The job search is kind of a big game of ‘Where’s Waldo’ and job seekers are the Waldos. With so many other people in the picture, it’s tough to stand out from the pack and be seen. You need to wear your most distinctive outfit, so to speak, to get noticed. That’s why this week, I’m bringing five tips for job seekers to bring out those red stripes and increase their job search productivity.
First, there’s the issue of volume. It can be hard to produce a large quantity of resumes, video resumes, and cover letters tailored to each open position with high-quality. However, at the same time it is important to get yourself and your credentials out there. By creating unique documents for each job you apply to you will certainly increase your job search productivity.
Second, connect, connect connect. In other words, be sure to network in your job search! The more people you know at a given company the better chance you have of getting your resume seen, or read, by the hiring managers. Mention these people when you are applying, and make sure to keep that contact going throughout- even once you have a job.
Third, follow up. It may seem like you’re irritating the people in charge of the hiring process, but job seekers really need to follow-up at least once to each job they apply to. There are so many applicants to each job that without a follow-up call or e-mail, you risk getting lost in the pile. There are exceptions, and I generally advise against following up with companies which explicitly tell applicants not to follow up. In general though, make sure you follow up. With technology, it is entirely possible that your application was lost or never sent. Following up helps assure you that, at the very least, someone knows your resume exists.
Fourth, make a job search schedule for yourself. Look at your job search as a job and you’ll be sure to increase productivity. Job seekers are hard workers. The harder you work, the better results you’re likely to see. This will also help with tip number one: volume. If you devote set times to your job search, especially focused time, you will be able to apply to a greater number of positions and give quality effort to each- increasing your productivity two-fold.
Lastly, don’t get discouraged. It can get frustrating when you’ve been searching and searching for months without much progress. The ebb and flow of it all can be overwhelming. A week of a lot of contact and job interviews may be followed by a week with a little less. Don’t let it bother you. Instead, let it motivate you. In the end the hard work will be worth it when you have that first paycheck. Plus, you might just come out of the process a better employee for it, having worked so hard to get there.
What are some tips you employ to keep your job search productivity up? Tell us about them in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Sean MacEntee