Job Search at a Standstill? Here's What to Do.
Do you ever feel like you’re putting everything out there and getting nothing back? You’re not alone. Sometimes job hunting can be incredibly frustrating and disappointing. No matter how much experience you have, or how refined your skill set is, every job seeker feels like they’re hitting a wall at some point. So how do you break through that wall and land safely on the other side? When your job search feels like it’s at a standstill, try the following:
Go on a networking binge
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—it’s not what you know, but who you know that makes all the difference. When you feel like your job search is slowing down, one of the best ways to pump the gas is to reach out to friends, colleagues, relatives, and acquaintances.
Don’t just rely on networking sites like LinkedIn and Shapr. They can be helpful but people are generally going to be more willing to go the extra mile for you if you contact them personally. Your old friend from college might be working where there is a perfect position for you. Or, your second cousin might be dating a recruiter. You’ll never know unless you reach out to everyone you can think of, and let them know you’re available and ready to wow your next employer.
Adjust your approach
Just because you haven’t heard back from the companies you’ve reached out to doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with your resume or cover letter. But it doesn’t hurt to shake things up a bit and tweak your brand. Try experimenting with different approaches to see if changing your angle alters your outcome. For example, if your current resume and cover letter focus primarily on your previous accomplishments, try reworking them to center on your future goals. Or, if the documents you’ve been submitting are extremely formal, try a more casual approach. If you find these modifications are getting you better results, the adjustment clearly paid off. If not, keep trying new strategies until you find the one that works.
Consult a professional recruiter
Professional recruiters specialize in matching candidates with open positions. They’re on the inside track, and they know how to get your foot in the door. If you can afford to work with a pro, the results could be well worth the investment. An agency recruiter will only handle a lot of the legwork for you, and she’s likely to know about unadvertised positions as well. Adding companies you didn’t even know were hiring to your target list will definitely help you expand your opportunities.
Buy a new outfit
It may sound a bit frivolous, but buying a new outfit—the perfect outfit to wear on interviews—can rejuvenate your enthusiasm. If you’re feeling a little discouraged, you won’t allow yourself to quit knowing you have this awesome new interview attire to show off. It will also make the prospect of landing interviews seem more real as you picture yourself walking in to the hiring manager’s office with a spring in your step, knowing you look amazing.
Don’t get desperate
Have you ever noticed the more you want something, the less likely you are to get it? Distress gives off negative vibes that can actually impede your success. It’s not uncommon for job seekers to get so anxious that when a promising opportunity presents itself, they end up sounding desperate to the recruiter or interviewer, which can quickly create misconceptions about their value and how hirable they are. No matter how frustrating your job search becomes, it’s critical to remain confident and recognize your worth at all times.
If you feel like your job search is at a standstill, it doesn’t mean you’re going nowhere. You’re simply on pause. Once you hit the play button, you’ll be back at full speed in no time.