If you haven’t already seen it, please take a look at my earlier post on the big job search time-waster: Are You Lost in Cyberspace? Too much time and effort is spent in front of the computer performing activities that will not necessarily lead you to finding a job. The same is true for two more major time-wasters, so ask yourself the following…
Are you being reactive rather than proactive?
We’ve already explained why waiting for companies to advertise openings and then responding to these ads significantly raises your competition levels. So rather than be reactive, get proactive! Create a list of at least ten to fifteen organizations where you’d like to work. Then as you network, let your contacts know about your targeted companies and ask if they know anyone who works in these firms or perhaps have a link to someone who does. Once you get a contact’s name, you can suggest a meeting and start to build inroads into your targeted companies.
Are you overwhelmed and disorganized?
There’s no way around this one. Whether you’re a person who likes to make to-do lists or not, you’ll have to stay organized in order to mount an effective job search. Be sure to set daily and weekly goals—actions you can take on a consistent basis that will move you forward.
Moreover, you’ll need to create a method to organize the postings you’ve responded to, track with whom you’ve spoken and when you need to follow-up, copies of correspondence you’ve received and sent out, company research, and the various resumes you’ve submitted. You can monitor your search by making an online spreadsheet and/or putting together a binder. Another valuable tool is the popular career management website JibberJobber.com.
Most importantly, you’ll need to treat your search as a full time job. Plan to spend a minimum of 35 – 40 hours per week on finding your next position.
By working smart and putting in the hours upfront, you should be able to greatly reduce the length of your job search. And, while you’re at it, try to stay as positive as possible. Anticipate success—you just might land that job long before the statistics say you should!