You've sent out hundreds of applications but with no success. The rejection pile is mounting on the desk - and that's only those that get back to you. What do you do?
Firstly take a breath. Slow down and get some fresh perspective and cut yourself some slack. It’s not easy navigating the complexities of today’s fast changing job market. Employers are busier than ever. Positions seem to be open one minute and gone the next. Competition for jobs is hot. It is tough.
So what can you do to get through this challenging time?
Number one - remember every rejected job application and failed interview is an opportunity to learn. You should grab that opportunity with both hands. Ask for help. Ask recruiters why you weren’t short-listed. Solicit feedback from employers on your interview. Take any opportunity to gain an understanding of where you can improve your job search tools and methods.
If you aren’t sure how to manage your job search – seek advice. Source books from your local library, read career advice columns and articles or listen to free online podcasts from career experts. The internet has volumes of career and job search information. Use it - critically assess it to make sure it’s credible, then adapt it and make it work for you.
Next take accountability. Whilst it’s important to be kind to yourself, making excuses won’t help. Take action. If what you are doing now isn’t working then change it. Things won’t improve if you don’t take action.
If you don’t have the skills to get the job you want – you could look at retraining. If you lack experience try to find volunteer posts or unpaid work where you can gain the skills you need.
What about your network? Are you using it? Building connections can help you find those hidden opportunities before they even hit the advertised market. Reach out today to others that can help you and make a pact with yourself to continue to build that network at every opportunity.
Remember it’s not enough just to join an industry group or online networking site, you need to be active in your networking. If you are on Linked In - is your profile up-to-date and rich with recommendations from past employers, clients or peers? Use your contacts’ connections, and ask for introductions to people that can help you find or get a job. Networking only works if you stay active. Sometimes networking over coffee can be a full time job!
If you are doing all of this without success, it may be time to get innovative and proactive. If opportunity isn’t knocking on your door, knock on its. Find new ways to build your profile with your targeted employers. If you love writing you could start a blog to build credibility and presence in your field, or if you are computer savvy you could develop a web portfolio to showcase your background. Don’t just rely on advertised positions and job boards. Get out there and contact employers directly. It’s the squeaky door that gets oiled.
Finally, look at your marketing. Are you marketing 'you’ as well as you could? You need to be clear about your key selling features. What do you offer potential employers that they want and that other candidates can’t? Is that being promoted prominently in your resume, application letter and online profiles? Your resume should be professional and rich with past achievements. If it is, it will be more likely to make employers want to pick up the phone to call you and schedule an interview.
Finally surround yourself with support, and make time to look after yourself. Take time out for things you enjoy, get some exercise and do something fun each week. Job search demands your ‘a-game’ and you can’t do that if you are run down or depressed. Live, breathe, and believe in yourself, and remember there is no time like the present to make a change. Good luck!
For more information on Career Edge and our career services you can visit www.careeredge.com.au
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by Gillian Kelly on 09 Apr 10
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