During that initial period of unemployment, you might have a ton of energy and enthusiasm around your job hunt. You’ve got your highlighters and stacks of classified ads, you’ve baited potential employers with a stellar resume on CareerBuilder, and you’ve tailored your suit to perfection for potential interviews and rounds of dropping in at businesses with your resume in hand. But somewhere between the countless hours spent watching a phone that never rings, and wearing a hole in the soles of your business shoes after going down every block in the city to find out no one is hiring, you might be losing a little fuel for your fire. So what happens when the job search seems to have fallen dormant? Do you wave the white flag and sink into your couch to watch daytime soaps all day? No way! Even if you are finding less than sunny results in your quest for a job, do not give up hope! There are several things you can do to stay motivated and make yourself an even more desirable candidate. Below are some suggestions on staying motivated in your job search that will give you the leg up that Jerry Springer and hours on Pinterest cannot, so get off the couch and get MOTIVATED!
Give your resume a face lift.
So you’ve thrown out the bait, and no one’s biting? Time to reel ‘er back in and take a look at what might be wrong with your resume! The key is to make sure you fully understand the position you are applying for, and make sure your resume exudes “I am perfect for this position because ____!” Your objective statement, your experience, and everything in between should be tailored to this precise position. Another tip is to make sure you include the title and specific skill sets associated within your resume, as when employers are sourcing resumes online, they often times type in key words to get a list of possibly pertinent resumes. Make sure your resume surfaces on that list!
Get off the couch.
That’s right, job searching in front of your flat screen in your Snuggy might not be most conducive for finding a job! Often times if we dress like we mean business, we are inherently more professional and motivated. This doesn’t mean you have to email your resume out while wearing a five piece suit, but at least putting the pj’s away will help start a little fire under you. Also, try job hunting in a more professional environment too. Trade your spot in front of the tv for a quieter, more focused environment, such as a home office. Go to a place that has limited distractions so you can focus. If you can’t find a place in your home to serve this purpose, sometimes simply heading to a place like a coffee shop helps people focus on the task at hand and get motivated.
Ask for informational interviews.
You might be wondering, “Why would I EVER put myself through the anguish of an interview if there was no possibility for employment on the line?” Well in tough economic climates, simply getting out there and getting in front of professionals in your industry can pay huge dividends. Without the pressure of “So are you giving me a job or not?,” some employers are more than willing to sit down with those dedicated job seekers that just want to pick their brains. It will give you further interview practice, you can get a feel for what the prospects really are in your industry, and if the company DOES start hiring in the future, your name will already be on their list!
Look for internships.
“So wait, you want me to go on interviews that I already know won’t result in a position, and now you want me to work but not get paid?” Precisely! Sounds crazy, but seriously, internships are a great way to again get your name out there and also boost your resume. Many employers would enjoy having an intern (who wouldn’t want free help, right?) so it could be a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and get a behind the scenes view of what your given profession will be like. You’ll have a much better idea of what you’re getting yourself into, and you’ll have some great fillers and related experience to add to your resume to secure a paid position.
Network, network, and network some more.
You truly cannot know “too many” people when searching for a job. Even if the people you know aren’t hiring in your profession, maybe THEY know someone who is! It’s a massive web of business professionals out there, so go get caught in it! Attend any industry networking opportunities, workshops, etc. you can. Even if it doesn’t have to do with your profession, do it anyways! Go to that college class reunion. Join that book club. The more people you know, the better. Spending the day with Fluffy on the couch might sound like a fun afternoon, but your cat can’t get you a job, no matter how cuddly he is.
So the moral of it all is when at first (or second … or third) you don’t succeed, try, try again. Nobody ever said nailing a job was a piece of cake. It is a competitive world out there, and it might take some falling down before you rise up a top executive one day! Just remember to stay focused and motivated, and a great position will be within your grasp!