Job searching, whether you are employed or not, can be a stressful process. In fact, waiting for a call from a recruiter or hiring manager, submitting dozens of resumes per day, and constantly prepping for interview questions can even make the most easy-going person anxious.
Regardless of how stressed you feel, don’t let it get the best of you! After all, the key to job search success is persistence – in order to receive an offer, you must continue to look for and apply for jobs. As a result, if you are starting to feel discouraged and burnt out, here are some steps you can take to keep yourself productive and remove (at least some) stress from your search:
It’s all too easy to browse through a job search engine, submit your CV for a few jobs, and then lose track of what you applied for and on what days. This can not only lead to unnecessary stress, but also to embarrassing mistakes such as applying to the same job twice and getting caught off guard when you do get a call from a hiring manager or recruiter. In an effort to minimize these faux paus and make your search a little less overwhelming, we suggest creating a master spreadsheet that includes a row for each job you apply for with detailed columns for: the date you applied; the company; the contact; the position for which you applied; how you applied; if, when, and with whom you interviewed; when you should next follow up or what your next steps are; and the current status of the application.
Track Your Progress
On a related note, it’s important to set shorter-term goals for yourself. While these goals can be as small as applying to 3 jobs per week or as large as going on one interview a week, it’s important to keep track of them nevertheless. Why? When you are doing so many job search related activities at once with the end-goal of ultimately receiving an offer, it can be discouraging if you don’t see results as soon as you would like. However, by tracking your progress through your spreadsheet, you will be able to see tangible accomplishments throughout the entire process, not just at the end.
Create a Master Resume
When submitting applications, it’s considered a best practice to tailor your resume to each job you are applying for. However, without a template to work off of, this can quickly become an overwhelming process that job seekers tend to stray away from. To make it easier to customize your resume, compile your complete work history, an up-to-date list of personal and professional accomplishments, and any specialized skills into one document that you can refer to when applying to jobs. Although you won’t send your master resume to anyone, you’ll want to present your skills and accomplishments in polished, specific language. That way, when you are applying for a job, you can quickly and easily identify your relevant experience without having to think back or rephrase.
Change Your Routine Up
In addition to searching for and applying to jobs on the internet, there are a variety of other resources you can utilize to learn about new opportunities. For instance, signing up for job alerts, working with a recruitment firm, attending networking events and job fairs, and reaching out to your existing network of contacts, are all great ways to generate new leads. In addition, if you are looking for an outlet to break up your hours spent on job searching, creating a blog and/or an online portfolio, and actively participating on networking sites such as LinkedIn, are all great ways to build your professional brand.
Good news – you don’t need to spend every minute of your spare time applying to jobs in order to be productive! In fact, it’s actually better if you don’t. Just like it’s important to uphold a work-life balance to unwind from a busy day at the office, it’s also important to maintain this same sense of balance when job searching.
In order to ensure you have the time to relax and refresh, we advise you to evaluate your schedule and map out as many hours as you can to devote to activities outside of work and job searching. After all, the most successful job seeker is the one that is least burnt out.