As with almost any activity or task, during a job search it is easy to fall into bad habits. These habits can form almost without you realizing it, and it’s even more difficult to rid yourself of them. In order to improve your job search, assess its current state by asking yourself a few questions: What’s been going well? What hasn’t been working? Am I doing things that are taking too much valuable time? Are there doors I haven’t opened, or some I’ve been trying to get through for too long? Can I update my resume, cover letters, skills, etc? Here are some other checks that may prove beneficial when trying to combat bad habits in your job search.
First, ask someone to reassess your job search habits and strategies with you. Ask them to review all of the aspects of your job search including your resume, cover letters, networking habits, research habits, etc. By observing these, they may be able to help you identify bad habits and places where you can shift your focus to search for jobs more effectively.
Check your organization. Have you organized your contacts? Are you keeping a calendar of when applications were sent and times to make follow-up calls? How can you better keep track of the status of your applications or the contacts you maybe haven’t tried yet?
Be aware of the resources you’re utilizing in your job search. Are these online job boards updated regularly? Does this company manage their job posts well? Is there someone you can reconnect with about potential openings? Try seeking out new resources for new opportunities. Are you using modern methods such as internet searches, as well as tried and true methods such as daily and weekly newspapers and cold-calling?
It never hurts to take another look at your cover letters and resume as well. Are you getting into bad habits here? Is your resume stagnant? What could you be doing in addition to your job search that would help boost, transform and continually evolve your resume? Make sure that you’ve updated your resume with volunteer service, awards and recognition received, as well as skills learned. Maybe consider the skills that could enhance your resume and begin seeking ways to hone those. Read through the descriptions of your previous experience. Could you be more specific? Could you use more actions words to describe your tasks and experience from those positions?
Have you fallen into a communication rut? Don’t rely on the internet and email for everything. Actively make phone calls or set up lunch and coffee appointments with networking contacts. This will help you stay active and could revamp your job search as you make new contacts.
When you’ve been seeking employment for a long period of time, it’s easy to get burned out and discouraged. This often leads to the development of bad habits. A good way to start refreshing your job search is to begin with the right questions. Try to get to the root of your particular passions and motivation. Allow those to drive your job search; allow those to help you move forward.
Can you think of some other bad habits job seekers should avoid in their job search? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by forwardstl