Guest Post by Melissa Williams
With the job market becoming increasingly competitive, more and more job seekers are battling for one job position. Employers often have to sift through hundreds of resumes and applications before even considering the interview stage. This must be a tedious and often disappointing process, as so many applicants lack the basic skills required for the position or fail to convey their desire for the position convincingly.
The problem exists in the reverse for job hunters: there are so many job sites to trawl through in pursuit of a job, and so may jobs that don’t offer what you’re looking for. Often applicants simply fire out the same CV and cover letter to a multitude of positions without tailoring their application to each job role. This is somewhat understandable as applying for jobs is hard work, and repeated rejections become disheartening.
Staying Motivated When Job Hunting
So how can you avoid your CV becoming one of those that is overlooked or placed straight on the rejection pile, and stay motivated and focused when job hunting?
Set Yourself Goals
When you’re up to your ears in job applications, psychometric testing and cover letters, it is easy to become distracted from your goal. Remember that you are doing this in order to get a job, and focus on the obvious reward of finally getting paid. Make a list of things that you want to save for once you’re earning again – do you plan to save for a holiday, a new outfit or something bigger like a car or a house? Why not set your desktop background with a picture of the thing you want, that way when you’re feeling down the image will remind you why it will be worthwhile once you land that job.
Make Time for Socialising
It is hard to make time for yourself when you’re job hunting. Any time spent enjoying yourself inevitably makes you feel guilty – you could be spending that time on job sites or contacting people on LinkedIn. But you need to allow time to relax and socialise in order to remain focused. If you spend every waking minute applying for jobs, you will inevitably become drained and stressed, and your enthusiasm and creativity will wane, meaning that any applications you send out might not be your best. You could risk missing great opportunities by sending out a mediocre cover letter. Don’t allow yourself to become a hermit, and don’t feel guilty for spending a little money occasionally either, you still deserve to have a life!
Use Your Free Time to Gain New Skills
Try to look at the fact that you’re unemployed as a blessing in disguise. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Why not take up night school classes and learn a language? If you’ve always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument, now is the time. You could take up a new sporting hobby and improve your fitness – join a sporting club and you will meet new people and make new friends. Think of it as a networking opportunity! You could also review your CV and try to gauge where it is lacking. If you’re slightly computer illiterate, why not enroll on a training course? The skills you gain will build on your CV and make you a more desirable candidate.
Join in with your ideas. What suggestions do you have on staying motivated when job hunting?
Melissa Williams is a careers adviser and blogger. Graduates often contact her with issues they face when applying for jobs. She often recommends training courses and directs them to Souters.
Join the Conversation
Tips for Staying Motivated When Job Hunting
This was an excellent post and Jon, thanks for having Melissa over!
Melissa, as someone who entered into the job market again earlier this year, I would like to add one more point, which is to really ensure that an applicant for a job has specified how she/he really matches the job specification. The way I do this, is to break down each bit of the specification and explain how I have the skills and experience to match each.
That is a great point, Hiten. Being specific on how your skills and talents match to the advertised position is essential. Too often, people just submit a brief email, which just shows a non-interest and shallow effort. Taking the extra time is well worth it. Thanks! Jon
These are useful tips for the large army of job seekers. It might be a good idea to do volunteer work while you are looking. To meet people and for to strengthen your self esteem.
Another great point, Raymond. Volunteering keeps your mind fresh and engaged and it also helps make connections and learn new skills, too. It is always good to serve, as it develops a giving mindset and helps us grow through what we do. Thanks! Jon
Great advice. I would add, also spend time really figuring out what you want to do next. It’s so easy to panic and settle. Being clear on what you want will help you to find it.
Excellent point, Karin. Getting clear on what you really want to pursue is great advice. With that clarity, it shows in the interview process as well as in focusing your job search. Thanks! Jon