Looking For Work? Your Job Search Is Your Job!

For professionals who are out of work and looking for a job, the search becomes a job in and of itself. That is why it is so important to take it just a seriously as if you have a full-time job! When there is a substantial gap between jobs, it is easy to get discouraged and lose motivation, but there are some reliable ways to stay focused in the career game while you are out there searching.

Organize your job search. Keep an Excel spreadsheet updated with jobs you have applied for. For each job you should list the job title/reference number, the date you applied, format you used to apply (e.g. emailed resume, online application), the date you plan to follow up, interview dates/times, any contacts you have within the company, and notes. This will help prevent a lot of frustration and make you feel like you are making progress.

Get up and get going. Sleeping late and job searching in your pajamas sounds great, but it is massively unproductive. It is best to keep a steady habit of waking up by 8 a.m., showering, getting dressed (keep it casual if you wish, but avoid those old sweats!), and starting your search by 9 a.m. This way, you are right in line with the rest of working world and you won’t feel so excluded. Also, research has proven that looking presentable, even though you are at home, helps with productivity.

Stay on task. Whether you have a job or you’re unemployed and looking, your day should start essentially the same. Grab a cup of coffee and sit down in front of your computer (or head to the public library if you don’t have an internet connection). Open your spreadsheet to get a sense of where you are in your search, make your to-do list for the day, and set some realistic goals. Here is a sample list:

To Do (Monday, 9/20/10)

1. Send resume to Bradford & Sons, Inc. (Posting for Accountant II)

2. Send resume to Smithington Associates (Posting for Accounting Supervisor)

3. Follow up with Sherry Miller at Huffington & Miller, LLC (applied last Wednesday)

4. Call Matt’s brother about open position at his firm.

5. Get a haircut before tomorrow’s interview at CRC, Inc.

It is important to be realistic and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t complete the list. Just carry items to the next day. Keep in mind professionals are most productive on Mondays and Tuesdays, so those are the best days to contact or follow up with hiring managers.

When you are out of work it is easy to become overwhelmed, discouraged, and even depressed. But, if you keep a positive mind and approach your job search just like you would a job, you will find a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day and, odds are, a job in your near future!

Job Searching Tips

So I just noticed that a job that I applied and interviewed for is re posted as having two positions available and the posting was recently updated but when I go on that companies’ website and sign in it states that I am still “under consideration” for that particular job opening.

Upon reading forums I see that it is the hiring managers responsibility to go back through and change the status to “No Longer Under Consideration”

The Hiring Manager has to go back through and do this for all the perspective employees whose applications they acknowledged.

Sometimes they don’t do this for all of them as there can be hundreds at a time. They have to acknowledge them electronically every time someone applies and once the position is filled or you are no longer considered for it they don’t go back through each and every applicant to acknowledge that you either didn’t qualify or you did qualify but someone just happened to have more experience than you.

Keep applying. Also, if the company website states that you are still under consideration, CALL THEM if it has been over a week since you interviewed.

When you initially apply sometimes a company will send you an e-mail acknowledging that they received your application and or Resume. In this e-mail they will state that they will review the information given and if you have the skill set that they are looking for someone will contact you.

After receiving this e-mail it is good to call in a couple of days to let them know you are still available and interested if the position is still open.

You may receive a follow-up e-mail within two days to two weeks letting you know that you are no longer considered for the position but it is best not to wait for that follow-up e-mail.

Do not wait for a response to one particular job opening.

Keep applying to other places. Keep up with checking on your Resumes and applications.

Do not get discouraged if you see a job that you applied for back on the job search site.

If you are still interested, simply reapply. It may have been that at the time of your initial inquiry that there were more experienced candidates even though you did have qualifications they were looking for.

Perhaps one of the initial candidates may have not taken the opportunity. Seeing the Job posting again does not mean that you were not at least considered.

12 Honest Job Search Facts About Your Job Search, From a Recruiter Who Doesn’t Beat Around the Bush

“I’m a recruiter.”

Try dropping these three words at a cocktail party and you’re guaranteed at least one response-if not several-of, “I hate recruiters.” Needless to say, I knew I had hit a career high point to merit that kind of reaction. (Hey, at least I didn’t have to explain what I did for a living!)

It’s true, headhunting may not win any popularity contest, but I learned so much about how the process actually works. In fact, I decided to embrace the harsh truths I uncovered and share them with job seekers. So, take a page from the other team’s playbook: Here’s what everyone needs to know when it comes to applying for jobs.

