Diagnosing the Symptoms of an Ineffective Job Search Plan

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diagnosingThere is no question: searching for a job can be a frustrating and discouraging affair. But a lack of available jobs and increased competition may not always be the cause of a failed job search. A lack of progress here may indicate a need to rethink your approach. In fact, there are several suggestive signs that your search methods may need a drastic overhaul.

Scenario 1 – You are snagging interviews by receiving no offers:

A lack of job offers after multiple interviews is often a telltale sign of ineffective or out-of-date interviewing techniques. Identifying your weaknesses in this regard is a necessary step in improving upon them. The best approach in determining problem areas is to practice interview questions with a friend or by participating in mock sessions at a career center or with a job coach.

Scenario 2 – You’re ambitions are out reach your experience:

While setting high goals is necessary in improving yourself planning your career, the goals must also remain realistic. Lacking the appropriate qualifications for the jobs to which you are applying can be a big time waster and demoralizer. Before applying for that dream job, build the experience necessary to perform the job at a high level.

Scenario 3 – You focus too much on job descriptions as opposed to companies:

Don’t simply search for jobs based on their function, but research companies to find the ones where you want to work. Finding those specific firms of particular interest creates the conditions for a more focused job search.

Scenario 4 – You are discouraged and hopeless:

While job searches are rarely enjoyable, finding yourself more depressed with each failed search is a primary indicator that your approach needs to change. A great way to increase your morale and gain energy and motivation is to volunteer at organizations related to your specialty. This not only increases your visibility but helps build skills that may lead to a job or even reveal interests that you never knew you had.

Scenario 5 – Your professional network is bearing little fruit:

Even if your contacts are currently contributing little to your job search, that doesn’t mean they can’t be useful. This symptom may simply be a sign to reassess your network to find those specific contacts that best match your industry and job preferences. This could include spending time pursuing contacts with industry experts and local insiders who may have information and access to knowledge conducive to your hunt.

Scenario 6 – You are prepared to accept any job offered to you:

While job searches can often lead to desperation, making this public knowledge only hurts your prospects. Focus on narrowing your job search criteria and seeking assistance from a career counselor or job coach with these requirements. The more specific you are about in regards to job and industry preferences, the better assistance can be offered in finding your job match.

Read more in Job Search Advice

Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.