A common reason job seekers use a career coach is because of being overwhelmed. Before you were let go from your job, things were probably in control unless you were on a performance improvement plan or had some knowledge that your termination was imminent.
Once set into motion, the job search takes on a life of its own. Everyone has an opinion about what you should or should not do. Who do you listen to? Who has the right answer? How can you find your way through all the information and ultimately decide on what to do, and in what order to do it.
Think about what needs to happen first and stop worrying about how to handle an interview. Once the interviewing starts, you’ll be facing a whole new set of hurdles. First things first, focus on getting the interview.
Here are some tips on some of the most common areas where you may feel overwhelmed.
Spending Too Much Time on Your Resume
It’s important to have a resume – it is your calling card in the world of job hunting. When I look at a resume, 75% of them are good enough. Sure the resume may need tweaking, but if you are spending 100% of your time over several weeks, you are spending way too much time on your resume.
Here are some articles to read about my thoughts on resumes:
LinkedIn is Your Best Friend
As a professional, if there is any site to be on, it is LinkedIn. It is not enough to just have a profile. Your profile must be compelling – and contain key words that describe your skills and accomplishments. Without a strong profile, you will have difficulty attracting recruiters and other people to connect with you. Navigating through LinkedIn is a maze. There is a ton of articles written on how to effectively use LinkedIn and it continues to change as they roll out new features.
Here are some articles about LinkedIn to get you started:
- Three Job Hunting Strategies to Landing a Job
- Job Hunting Lessons: Technology is our Friend
- Recruiters’ Secrets Revealed: Part 2
- Job Hunting Tips using Social Media
Know When to Spend Time in Social Media
Often job hunters believe they should be on other social media platforms. For some industries and positions – the answer is definitely yes. To be honest, for the majority of positions, the answer is your time is best spent on LinkedIn. For example, if you looking for a job in marketing, sales and perhaps human resources you may find your next position through Twitter.
Twitter provides an avenue where you might reach people you normally cannot connect with, especially if they are active on the platform. Twitter can be a time waster, so be mindful on the value proposition and if you want to devote energy to create a large following.
Other social media forums such as Facebook and Instagram are not obvious choices for the professional job hunter. However, if you are in fashion, photography or retail, this may be your sweet spot.
It’s important to assess where to spend your time and in what social media circles so that you avoid being overwhelmed.
Your Network is Critical
If you have a strong network of friends and colleagues already established, you are well on your way to finding employment. The sad truth is that most people have a poor network when they most need it. Developing your network is time-consuming and one of the most important things to focus on during a job search.
It can be awkward to reach out to people you have not spoken to in many years. Alternatively, it can be an opportunity to reconnect and learn something new about one another and how to help each other. There is an art to becoming a confident and resourceful networker. No one wants to feel like they are being taken advantage of, at the same time people naturally want to help.
To get started with how to network, here are a few articles:
- Part 1: Does your networking approach give you the best pay back?
- Part 2: Examples of how to and how not to grow your professional network
- How to Actively Generate Networking Leads
- 25 Networking Tips that Work
Finally – Get Organized
Keep track of all your conversations, action items and resume submissions in a spreadsheet. The more organized you are, the less likely you will feel overwhelmed. Think about using a Google Drive to keep everything in one place and easily accessible if you are out working in locations other than your home office.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed, consider working with a career coach for a single session or over several months to keep you on track. Many job hunters need the extra push and accountability to keep them moving forward toward their goal of finding that great job!