If you’ve been searching for several months and don’t have a new job to show for it, don’t get discouraged. Get observant. Look at what you have done to date because something is not working. Here are some questions to guide you in troubleshooting your job search:
Are you positioning yourself appropriately? Perhaps you have been going for jobs that are too junior or too senior. Maybe employers don’t clearly understand the scope and scale of your past roles. Check too if your experience as it is described is relevant to the jobs you are pursuing.
Is your marketing complete? Some jobseekers overwork their resume but then don’t have an updated online profile. Most recruiters are using social media, especially LinkedIn. If you don’t have an online presence, your job search marketing is incomplete.
Are you spending too much time on recruiters and job postings? Recruiters and job postings seem like a shortcut – you just troll the web and apply for what’s there, or you make a few calls to recruiters and let them do the heavy lifting. But, job postings are notoriously out of date, and recruiters work for the employers not for you. Most importantly, most jobs are filled via networking so if you rely on recruiters and job postings, you are missing out on most opportunities.
Do you have 3-4 key message points? You need to cut to the chase in your cover letters, networking pitch and interview responses. People make up their mind quickly so be concise. Get the important information out early and cut out the rest.
Do you have a process to stay on track long-term? Many jobseekers do a lot their first week, maybe the second but peter out. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The interview process takes time, and you need to continue your search across multiple fronts. So there is a lot to juggle, and you need a process, not just discipline, motivation, or hope that you will stay on track. Make sure you have specific routines for following up with your contacts, for organizing your search information, for preparing for interviews and meetings, and for staying refreshed.