If you are perpetually checking email or social media, you are doing a lot of the right things to attempt to land your dream job. But, chances are that you are overlooking some things that you can do to enhance your search.
Getting a job is not an immediate process, and certainly not an easy one. It’s easy to get stressed and burn out. Sometimes the things you need to do to focus on your job search have nothing to do job boards or resumes. Sometimes you need to take a break to give yourself some time to think about things differently.
We have compiled a list of ways to give your job search a shot in the arm and get ahead of the competition. Use these tips to get your mind right, then follow the actionable steps to improve your chances of getting ahead in the competitive world of job search.
Make exercise a priority.
Take a break from the search. Take a walk or jog around the block once or twice. If you are stressed over not landing the perfect job, stress can take its toll on your health.
One of the worst things that you can do during unemployment is become housebound and a couch potato. Job searching from the comfort of your favorite chair while munching on snacks is a great way to ruin your health and become stressed out. Exercise, on the other hand, burns calories and fights stress.
If you do end up being offered a great job, you want to be in peak physical condition. Exercise is your key to a physically fit life. Once you have established a routine of exercise, you won’t be as apt to break your standing appointment at the gym once you are hired. This will benefit you and your new employer by reducing the number of sick days that you use and have you feeling more energized at work.
Catch up on sleep.
If you have moments of frustration while completing job applications, walk away and take a power nap. Napping rejuvenates the brain, reduces stress, and helps you make better decisions.
A nap is a better choice than a tall cup of coffee. Naps that last only 20 minutes benefit you by making you more alert. If you are able to block off an hour for a power nap, your ability to make decisions will improve dramatically.
If you are stuck trying to solve a problem, a 90-minute nap will do the trick. Take some inspiration from the French work schedule by taking a long lunch break. You will be able to take a nap between 1 and 3 p.m., and you will need to set your alarm so that you don’t miss the rest of your afternoon appointments.
If you don’t want to experience a groggy feeling, nap for less than 30 minutes in a dark room. Remember to cover up with a blanket because your body temperature drops while you sleep.
Relax your mind.
Being stressed because you are still unemployed is a problem that all jobseekers face daily. It’s okay to give yourself the day off from the work of the job search to relax. Go shopping, head out to the park, or cook a special dinner for yourself.
Give yourself a break from the computer and constant checking of the phone for updated email. Allow yourself to think of only fun things for the day. Just don’t let the break last too long. You can come back to the hunt refreshed the next day.
Believing in yourself and your ability to be a success is important when job searching.
There is a fine line between cockiness and confidence, so don’t go overboard and sink yourself. If you think you are good enough to do the job, you will send this signal to others. If you suffer from feeling like an imposter, make a list of all your accomplishments and strengths. If you were passed over after an interview or a few, it is understandable that your confidence has taken a hit, but don’t be too hard on yourself.
There are plenty of jobs available, and you’ll snag the one that is best for you. Give yourself a much needed pep talk. Confidence can improve your mood and is attractive to recruiters.
Optimize your resume.
Now we’ve gotten to the part where these mental steps turn into action.
If you add keywords to your resume, you will be more easily found by recruiters when they use the search function on the job boards where you posted your resume. Instead of searching for positions that interest you, you’ll have the recruiters reaching out to you. Adding keywords into your personalized executive summary, such as your pertinent skills or certifications, will help recruiters select you.
Computer scans help match your resume and summary with the job descriptions so use the terminology that recruiters use to link up.
Stick with a niche.
You should carve out your spot in the niche that fits you best.
If you have specialized skills in the job that you want to be hired for, you can search for a specific job title. Narrowing your search to industry-specific job sites or job sites that cater to your area will improve your odds in being hired because there will be less competition.
You can hone your job skills while you are unemployed and become an expert in your niche. Experts are always in demand.
Volunteer as much as you can.
While you are unemployed, you have time on your hands to build your network. Participate in associations and meetings.
Volunteer and use your free time to make a difference. You can meet people in the most unexpected places that can lead to business connections, but don’t just set out to make business connections for selfish reasons. Show yourself as friendly, and you will gain friends. Who you know matters, and later on, it could matter who knows you.
Enhancing your job search in ways that the competition isn’t will improve your odds of being hired. If the next interview doesn’t do the trick, you can always try again. Practicing these tips, you’ll be more prepared the next time around.
Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.