Anyone who has been unemployed and job searching knows just how stressful the process can be. This stress is exhausting and can lead to relationship problems and a feeling of guilt at letting your loved ones down. Often people feel that they should be spending every waking moment applying to jobs, even if these jobs do not necessarily suit their skills and experience levels. Just the feeling of sending off your application helps to make you feel slightly less guilty. In other words, we want our friends and family to see that we are doing EVERYTHING we possibly can to land another job.
The problem is that this strategy of applying for as many jobs as possible and hoping for the best actually does not help you find employment any faster. In fact, it could hurt your chances of finding a position, especially if you are applying through recruitment companies. Many recruiters will not consider you for any future position if you gain the reputation of someone who just applies even when not suitably qualified. This tactic can do more harm than good.
When searching for a new job it is much better to prioritize quality over quantity. In other words instead of sending your CV off to 50 jobs in a day rather spend more time searching for just 2-5 positions that closely match your skills/qualifications and experience levels. There is also nothing wrong with sending your CV to a recruitment agency and asking that your CV be kept on file for any future positions matching your profile.
This strategy is significantly more likely to nail you an interview, you will also find that you have some more free time as you will not be sending your CV to 50 companies who are not interested anyway. Should you feel guilty having this extra free time. NO! But what should you do to keep yourself busy during this time?
1) Perfect your Cover letter
A cover letter or “intro statement” is one of the most underrated weapons in a job search arsenal. Remember when we discussed CV writing tips we mentioned that your CV is nothing more than an advert to get you an interview. Too many desperate job seekers are more concerned with just sending out their CV then sending out a good CV. You do not want to be just another job seeker, you want to stand out from the crowd and be noticed. Your cover letter will help you achieve this.
A great way to relieve stress and boost your physical and mental health is to exercise regularly. What better time then when you are in-between jobs. You will find that this exercise even helps you get a better night’s sleep. You may have been struggling with getting enough sleep as the stress builds while job searching. Turn the TV off, put the phone down and go for a jog. I guarantee you that you will find that you are more positive and able to deal with the current situation. I also bet that the next interview you walk into you will make a better first impression with that new spring in your step.
There are really two reasons to read, you might decide to read for only one of these reasons or for both. Either way, it will be beneficial. The first reason to read is to lose yourself in a story and forget about the stress. If this is your reason for reading grab a great fiction book and dive right in. The second reason for reading would be to learn something new and build new ideas on a subject. Remember the old phrase “Knowledge is power?” It really is true and it will help you interview better if you are able to discuss a variety of subjects with your interviewer.
4) Visit Friends and Family
This is especially important when you are really feeling down and out. Your family and friends have supported you through tough times and they will support you through this. Sometimes all it takes is sitting down and enjoying your favorite home-cooked meal made by mom.
Remember you will not have as much time to visit with family and friends when you are working all day, so take advantage of the situation now.
(I am assuming that your family is supportive and your friends are a good influence on you. This is not always the case. If you do not feel that you will get the support you need then rather skip this)
5) Learn a new skill
This must be my top recommendation for anyone currently in-between jobs. There are so many options available to anyone wanting to advance themselves. These options are largely dependant on your budget. They range from recognized formal qualifications to free online courses available to anyone.
Try to make sure that this new skill is applicable to your new job and then add it to your CV as soon as you complete it. This shows employers that you are a proactive person wanting to better themselves wherever possible.
If you try these five things, you will be well on your way to finding a new job and you won’t just feel like you are passing time waiting for that new job to come along. Remember, be proactive and take ownership of your career like never before. You might be looking for a job, but don’t let that stop you from living your life!
Please leave me a comment below letting us know which of these you plan on doing during your job searching. I can’t wait to hear from you.