Break Out Of Your Job Search Rut

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woman at unemployment office Making yourself more relevant and employableBy Miriam Salpeter

If you've been sending out hundreds of resumes and haven't heard back from one employer, stop now and commit to making several changes in your job search strategy. Looking for a job is frustrating; you're totally fed up with looking for a job and don't think there's another thing you can do to help get back to work. Even though you may be discouraged, it's likely there are some networking strategies you haven't tried yet. Once you get your job search networking in gear, it's time to move ahead with additional key strategies to get to work.

The following are additional tips to help you get out of a job search rut and back to work:

1. Check your documents. Update your resume.There's nothing worse than realizing (too late) that your resume looks like it's from the 1980s and that you've been applying for positions without the requisite keywords needed to get the job. Review job descriptions and ask yourself, "Does my resume make a clear connection between what the employer wants and what I offer?" Be sure it's really obvious; do not expect anyone to give you the benefit of the doubt or to read between the lines. When you do apply online for jobs, a computer system will scan and evaluate your materials, so you need to be very clear and specific about your skills.

2. Stop looking for a job and start looking for a company. Stop searching the web for random jobs; you're wasting your time. Instead, identify a list of 10 or 15 companies and comb your network to make connections in those organizations. Read everything you can about your targeted companies. "Follow" them on social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Watch videos that they share on YouTube.

The more you know about the organizations, and the more networking you do to gain access to unposted opportunities, the more likely you are to land an interview.

3. Use social media. Take advantage of online tools, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ to connect with professionals in your industry. Think of these social media tools as opportunities to demonstrate your expertise so that more people will have the opportunity to know, like and trust you.

More: 5 More Reasons You Don't Hear Back After Applying For A Job

Most people don't worry about how get the word out about themselves until it's time to look for a job. If you're like most job seekers, you have a pretty limited in-person network. Luckily, social media can change that in a jiffy! When you identify people online who share your professional interests, you can easily connect with them, pass along information they share to your community, and highlight what you know about your field or industry. You may be surprised by how generous your new, online contacts may be. Keep in mind: you only need a few great contacts to help you land a job, so don't worry about getting thousands of followers or friends.

4. Start a business. If you've been out of work for a while, it may be time to start thinking about starting a business. One reason to hang your own shingle is because statistics show that more and more companies are turning to temporary, or contract workers, for projects instead of hiring full-time staff. You want to set yourself up to succeed in this environment.

Even if you don't think running your own business is a goal for the long term, looking for project and freelance work can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. When you take on short-term jobs, you'll demonstrate how engaged you are in your industry and earning money: it's a win-win.

How to Use Social Media for Your Job Search



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