1. Your Resume’s Pretty Boring

Let’s be honest: Resumes are quite possibly the driest reading material in the world. Now, imagine opening your inbox every day to hundreds of these documents. No amount of glitz or glamour is going to turn a resume into The Girl on the Train.

Lesson

When dealing with recruiters don’t spend hours debating the perfect color or font. Instead, make sure you’re standing out for the right reasons, by making it relevant and easy to skim.

2. Your Resume Won’t Be Read in Full

I’ll be the first to admit that I never read a candidate’s resume word for word. It’s impossible in a profession where time is of the essence.

Lesson

Only serve up your most relevant information and ax anything you’re throwing in just to even out the bullet display. Oh, for anyone still considering a two-page resume-this is exactly why it’s not worth it.

3. Recruiters Don’t Want to Read Your Cover Letter

You know that hiring managers generally want you to demonstrate your talents, qualifications, and writing skills in a cover letter. But recruiters are all about that resume. (Confession: I rarely read cover letters in full.)

Lesson

Grab the person’s attention fast with an eye-catching opening line. Just like how resumes bore us, cover letters do too. So make us smile-it’ll go a long way.

4. However, They’ll Notice a Bad One

Yes, I just said we don’t want to read cover letters (and therefore mostly skim). But we’ll notice if you send a generic one addressed to “To Whom it May Concern.”

Lesson

Take the time to tailor your cover letter. Even if it’s not being read, the person skimming it wants to see that you put effort into it.

5. Like You, We’re Busy

Unfortunately, it’s impossible for us to get back to every single person who asks for help. Especially if you’re asking a question that’s not in our wheelhouse or involves a lot of research on our end, such as “What open positions in your company should I apply to?”

Lesson

Make sure you’re not only reaching out to the right person, but also that you’re asking concise questions that are easy for us to answer fast.

6. You Should Be Able to (Succinctly) Sum Up Your Qualifications

So many candidates confuse “Tell me about yourself” with an opportunity to run through their resume bullet point by bullet point. We’re only human and we’ll eventually lose interest and miss out on your most impressive points.

Lesson

Instead, spend time working on your elevator pitch. Make sure to point out the highlights, transitions, number of direct reports, ROI, organizational contributions, and responsibilities that are relevant to the position you want.

7. Recruiters Know Your Real Age

Heck, we can piece together a lot more than that with a resume and some basic research.

Lesson

Don’t leave dates off your resume or try to make it sound like you have way more experience than you do.

8. We Get to the Bottom of Everything

Fleshing out the good, the bad, and the ugly is a recruiter’s job-and the seasoned recruiter can smell something funny a mile away.

Lesson

You’re best bet is to be honest when it comes to salary history, employment gaps, and any hidden details that may come out later. We’re on your side and wants to see you succeed-so being honest will only help us help you.

9. A Call Doesn’t (Necessarily) Mean It’s an Official Interview

Sometimes a phone conversation is necessary to make sense of someone on paper before we bring him or her in to speak to the team.

Lesson

This is where your short, sweet, and concise elevator pitch comes in handy again. Know your value, know your worth, and be prepared to win someone over in a short amount of time. Oh, and if you’re not super-comfortable on the phone, brush up on your skills.

10. We Laugh at Inappropriate LinkedIn Photos

When you spend every day scanning LinkedIn profiles you can bet you come across some interesting pictures. It’s not that recruiters are malicious-but we are human!

Lesson

Avoid being too serious (this is not a mugshot), ditch the multi-person photo, and go with something professional. If you need help, here are some tips for taking a professional headshot for free.

11. We Don’t Want You to Call Us

You’re eager to hear if the recruiter is interested-and that’s OK, we’ve all been there. But remember, if we want to interview you, we’ll get in touch.

Lesson

You won’t change our mind by picking up the phone. So don’t call anyway and risk annoying someone on the brink of bringing you in. If you absolutely must follow up on any part of the process, use email.

12. We’re Not Heartless

All of these insider secrets may make you want to swear off recruiters altogether-after all, if I read this, I’d feel pretty disheartened, too. But before you do that, keep this final lesson in mind.

Lesson

Right or wrong, responsive or not, recruiters play an important role in helping find the right candidates for the companies they serve. While you don’t have to take what I’m saying as gospel, take it into consideration as you’re looking for a new job-especially if you are having trouble landing interviews.

And remember, these are just tips. You’re a hard worker and (I’ll assume) awesome at your job. So know that that alone will get you far in your job search and in your career.