Let’s continue the process of giving yourself a performance review of your job search. If you don’t take the time to look at what you’re actually doing and assess how effective, or ineffective certain aspects are, then you’re not going to feel like you’re making much progress. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, frustrated, and feel like you’re not gaining any ground.
In a job, you’d have your supervisor or co-workers there to support you, provide feedback, or give you a different assignment if you were struggling. And it wouldn’t be a life/death struggle, you’d still be getting a paycheck as opposed to finding a way to pay the mortgage each month.
But being on your own is tough. No doubt about it. The job search forces everyone to become entrepreneurs of sorts; whether you want to or not, and whether you’re good at it or not.
I’d like you to take a look at how you’re searching for a job.
First, the lowest hanging fruit—what job boards are you searching? I always recommend indeed.com, simplyhired.com and linkup.com. If you’re looking for an hourly position snagajob.com is a great resource. Craigslist is also a legit site for other opportunities. When you search there you should be more discriminating, but don’t assume that everything posted there is a scam.
I like those 3 search engines because they are aggregators, which means that they search other job boards, and then pull all the results together in one place. Not only is this far more efficient for you, but it can also give you ideas of where to proactively post your resume.
For example, if I was a Paralegal—a position that’s pretty specialized—I’d look for job boards that employers in my area were using to look for candidates. I’d go to indeed.com, and do a search for Paralegal positions, and see which sites they were posted on. Then go to those websites and look for other jobs in my area. If it seemed like employers were using that site heavily, then I would upload my resume. If it looked kind of dead, I’d pass. This works for anyone with specialized industry skills to root out associations or alumni boards that would be a resource you hadn’t tapped yet.
Another concept to consider before posting your resume on every site hither and yon, is to look at how much it costs an employer to post a position there versus looking through resumes on the site. Use your head, think about the size of the company you’re applying to, and guess which option they’re more likely to take. Most job seekers I talk to have never thought of the process this way. You need to think like an employer in order to win the game.
And another way to maximize your use of these job board aggregators? Search for jobs by keywords—not by job title. Like to give presentations? Then use presentations as your key word and see what comes up. Consider yourself the most organized person you ever met? Then search by organized or organization. You can filter the jobs by additional key words if you’re overwhelmed by responses, but considering that companies can come up with some very unique job titles, broadening your search will help you catch those outliers that others may be missing and put you ahead of the competition.