. Write a cover letter that speaks directly to the company to which you’re applying. Essentially, focus your energy researching, networking, and customizing your strategy instead of applying to 10 random jobs a day.
4. You’re making it impossible for recruiters and technology to read your resume.
Recruiters spend about six seconds skimming resumes. If you’re not making it easy for them to find what they need in those six seconds, your resume is probably headed straight for the trash (even if you’re the most qualified candidate for the job!). Additionally, if applicant tracking systems can’t find what they need, your resume will automatically be thrown out before it even gets in the hands of a human.
Make sure you’re showcasing the best information at the top of your resume so recruiters can find what they need fast. Also, make sure you’re using the latest resume formatting techniques so both recruiters and applicant tracking systems can read your resume properly.
5. You’re obsessing over your weaknesses.
You’re not perfect, and you’re not going to be good at everything you do. Cut yourself some slack! If you’re fixated on everything that’s “wrong” with you, you’re doing yourself a HUGE disservice. Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, play to your strengths. Figure out what you ARE good at and use those things to help you get where you want to go.
6. You’re not learning from your mistakes.
If you find yourself running into the same issues over and over again in your job search, you need to take a timeout and think about why this is happening. If you fail to understand what went wrong and don’t learn from your mistakes, your job search won’t move forward.
7. You’re trying to job search alone.
Job search isn’t easy, and it can be so tempting to give up at times. If you’re trying to do it all by yourself, it’s going to be very hard. However, if you have a community of people in your shoes who are there to support you, keep you accountable, and celebrate your wins, it will not only make job search easier, but it will also make it more enjoyable.
If you’re doing any of these things, it’s time to reevaluate your job search strategy. Stop wasting time and energy on activities that aren’t working. Build a better strategy so you can get out there and find a job you love faster!
So, which of these things is slowing down YOUR job search? Don’t let any of these things hold you back from finding a job you love.
Are you ready to get HIRED?
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This post was originally written by Ariella Coombs.