I know quite a few people who are “looking” for jobs. And I use the term “looking” very loosely. You see, these people I know are unemployed and say how much they want jobs, yet fail to put in the required effort to actually secure them.
Although some industries are adding jobs, it’s still pretty tough out there. Some experts say you should treat searching for a job as a full-time job, and while not everyone has the time to do so, at least treat searching for a job seriously.
It’s not as simple as filling out applications anymore; the competition is tough. If you don’t stand out in comparison to the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of others fighting for the same opportunity, then you quite simply don’t stand a chance. Landing the position you’re dreaming about is about a lot more than having the right degree, the right experience, or the right training these days. And it’s certainly takes more than the occasional “I applied here or there.”
Look at the questions below to ask yourself in order to determine whether you’re serious enough about your job hunting efforts:
1. How much time are you spending on your efforts?
If you’re currently not employed, you should be spending roughly the same amount of hours per day job hunting that you’d be spending at an actual job. Don’t just put an hour or two a day toward finding your next position. Treat your job search as exactly what it is right now – your current job.
Get up early every morning and follow a set routine as far as finding and exploring opportunities. Maybe start by perusing the morning paper for new opportunities to explore. Spend the middle of your day making contact with potential employers or exploring online job boards. Make sure you put in a full eight hours when it comes to your combined efforts for sure.
Also, be sure to expand your job search across different mediums. Don’t just look on a company’s website for openings. Browse through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too. And don’t forget to ask around because employee referrals continue to play a significant role in the hiring process.
2. How many people should you be meeting with on a weekly basis?
Are you aware of how many potential new employers or networking contacts a serious job seeker will make it a point to meet with each week? The correct answer is between 30 and 50. You should be making contact with at least this number of people in at least some way, shape, or form whether that’s over the phone, via e-mail, or through a company website.
Be sure to stay organized and keep detailed records of all the contacts you make, as well as when and how. Write down what was discussed and leave yourself reminders as to who you need to follow up with. The more you spread yourself around and the better organized you are, the better your chances of landing those valuable interviews.
3. Is your resume up to date?
Don’t forget to make sure your resume is properly kept up to date in all the ways that matter most. Not only should you be covering the obvious here—work history, education, skills—but you should also be looking for ways you can “beef up” things in regards to other achievements.
Do you do volunteer work, especially in any capacity related to your field? Have you joined any organizations or groups that could up your chances of standing out in the eyes of a potential employer? What about personal skills and other points that could set you apart? All of these things, especially when combined with a solid cover letter, can help you shine in all the right ways when the time comes.