Whether you’re just entering the workforce or are currently between jobs, it can be frustrating and stressful to be looking for a job. And the longer that the job search has dragged on, the worse it feels. The initial hope you had may turn to anger and then resignation. You may find your motivation flagging.
Here are a few things you can do to deal with a long job search, adapted from my new book Bring Your Brain to Work.
There is a lot of randomness in the job search process, and so it can be hard to know why you haven’t landed a job yet. Sometimes a firm already has a person in mind for a particular job. Sometimes there were just a lot of qualified applicants for a position. But, sometimes there are things you’re doing that are getting in the way of success.
That means that you need to take a pretty clear look at your entire application package to make sure you’re not doing anything that is causing problems. If you’re having trouble getting interviews at all, then sit down with a good employment coach to get a thorough evaluation of your resume and the cover letters that you’re sending out. Perhaps you’re not expressing your qualifications in the right way. For example, many people making the transition from the military to civilian jobs have difficulty translating what they have learned out of the jargon of the armed forces and into the language that hiring managers use.
If you are getting called in for interviews, but aren’t getting positions after that, then it’s time to work on your interview skills. After each interview, write down all the questions you can remember and jot down notes about how you addressed those questions. Then, practice answering those questions with someone who has experience doing interviews. They might be able to suggest a few things you can do differently in the future.