A job search requires some important (and obvious) tasks like setting up job search filters, a good LinkedIn update, and some changes to your resumes and cover letters.
But you know what else your job search requires?
How to manage your time and how to be patient are two major challenges for job seekers – or anyone looking to improve their career.
Applying for a handful of jobs, on its own, is usually not enough to yield a job offer right away.
Assuming you’re eager to land a new job, it’s important to be consistent and creative in your job search.
This advice is not for the people who are content in their current job and are happy to wait until the next right position appears. This is for the people who were ready for their new job, like, yesterday.
Here are my strategies for staying productive in your job search, even when you don’t see a lot of opportunities for you to apply to.
Cast a wider net. You may have your job search settings to exactly what you’re looking for – which is a strategy that I typically recommend. But if you’re open to it, consider casting a wider net – perhaps in a new industry – and see what other options might be a fit for you. Depending on your circumstances, you might even check out the opportunities in some new cities.
Write LinkedIn Recommendations for former colleagues. If you don’t love the idea of networking, you’re not alone. An easy, fun way to get started is to leave LinkedIn recommendations for your favorite former or current colleagues. We’ve all received lots of “endorsements” on LinkedIn but the recommendation is different. It’s personal, detailed, and with this approach, it will be unexpected. This is a great way to starting a networking strategy that you can feel good about.
Continue learning. Attend a webinar, take a course on Lynda, join a professional association, or watch a YouTube tutorial. You can also check out places like General Assembly.
Talk to a career professional. Friends and family can be helpful but it can be even more helpful to have people who are experts at helping people figure out their transferable skills and possible career ladders. I offer a free 30 minute consultation so if you’re not sure if you’re maximizing your time, book in with me!
We all have areas where we can improve our skills and you can demonstrate your initiative by taking charge of your own professional development.
Attend a live event. It’s so easy to spend all your time in a job search working alone. I highly recommend getting off the computer, out of your house and get yourself some human interaction.
If you’re in Boston, I highly recommend Ladies Lounge (co-hosted by Just Us Gals and General Assembly) and events hosted by Wonder Women of Boston. If you’re not in Boston or you’re not looking for women centered events, I love to check out listings on Eventbrite, Idealist or Meetup.
There’s lots of ways to stay productive when you’re looking for a new job. The bottom line is that these strategies help you optimize your search by learning and interacting with other ambitious professionals. And both are excellent short and long term career development strategies!