Some things are beyond your control when you’re searching for a job. You wait for companies to call you back, and you compete with other candidates who may have stronger qualifications.
However, you can take charge of making your job hunt more efficient. That way you’ll make the process faster and more rewarding, regardless of the state of the economy.
The secret is getting organized and taking care of yourself. Use this checklist to work smarter rather than harder while you’re preparing for your next position.
Careful planning and helpful routines reduce stress and enable you to accomplish more. You’ll maximize the return on your efforts.
- Clarify your goals. Charting your career path will help you to understand your values and make sounder decisions. You’ll be able focus your efforts on your top priorities.
- Leverage your strengths. Customize your job hunt based on your skills and resources. Maybe you have a powerful alumni network. Maybe you communicate more effectively in writing or on the phone.
- Limit your research. You need to know about the companies where you’re applying but ensure that you’re allocating enough time for the rest of your to-do list. You can gather more information if you’re invited to interview.
- Polish your writing. Make your applications stand out. Edit your cover letters to match the requirements of each position. Use keywords. Describe your past achievements and what you can offer.
- Take advantage of technology. Automate tasks to save time. Email alerts will notify you of new openings, so you can be among the first to apply. Use project management apps to track and evaluate your progress.
- Batch similar tasks. Block out time for checking job boards or keeping in touch with network contacts. Activities that require the same thought process usually take less time because your brain doesn’t have to switch gears.
- Avoid distractions. Figure out where you may be wasting time. Let your family and friends know the hours when you want to be undisturbed. Set limits on video streaming and internet browsing.
- Clear away clutter. Tidy up your environment. Try to cut down on paper documents and develop a filing system that works for you.
- Ask for help. Let your family, friends, and colleagues know how they can assist you. Talk with recruiters and consider hiring professional services like resume writing if your own efforts have stalled.
It’s difficult to be productive when you’re anxious and depressed. Investing in yourself will keep your energy levels up and help you to make a more positive impression when you’re interviewing.
- Sleep well. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day even if you’re unemployed. If anxious thoughts make you toss and turn, get out of bed and do something boring until you feel drowsy.
- Eat healthy. Fuel up with nutritious meals and snacks. If you’re watching your grocery spending, stock up on beans, lentils, and oats. Frozen produce often costs less than fresh and can be just as healthy.
- Exercise regularly. Staying active will give you more energy, enhance your mood, and help you sleep at night. Go for a run or jump rope. Do stretches and body weight exercises at home.
- Manage stress. Take time to relax and have fun. Call a friend or a community hotline if you’re struggling with difficult emotions.
A long job hunt can take its toll on your self-esteem and bank account. Being efficient will help you to increase your success rate and move ahead in your career.