Happy new year! If you’re in the middle of the job hunt, I hope you started January refreshed and ready to find that dream job. However, I also know that job searches are stressful. We depend on them to give us the resources we need to live and to build the life we want. It can be really easy to get discouraged and bogged down by the endless stream of job descriptions and applications. But take heart! The new year is a great time to job search. Companies are gearing back up after time off and are ready to make moves on their hiring needs. This means you need to be proactively reaching out and getting on their radar because hiring managers are going to be busily trying to fill positions.
Today, I’ll be sharing three tips to bring more success and positivity to your job search and to help you streamline your efforts to find more success in 2020:
Streamline Your Efforts. Don't send out hundreds of resumes and cover letters. This is one of the fastest ways to get burnt out. When you send out a lot of applications, you're not making sure that each position would be a good fit, which comes across in your application materials. Instead, make a target list of companies you want to work at and start networking with people who work or have worked there in the past. I know that sometimes you just need a job to pay the bills, but if you can hold out, try to only apply for jobs that you absolutely want. This will cut down immensely on your application numbers and increase the amount of attention you can give to each application. Only applying to jobs you really want will allow that excitement to come through in your application materials and will show potential employers that you’re committed to the opportunity.
Take Time for Down Time. There's a common saying that "applying for jobs is a full-time job" and it is. It takes time and effort. But just like a full-time job, sometimes you need a break. Whatever you do that helps you feel calm, relaxed, and re-energized, make sure you take time for that. Some ways to decompress from the stress of the job hunt are: long walks (that's my go-to!), bubble baths, a nice beverage in front of the TV, or even just taking time to be with your family. Time spent in ways that refresh you will help you be more successful in your search.
Don't Base Your Success on Others. You are you. You are not your friend who has an amazing job traveling the world and taking pictures. If that's what you want, ask them for advice – what did they do to get there? But don't base your feelings on their success (unless that feeling is inspiration and happiness for your friend). This can be really hard, especially when you know other people are applying for jobs and are getting more "results" than you. Just remember, "their success doesn't diminish your own!" We all have our own timeline to follow. Their story is not yours, nor should it be. You are unique and bring something special to the table. The average job search takes, on average, about four months, which means there are outliers on either end. That's okay.
Congratulations on completing your studies and good luck with your search! Remember to take time to make your list, do your networking, congratulate those who find their success, and find time to decompress as you hunt. Your dream job is out there waiting for you.
Lindsey Baltz is a career coach at Lambda School who is helping to prepare students for the world of work through application materials, networking, interviewing, and negotiating. In her free time, she loves tinkering with Excel spreadsheets and reading books and articles about personal finance. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.