Energize a Stagnant Job Search - 7 Career Tips for Job Hunting For those job seeking professionals that have been searching for a job for months or more, thewhole job search process may seem a bit stale. Countless hours are often spent on job searchwebsites and job search engines such as CareerBuilder.com, Dice.com, and Monster.com oftenresulting in minimal feedback. It is frustrating to go months without finding a job. Inevitability youbegin to question career choices, your professional skills, experience, qualifications, or even youreducation. But youre not alone. In times of high unemployment, a slow moving job market cancreate the appearance of a job search that becomes stagnated.In this seven part series we will provide job search strategies and tips to revive your job hunt andreenergize your career confidence.1) Part Time Job, a Temporary Job, or VolunteeringSeek out short term, part-time, or temporary work in your career field is a good way to get yourfoot in the door. Even if there does not seem to be any full time jobs opening any time soon, parttime work and temp work is a way your employer can get to know you and your work ethic. If a jobhappens to open up or a new position is created, then you are at a higher advantage then othersapplicants who may be applying for that same job. Youll have much more than a resume to showthe company.2) Work on your Personal BrandIf someone were to search for your name online, what, if anything would they see? In all likelihood,hiring you is a big investment to any company or organization. Especially in challenging economictimes and an employer driven job market, companies are being more selective about their jobapplicants.Take a few minuets and search for yourself online to determine what your digital footprint is. Doyou share a name with someone that could create a career opportunity or a problem with youronline image?Use your personal brand to let the employer know your strengths, why they should hire you, andthat you are a worthy candidate to investment in. If you remember, the personal brand is your lifeand professional skills as they appear online. You want your personal brand to be accurate andtruthful, but you also want to it to make you look great to an employer. Your brand should reflectyour overall qualifications, education, and indicate your career goals.See what shows up in a Google search and a Yahoo search. Having a LinkedIn profile and profileson other professional social networking sites can help to create a positive digital footprint. Yourprofile should be professional and consistent. Keep your information consistent with similar careergoals and career objectives in each profile. Avoid blending social media and your onlineprofessional image. It is important to keep your private life PRIVATE. That is a mistake manypeople make with personal branding which may cost them being selected for that next job oropportunity.3) Changing Careers or Branching Out to New IndustriesDiversify you job search and branch out into new job markets you may not have considered inyour previous job hunting strategies. Pick a career field, any career field and determine if your
skills and qualifications would translate into new job opportunities.That is not to say that you should just apply for the first job opening that presents itself. As amatter of fact, the opposite is true. Choose a career field that may benefit from your professionalknowledge. Your best option is to look at a small geographic area and determine what employersare within this region. Examine what the area employers job positions and the job descriptionsthey are seeking and compare the qualifications to your resume. A midlife career change into anew industry can appear challenging but rewriting a career change resume and cover letter canquickly expand your employment options.Examine your strengths. If you are not good with people, do not apply to personnel Jobs. If you donot have an aptitude for math, do not apply for engineering or accounting Jobs. Choose anindustry or career field you know you can succeed in and focus your job search in that field.Perhaps you havent found a job yet because you are stretched across too many possible careerpaths. You may have missed an opportunity while you were wasting your time and applying to jobsthat do not suit you. As a job search seems to drag on, it may seem tempting to try to apply foreverything, but stay focused on your qualifications and job skills.Be realistic about the types of jobs you are applying for. Most often when make a career transitioninto a new job market you will find yourself competing for more junior level positions then youwould within your current career field. Changing careers may seem like a step backwards; yetshowing potential future employers you are capable of taking on new challenges, have theforesight, and flexibility to expand your skill set across industries can become a strong asset.4) Use Career Counseling and Career Advice ServicesGet some help. If month after month has passed with no job offers or employment prospect youmay need some help with your job hunt. You do not want to be put in a position where yourfinancial obligations overtake you focusing on your job search.Recent college graduates and college alumni can use their colleges career services department.Beyond employment listings and postings, many college career service departments offerinterview preparation assistance, resume writing and career advice, and can assist you inchoosing a career path. These services are often helpful when you are considering changingcareers or at a career transition. Also, many companies seek out students from specificuniversities, colleges, and specific degree program or departments. A career advisor in theschools career services can connect you with these companies.Beyond the college or university career services centers, look into what career placement servicesyour local city or county provides. Contact your local chamber of commerce to begin your searchfor these types of local services. Many of these services are either free of charge or at a minimalfee to local residents.Depending on your specific situation, consider hiring a professional career advisor or careercounselor. A professional career counselors job is to help you figure out exactly what you want todo and advise you on how to maximize your resources and qualifications.Before electing to get a career counselor, do some research on what services the careercounseling service provides and what their recent candidate placement success rates are. Thisway, you will know what to expect as an end result. Will they help you find a career path, provide
