How to Revitalize Your Job Hunt
When you're preoccupied looking for a job, it's easy to become too focused on your resume, cover letters and applications to the exclusion of everything else in your life. Ironically, this laser focus may actually be preventing you from being successful. This year, consider taking the following steps and do something different to help you land an opportunity.
Get out of your house or office. There is nothing worse than spending all of your free time at your computer. If you're developing a squint from trying to decipher job descriptions online, step back from your computer screen, tablet or smart phone and go out and do something.
It's no secret that networking is the key to landing opportunities. For decades, job search coaches have been telling job seekers to network, and that up to 80 percent of jobs are filled via networking. If you don't believe it, try it out and see how it works for you. Sure, you can attend a formal networking event, but you can also volunteer in a soup kitchen, visit your local coffee shop and schedule a haircut so you have a chance to talk to people you don't normally see. Avoid the big job seeker mistake of clinging to your computer.
Get healthy. This is the time of year when everyone makes resolutions about their health or weight. If you're looking for a job, looking and feeling your best can only help you. While you don't need supermodel proportions to land your dream job, when you feel better about yourself, you'll be able to speak about your credentials more confidently and employers will notice.
If you've been putting off going to the gym, think of it as a networking opportunity. You may even want to keep your business or networking cards in your gym bag, as you never know who you may meet. Plus, if you work out with a trainer (many gyms offer free sessions when you join), you'll have a brand new networking contact. Never underestimate the networking power of people in the position to speak with someone new every hour of the day! Attending exercise classes can also provide great networking opportunities.
Instead of thinking of doing something healthy as detracting from your search or keeping you away from your computer, give yourself permission to try something new; it may be exactly what you need.
Try a new hobby. Have you been eyeing that knitting class at the local yarn store, but don't want to spend the money and time? Treat yourself! You never know how inspiring it can be to learn something new. While it's great to get out of the house to meet new people, if you're an introvert, try taking an online class instead. Sometimes just learning a new skill is enough to get you out of a rut, which will help you be more successful in your job search.
Use Social Media. Maybe it's too cold to go out much. Networking is not lost on you! Keep in mind, networking today no longer has to mean attending boring events where you're trying to meet people by giving a two-minute "elevator pitch." (Who listens to those, anyway?) Lucky for you, social media offers opportunities to meet new people online whom you'd never have a chance to meet in real life. Join LinkedIn groups, Google+ hangouts and Twitter chats. Participate actively and connect with potential colleagues who may suggest you apply for opportunities where they work. Referrals statistically have a much better chance of securing interviews and avoiding the dreaded resume "black hole."
Try something new, and before you know it, you could have an interview offer and a job offer!