4 Things to Do When You Are Lost in the Job Hunt Wilderness

via U.S. News

By Arnie Fertig, Contributor |June 5, 2018, at 10:51 a.m.

4 Things to Do When You Are Lost in the Job Hunt Wilderness
Businessman looking into distance in financial district

Learning new skills can give you a leg up in your next job application. (Getty Images)

Have you been unsuccessfully searching for a job for what seems like an eternity with no success? You might be wondering why you feel like you are lost in a vast arid desert without a compass.

You likely have a resume and a LinkedIn profile. You’re probably familiar with sites like Indeed that publish vast quantities of job openings. You’ve been hitting the “Apply Now” button more times than you care to count. Rather than hearing the ping of emails from employers hitting your inbox, you just hear the steps of the mail carrier at your door delivering the latest round of bills.

Career counselors and coaches hear the exasperation as individuals come to them saying things like: “I’m running out of funds, and I need a job, soon!” or “I’ve applied online to over 100 positions, and no one ever gets back to me.” or “I keep asking people to help me on LinkedIn, but no one ever does.”

[See: Tips for Surviving a Career Transition.]

Here are some tips to bear in mind when your job search seems to run as dry as the Mojave Desert in the summer:

Re-evaluate your search strategy. Often people think the “right” way to look for a job is simply responding to job ads. Sometimes they think the sole point of LinkedIn is to find people to help them without seeing the larger picture of how social networking actually works. If you’ve been doing the same thing to get a job for months on end with no results, it is probably time to ask if you are really going about the whole process the right way. Perhaps you need to totally rethink how you present yourself in your resume, cover letterand LinkedIn profile. And, moreover, it may be time to evaluate your overall strategy to see if there isn’t another way that would yield more fruitful results.

Think of alternatives, and if you can’t come up with any, seek the help of a professional who knows their way around the employment landscape and can lead you on the right trails. Maybe this is the time to investigate jobs in new locations, or to use your skills and experience in a different way than you have done before.

[See: How to Quit Your Job.]

Don’t make excuses or adopt a defeatist attitude. No one relishes rejection. And when you are constantly putting out feelers and applications with only silence or rejection coming back at you, it is easy to feel down and out. When this turns into inaction because you just can’t take it anymore, or alternatively when it leads to feelings of desperation, you do yourself no favors.

Make an investment in yourself. Even when money is tight, recognize that sometimes it takes an investment to get to where you need to be. That might mean taking professional development classes, learning a new skill or seeking the guidance of a career counselor, a professional resume writer or job coach.

Job seekers are often relying on things they did more than 10 years ago to get a job today. Realistically, that is a recipe for job search disaster.

Especially if you have been out of work for an extended period, you want to demonstrate you’ve not been wasting your time, you are intellectually curious and are technologically up to date.

[See: Here’s What You Should Know About Gen Z Workers.]

Personally network with a minimum of five to 10 new people a week. That does not mean asking them for a job!

It means you should go out of your way to continually meet new people and build relationships with them. Go to local events, summer block parties, alumni group get-togethers, job hunting networking groups and professional associations. It means seeking out Meetup groups where you will find people with common interests to yours. It means connecting with people on LinkedIn with similar industry, skill set or educational backgrounds. There is no limit to the ways you can find people to meet and speak with when you put in a little thought and ingenuity.

Take the time to learn about them, asking about what they do, what they like about what they are doing, what they find challenging or what they see as the next big thing to come down the road. Pick up on something they say and show an interest.

Before you know it, they’ll be asking about you, your background and your interests. Sooner or later, someone will expose an opportunity of interest to you and offer to help you along the way.

Don’t forget to always be on the lookout for whatever you can do for your networking partners, and invite them to reach out to you whenever you can be helpful.

Happy hunting!

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Arnie Fertig is the founder and CEO of Jobhuntercoach .

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