Rethinking the job search if it's not going well


For whatever reason, your job searching hasn't been going well. No matter how many resumes you send out or job listings you find, nothing seems to be panning out. Instead of getting discouraged, though, reflecting and changing your job searching style to improve your chances can pay off in the long run.

The most important thing to do when you think you're in a job-searching black hole is to check your resume and other documents for any possible problems you may have missed, according to AOL Jobs. Checking time and time again after every update you make can help you find easy-to-miss typos or easily avoidable errors. While you can't take back the imperfect applications you've sent out to potential employers, you can prevent the problem from that point on.

Additionally, if you're mostly applying to jobs online, it's a good idea to reassess the language of your resume. Many HR departments have computers specifically meant to sort out potential employees based on certain keywords or expectations, and missing enough of them can disqualify you without your knowledge. Emphasizing vital skills and clearly defining your abilities can present yourself much better on paper, helping your overall chances.

Specialize your search and yourself
Instead of searching through countless online job posting websites, it's also a good idea to narrow your focus toward where you want to end up. Making a list of companies you're especially interested in, or what positions you think you'd be best for, then harnessing your network of friends and co-workers to see how best you can approach your goal, can give you a new method of applying you can use to attack the job market anew. Many job listings are never posted online, with employers hiring either internally or through employees' connections. Don't miss these opportunities when you don't have to.

If it's been a while since you've had any work and you're worried about an interviewer's reaction to a potential employment gap, take care of it yourself. Taking on freelance, part-time or even volunteering opportunities can help you get some experience while also bolstering your resume, connections, references and qualifications in the meantime. Starting an online business on a website such as Etsy or eBay, contacting a local charity or organization or turning to a temporary employment agency to get back in the game can hold great dividends for your future.

Break out of classic thinking mistakes
Many people months into a job search resign themselves to believing in common thoughts that prevent them from improving their chances to land a position. Initially, for instance, the work isn't everything at a job, according to US News and World Report. Thinking that only a certain position will make someone happy will prevent that person from truly playing the field. Between company culture, co-workers and bosses, there are many reasons to take a job. Instead of focusing on the position, try to broaden your horizons to better identify great jobs you may pass up.

Additionally, going above and beyond can work with some employers, prominently some creative companies. But simply having an excellent cover letter and resume can be enough to catch the right person's eye. Don't go overboard with an idea that may backfire if you're not certain it'll be taken well, but just be yourself and devote enough time to a spotless application.

The cover letter is a vital, and sometimes overlooked, aspect of finding a job. By backing up your resume and proving your ability to not only succeed at but thrive in a certain position by writing a devoted letter, specialized to every position you apply for, you'll impress a potential employer, potentially enough to end that pesky job search.

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