resume writing advice and interview preparation, placement services, and help you along the way?Do not be afraid to ask for help when the job search seems to be dragging on. Having a careeradvisor or an independent career service can help you revitalize your job hunt.5) Is Your Resume Writing Reflective of your Career ObjectiveRefresh your resume and your professional image. If your job search appears stalled, take thistime to review your resume and your overall professional image. This includes your cover letter,professional social media sites such as Linked-In, and your professional references.If employers have already seen your resume and you have not received any responses back, thenthis might be your cue to give your resume a second look. Check your resume for spellingmistakes, typos, and poor grammar. Those are a definite turn-off to any potential employer.Do you think your online resume would pass the 20 second test? Remember that 20 seconds isgenerally the amount of time an employer will spend looking over your resume. In that time frame,an employer will decide whether or not he or she will call you in for a job interview. If it has been awhile since you have been called for any interviews, then this may indicate that your resume doesnot pass the 20 second test. Some resume writing changes may be necessary. Also, be sure thatyour resume is aesthetically pleasing and your resume qualifications, education, and experienceproperly flows together.6) Using only Top Job Search Engines can Limit Your Career OptionsNot all job search websites are created equal. Searching that next job opportunity using online jobsearch engines can distribute your resume to many companies and employment centers.Although, not all job search websites are weighted the same for your professional career field orindustry.Major job websites like Moster.com and CareerBuilder.com are great choices to broadcast yourresume skills and qualifications. However, your chances in getting noticed on these online jobsearch sites are low. Thousands of career professionals and job seekers are posting and updatingtheir resumes daily, and in a highly competitive job market, being too general with your careerobjectives may not result in you landing that job.Take some time to research what are the best job search sites, specific to your industry or careerobjectives. If your career field is within the medical industry, look for those web sites that focusspecifically on medical jobs or nursing Jobs. Expand your career and look for part time job searchopportunities to get into a company or organization.Be focused and specific in your job search and make sure you are looking everywhere. Limitingyourself to just a few major job sites can be disastrous. Many of the jobs you are seeking may notbe listed on the common and the most popular job search engines. So, try looking at lesser knownjob sites, and on industry specific ones. Check your local newspaper daily, especially on Sundayeditions. Sometimes a job listing may be printed on only one day in the newspaper.Keep checking your professional social networking sites and keep your eyes open for mentioningof possible job openings. You might be missing out on great opportunities by limiting your searchto one place. If you are unemployed, be sure to tell everyone that you are looking. People talk andword will get around. Your friends cousins girlfriend may be in the Human Resources departmentin a company where they are hiring. You could be surprised where you find your next job.
Whatever you do, do not stop looking until you find what you are looking for.7) Revisit your Long Term Career ChoicesWhat long term career planning steps have you considered throughout your professional career.Often times we can become comfortable and somewhat complacent within our chosen occupationafter we have met certain education and experience requirements. However, over time we canloose our job security if our skills are not continually up to date or with economic shifts, technologyinnovations, or company restructuring.If you find yourself in a position where there does not appear to be any jobs in your career field,they you may consider changing industries. Change can be good, but when you mention changingcareers, often people confuse this with more schooling or education, significant changes in theirschedule, or starting back at the beginning. While any change may require some retraining or newon the job knowledge, changing careers maybe easier then one would think.Examine what parallel industries or other careers use your same talents. Seek out careercounseling and take several career tests to help you determine what industries you maybeunaware of that use your qualifications. A career counselor can help you with this decision andprovide you some inside knowledge on specific career fields. If you do not have a careercounselor, then you may want think about who in your local area hire professionals with your skillsand list all the things you loved about your old job. Then look for jobs that have those samequalities. You can also look at things you disliked about your old job, and look for jobs that do nothave those qualities. Take a reputable personally or career test and consider jobs that work foryour personality type.The worst thing you can do is nothing, especially if you see major changes coming in your careerfield where your future employment could be effected. A proactive approach can open new doorsand provide you with new career opportunities.Jobs