How to Maintain Momentum in Your Job Search – Part 1

It’s March. You started out this year committed to finding a new job. You updated your resume or perhaps hired a resume writer to create a compelling resume for you. You updated and improved your LinkedIn Profile with keywords and skills. You sent out your resume and cover letter. You had a couple of informational interviews with people in your network. You may have even received a couple of job interviews. BUT now things have stalled. Your interest is waning. Or perhaps you’ve been overwhelmed with a big project at work. Maybe you’re a little jaded because you’re not reaching your goal of landing a new job fast enough. Where did that energy and focus on getting a new job go?

Here are some tips to maintain momentum in your job search.

Re-evaluate Your Goal to Create a Strategy for Obtaining It.

Was it realistic? Did you decide in January that you wanted a new job by March? In this job market, that is not realistic. To gain some clarity and develop a plan that keeps you moving forward, consider breaking down your goal into components that should translate into a job search strategy. To do this, start by writing down your end goal. For example,” My end goal is successful placement in a new job with greater responsibility, greater earning potential and an opportunity to impact others positively and build upon my knowledge and experience.” Then ask yourself, “What do I need to get there?” All of your answers to that question are going to be components to a great job search strategy.

To Get to Your Big Goal, Set Smaller Goals.

Ok. You’ve got a job search strategy. To maintain momentum, chip away at your bigger goal by setting smaller, achievable goals along the way.

For example:

  • By April, I want to have set up and completed three informational interviews with people working at the companies I’m targeting.
  • By May, I want to have introduced myself or connected with two Hiring Managers at companies I am targeting.
  • I will attend two networking or professional association meetings a week.
  • I will create a template for a thank-you note that I can quickly dash off after interviews.
  • I will write a post for LinkedIn Pulse this week.
  • I will send an update to my network to stay top of mind.

Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter to the Position.

The typical job search takes about eight months. You can cut that down by making sure you have a great resume and cover letter that speaks directly to the position you are targeting. I know. I know. You’re groaning. I got my resume up to date, and now you’re telling me I have to do more?! Some of us like to edit and refine (ahem) and others don’t. But in reality, in order to get your message across that you are someone worth interviewing, you are going to have to tailor that resume to specific positions. That would include reprioritizing bullet points, swapping some keywords out for others that are more relevant to the position, drawing attention to the relevant work experience, etc. Your effort will pay off. Trust me. Recruiters and hiring managers can tell when you’ve made an effort.

These are just a few ideas to keep you moving in the right direction and to keep you focused on your goal of finding a new job this year. More tips coming next week.

The best is yet to come,