One of the things I tell people who are struggling to find work is that job hunting is an emotional roller coaster. You have days where you are confident, efficient and look at every day as an opportunity for change. You also have days where you think “why bother” and you stay in bed until noon. This is normal. Looking for a new opportunity is stressful and frustrating because you don’t achieve success until it’s over.
Once you’ve acknowledged that it’s normal to feel like you went a little nuts, I like to stress the importance of organizing yourself. Organization is essential to your mental health, and with all the stressors of being unemployed, you don’t need any other reason to feel overwhelmed.
Identify Jobs You Want
The first thing you want to do is scour the internet for all of the jobs you want. Then schedule the appropriate amount of time it will take to properly apply for those jobs.
Take Ownership of the Process
I hear countless people telling me that they have applied to hundreds of jobs and no one has called them back. Yes, it’s unfortunate that this happened, so you’ve whined about it…now what?
You need to take ownership of the recruitment process. Make a list of all the places you apply. Call them to make sure they have received your application. Find out what the timeframe will be before candidates are notified if they are screened in or out. Make a note of that date and be sure to follow up at that time. Knowing the time frames, making contacts and talking to people will help you organize your search and make you feel like you’re accomplishing something. It also decreases the number of organizations who can actively ignore your application.
Plan to Tailor Your Resume
How is it even possible for you to apply to hundreds of jobs per week? You might be desperate for a job and you might be willing to take anything because you need to pay the bills now…but don’t tell me that. Hiring managers are generally looking for the RIGHT employee, not just any employee. When you send a generic resume with no information on why you’re a good fit for the specific job you applied for, you’re basically saying “Hi, just like the hundreds of other resumes you’ve received, I didn’t even try…pick me.” When you plan your day out, make sure you take time to write a cover letter and adjust some things on your resume so you match that specific job.
Treat Yourself Like a Person
Treat your employment search as a regular job. You still need to exercise, eat right and do something fun to keep your spirits up and remain positive. Hiring managers are generally unimpressed with people who look tired and downtrodden in the interview. In order be at your best, you still need to treat yourself like a person. Schedule time for yourself to do the things that make you feel human.
Remember that the entire process can be frustrating and it is completely normal to be a little bitter… but then you have to get over it. No one “enjoys” being unemployed, but letting it get to you won’t help you get through it.
About the Author
Scott Keenan is a Recruiter for Priority Personnel Inc., with several years’ experience recruiting in both the public and private sectors in addition to marketing and social media roles. As a self-described professional cynic, he provides unique insight into modern recruiting from both the recruiter and candidate’s perspective. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn