Ready to Give up on Your Job Search? Not Yet!
It’s true what people say—looking for a full-time job really is a full-time job. With all the searching, prep work, resume tweaking, interviewing, and feedback, it can be an emotional roller coaster. People can get easily burned out during a job search, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your dreams. Here are six ways to avoid burnout and keep on track until you find the right job for you.
Change Your Attitude
A huge part of looking for a job is your mental and emotional state. If you think that looking at job posting and filling out applications is just a waste of time that isn’t going to lead to anything, it likely won’t. Instead, adjust your mindset to think of sorting through listings as trying to find the diamond in the rough that will be a great position for you.
Even something as mundane as filling out applications can be much more enjoyable with the right attitude—think of it as the first step to working for a great company, instead of just filling out the same information again and again. Try to visualize success and remember that looking for a job is a numbers game—the more you put yourself out there and apply, the greater chance of landing a great job. When you can see yourself ending the process with a great position, it can change how you view the entire job hunt and help you stay more positive.
Take a Break from Technology
For modern job hunters, looking for a new position means spending a lot of time behind the computer screen. Looking at the same networking pages and job listing sites over and over can be draining, so take a break from the screen and go back to traditional ways of finding a job. Go to an in-person networking event, have lunch with someone who works in your desired industry and pick their brain, or visit organizations where you might want to work. Pounding the pavement can not only get great results and help you stand out, but it can also break up the monotony of sitting at your computer for days on end. Even stepping away from the resumes and applications for an hour or two and doing something enjoyable or get outside can be the mental break you need to keep plugging along.
It might seem counterintuitive from the previous tip, but learning how to leverage technology and use it in a different way can be a great jumpstart to your job hunt. There are myriad websites and apps that can help you work smarter to find a new job.
Spend a day researching new technology options and seeing what you can get to work for you. Resources like job lead aggregators or automatic searches send you periodic emails with all applicable job listings, saving you the time of manually searching through job boards. Apps can connect you with recruiters and help you be the first person to know when a new job is posted, and tools and software add-ons can help keep you organized with an easily trackable to-do list so you don’t miss anything. By removing a lot of the menial, mundane tasks from job hunting, you can hopefully get some of the fire back.
Write a Basic Cover Letter
Most job seekers find writing a cover letter one of the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of the entire process. After all, how can you really encapsulate who you are and what you can do for a company on just one sheet of paper? To fight the frustration, many people turn to template cover letters that can be used for nearly every position they are applying for. While this definitely speeds up the application process, it might not get you the results you want and can add to the frustration. Especially in a competitive job market, a cover letter is your chance to shine and personalize it to match your skills and the needs of the organization.
For best results, start with a skeleton cover letter that covers the basics of who you are and what you can do. For each new application, write a customized first paragraph and incorporate language from the job posting into the body of the letter. Don’t worry about dragging out the letter or making it fit the entire page—simply cover the material you want and keep it short and sweet. Starting with a basic cover letter makes it easier to adjust your response based on the position and helps you quickly provide companies a great resource into who you are.
Ask for Feedback
If you’ve been looking for a job without any luck for quite a while, it might be time to step back and take an honest looking the mirror. Ask professionals, like former co-workers or mentors for advice and what you could be doing differently. They might be able to give some counsel, point you in a different direction, or help edit your resume or take you through some practice interview questions. They could also be able to point out things you could do to make your resume shine, such as doing pro bono work within the community, or networking in a different area. You can also reach out to friends and family members and ask for honest feedback about how you present yourself—there could be something small you are doing that is off-putting to potential employees and holding you back without you even realizing it.
Set a Daily Limit
It can be tempting to spend all day every day looking for a job, but at a certain point, there just aren’t any more applications to fill out and you’ve likely reached your limit on productive work for the day. If that’s the case, know when to step back and take a break. Oftentimes, you’ll come back to the same resume or cover letter the next day with a clear mind and be able to make progress you couldn’t the day before. Burnout is more likely to happen if you are pushing yourself too hard and spending every waking hour on the job hunt. By setting a limit of a certain number of hours or applications a day, you’ll be able to work more efficiently. Don’t forget to reward yourself after your time is up—taking a break can be huge for your mental health.