- Job hunting is a long and tedious process; from completing one application after another to being rejected or ghosted from employers, it can be tempting to give up altogether.
- Maintain your job search momentum by having your resume and LinkedIn profile reviewed by a mentor, former colleague or friend.
- Leverage your network, seek support from people close to you and ask for recommendations to take the job search stress off your hands for a while.
No matter the reason you’re looking for a new role, job hunting can be a long, daunting and exhausting process. You might feel overwhelmed by the process or beaten down by the rejection if you’re going on interviews that don’t turn into job offers.
But don’t despair, if you’ve lost your momentum in your job search. With these tips, you won’t just find a new job — you’ll find the perfect role for you and come out on top!
Tips for gaining back job search momentum:
If you’ve lost your job hunting mojo try these five tips to keep things moving and build your confidence. Remember your goal is to find a new job that challenges you and helps you grow at a company that values your skills and talents. Keeping this goal in mind when you want to give up may help you power through your search.
1. Have your resume and LinkedIn profile reviewed.
This is especially important if you’re not getting calls for interviews. Maybe the way you’ve presented yourself in writing isn’t catching the eye of recruiters or managers who review resumes. Since they don’t have a ton of time to review every resume and have an in-depth conversation with every candidate, you want to make sure you’re selling yourself in your resume and LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn may be especially important because you never know when a recruiter might be looking for you! Some recruiters with open positions to fill may be searching at any time. You can start by asking some friends or colleagues in your industry or the industry you’re looking to transition to for advice. They may see things other resume or LinkedIn pros miss!
2. Stop applying into the black hole of an applicant tracking system (ATS).
If you’re spending hours sending resumes and cover letters into companies’ online applicant tracking systems — JUST STOP. These resumes seldom get reviewed as the systems can get flooded with resumes. If you find a posting that you’re really interested in, before applying online try to converse with a live person.
Find out who the recruiter assigned to the role is, or even the hiring manager and try to have a conversation with them first. While this may be more time consuming than just blasting your resume — or worse using an easy apply button, you may find the results are significantly better.
3. Leverage your network.
If you’re unemployed tell everyone in your network that you are looking for a job and what type of work you are looking to do. People generally like to help and make connections. If you have a friend who seems to know everyone in your area, ask them for help now. Chances are someone in their network or someone who knows someone might just need the skills you provide.
If you’re currently employed full time and looking for a new role for whatever reason, this advice still holds, but you’ll need to be more discrete. You wouldn’t want your current boss to hear through the rumor mill that you’re looking for your exit.
Make sure to thank anyone who helped you get a new job. Send a handwritten thank-you note or a small but meaningful token of appreciation. Once you’ve settled into a new job and gotten through your on-boarding, remember to pay it forward. Is there someone in your network who you can help?
4. Find support.
Job searches are hard. Research, interviews, follow-ups and you may find nothing but a pile of rejection letters for weeks or even months. It’s easy to lose confidence or want to give up! This is why it is critically important to build up your support system. You’ll ideally have a few people in your corner to help you through your search.
First, an accountability partner to make sure you are keeping up with your applications and appropriate follow up. Second, your hype person to remind you how amazing and talented you are when you keep getting rejection letters. They can remind you that rejection happens to everyone, even Oprah Winfrey has had some rejection in her career. Next, an industry insider to help make sure your salary, benefit and perk expectations are realistic.
For example, in most cases, social media influencers with little to no experience rarely make six figures, get a company car, credit card and all the cocktails you can drink. (However, if this is you, please share your secrets!)
Finally, you’ll need someone you can vent to, preferably over a glass of wine, some really good coffee or your beverage of choice (even if it's on FaceTime). This person will help you keep your professional image together but give you an outlet for your anger, stress, frustration or whatever emotion you’re feeling!
5. Ask for recommendations.
While you’re job hunting, in addition to having solid references, make sure you have asked for recommendations or testimonials from clients (if you work freelance or do any kind of consulting), colleagues or even other industry professionals who are familiar with your work. These recommendations should be part of your LinkedIn profile and publicly available.
When asking for a recommendation or testimonial, these don’t have to be job search specific. It is not unusual for professionals to ask for these at other times including at the end or a big project or around performance review time. If you are still employed and looking for a new role, you might also want to use these testimonials when your performance review comes around at your current job.
No matter where you are in your search, a glowing recommendation with specific examples of your work and accomplishments can be helpful. Another benefit? Reading recommendations might be a huge confidence boost for you to give you additional confidence to keep up your job search even in the face of rejection or a lack of interviews!
How do you avoid job search burnout?
Remember that job searching is a marathon and not a sprint. Plan accordingly and adjust your mindset. Your job search could take six months or longer. This means having a lot of patience and persistence. The finish line is not just getting a job offer, it is getting the right offer for you. You’ll be looking for a role that provides the right work-life balance, salary, opportunities to learn and grow and advances your career.
That isn’t something that just falls into place overnight. You will want to be very clear on what you are looking for and apply only for opportunities that meet your criteria. You don’t want to waste your time and get frustrated interviewing for jobs that are a bad fit or wildly inappropriate for you.
That said, you should take things one day at a time. Carve out specific times in your week for job search activities. These include researching openings and hiring managers, networking, outreach to potential employers and follow-ups.
If you are employed and job searching, you will need to schedule this carefully around commitments to your current job. If you are unemployed you may have more time for these activities. To avoid total burnout and overwhelm, try to schedule time in your day for other things. Whether that is exercise, meeting a friend for coffee or just taking a walk around the block.
When should I give up on a job search?
Never! You shouldn’t ever give up on searching for your dream job. That said, you are probably wondering how you’re expected to pay your bills if it is taking a long time to find work. You may find roles that you can make work short term or use as a stepping stone to get to the dream role.
Consider roles that will give you as many of your non-negotiables as possible. Let’s say you are looking for a creative marketing role with a salary of $75,000 per year, the ability to work from home at least twice a week, a commute of fewer than 25 minutes each way and good health insurance. Decide what is most important. Could you work for an agency or a company in a less glamorous industry? Could you work for $70,000 per year if everything else was perfect? Only you can answer these questions and if the answer is no to any of these, keep searching!
If the answer is yes, consider taking the job and planning your next move for a year or two later. You could even ask your new boss about the career path in that role and if you can get on the same page about your goals and your new boss’ expectations that is even better!
You can always take breaks from searching or pivot your search but don’t give up. You should keep networking, learning and growing. With hard work and preparation, when the dream job becomes available you will be ready to step into the role and shine.