One of the best ways to keep your job search on track is to take a step back every once in a while to look at how things are going and to make any needed adjustments. Whether you’ve spent a few weeks or a few months looking for a new job, these periodic reevaluations are just the thing to get you refocused and working towards your goals.
Identify What Is and Isn’t Working
You started your search with a plan. For instance, maybe you were going to contact as many employers as possible or maybe you were going to pinpoint your response to a handful of targets so that you could optimize your cover letter and resume. Now is the time to evaluate the results of that plan. Are you contacting as many employers as you meant to? Are you getting as many interview invitations as you hoped? Coming out of the interview are you getting offers or getting invited back for a second interview?
By looking at everything, you can see areas you may want to tweak. If you aren’t contacting as many employers as you expected to, consider lowering your threshold for jobs to which you will apply or look to some other tools to find possible employers. If you aren’t getting the interview look into how you’re leveraging your networks to bypass the resume black hole, or try tweaking your cover letter or resume to better match the job you’re applying to. If you’re getting interviews but no offers try a few mock interviews with friends and ask them for an honest evaluation.
Expand and Revitalize Your Network
Networking is an absolutely vital part of your job search. Ideally, you are always developing your network so that when you need it, it is there for you. People often describe this as digging your well before you are thirsty. Well, now that you are actively in a job search, you may find that your well is starting to run dry. Do you keep going to the same few contacts for introductions to employers? Put some effort into rebuilding those contacts and finding things you can do for them instead of asking them to do things for you. Look at your whole network and consider if there are segments you’re missing such as family or friends of family. Cast as wide a net as possible so you aren’t over straining any one portion of your network.
Appreciate What You Have Accomplished
There is that old saying that talks about perspective that claims that “you can’t see the forest from the trees.” When you are on your job search, you can’t always see the progress that you are making because you are viewing it from inside your search, and all the work and, let’s face it, stress that comes with it. When you are able to take a step back and evaluate things you’ll get an opportunity to see how far you have come. Even if you aren’t going in for interviews right now, there is a lot to be proud of. Whether you have crafted the perfect resume or found an avenue for finding jobs that you really want, you’ve made some big strides. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a step back and admire the trees you have planted.