Does your job hunt keep dragging on and on? If it seems like you've tried everything, here are some tips for keeping your morale up and maintaining your focus:
1. Refresh your resume
Make sure you're up-to-date on the latest resume styles and trends. Ask someone who hasn't reviewed your resume before to offer feedback. In particular, consider family and friends with experience in your field. A fresh pair of eyes can often generate new ideas for presenting your skills and experience more effectively.
2. Revise your LinkedIn profile
If you're not taking full advantage of how LinkedIn can showcase your talents and experience, you could be slowing down your job hunt. In a Robert Half survey, 62 percent of executives interviewed said online business networking sites such as LinkedIn will prove useful in the search for job candidates over the next few years. If your social networking skills need a boost, create a LinkedIn account and start making contacts, join groups of like-minded professionals and search job listings.
3. Clean up your act
While you're putting more positive, professional information on LinkedIn and other networks, make sure negative information online isn't coming back to haunt you in your job hunt. Take steps like changing your Facebook privacy settings or untagging photos of yourself you wouldn't want a potential employer to see.
4. Get training
Would obtaining new skills or certifications broaden your employment prospects? Consider registering with a staffing firm to gain access to the courses you need. The best staffing firms offer free training and preparation toward obtaining a certification, including aligned courses, books and test preps for the candidates they represent.
5. Re-evaluate your tactics
Are you spending your time in the most productive ways? Look for activities in your job hunt that haven't been paying off. Maybe passing out business cards has been a bust for you, or you realize that you're spreading yourself too thin by applying for every opportunity available. How can you reallocate this time to make better use of it? Perhaps you could post your resume online or become more active on social media.
6. Find new ways to network
Networking with new people could give new momentum to your job hunt. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce website to learn about area business groups. On sites like Meetup, you can find both professional and social get-togethers, and many staffing firms also host networking events. Remember that job leads come from social connections, too, not just business relationships.
7. Get moral support
Sometimes simply talking about your setbacks dispels negative emotions and reinvigorates your mind. While family and friends may seem the obvious shoulders to cry on, you could also try support groups for job hunters. A little empathy can go a long way toward helping you keep up your momentum.
8. Boost your health
If you've been so focused on your job hunt that you're neglecting exercise and healthful eating, you might be sabotaging yourself. When your body isn't at its peak, you'll pay the price mentally, emotionally and physically. Potential employers may notice too. Nurture your physical and mental health to keep your morale up and your energy levels high.
9. Take a step back
Sometimes, you just need a break from the grind of a job hunt. Take a few days to recharge your batteries — go hiking, work in the yard or hit the bike trails. Chances are you'll come back rejuvenated and refocused.
10. Register with a specialized staffing firm
A staffing agency can help you in your job hunt by offering you new ideas, added motivation and information. A firm that specializes in your field can offer more employment opportunities than generalist firms can. In addition to benefiting from a firm's extensive list of job openings, you can also consult a variety of research materials and sign up for e-learning courses that help you improve your job search and maintain a strong set of in-demand skills.
Finding just the right job can be hard work. Getting the right support and using the smartest strategies can help you make it through the long haul.