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Levett Career Center

A Mid-Summer Reset


Adjusting your Approach: A Mid-Summer Reset

You've had a couple of months to be in job-search mode, and at this point, you have probably either found a position, settled into a manageable job search process, or gotten pretty frustrated with the stress and effort involved in running a good search. It may be helpful to remember that a typical job search is not a sprint, but a marathon. If you are struggling to keep your momentum up, here are a few ideas that might help:

Diversify:  Instead of limiting your search to electronic job boards, vary your approaches. Search for the organizations in your area that are doing the type of work you find appealing, then use LinkedIn to identify profiles of people they employ and to find connections there. (Here are tips on how to do this, if you'd like more detail). Call a friend of the family for an informational interview and ask for networking leads.  Broaden the geographical area or employment field you are targeting to shake some dust off your search.

Tailor your résumé: Each job has different requirements, and should be approached fresh. Have you done your best to make the most of your background? While taking time to polish each application may reduce the number of positions you apply for, it may make each one more within your grasp.

Make the most of each chance: If you have found a great job opening, it is wise to see if there is someone at the organization who could give you tips for your application so that you can capitalize on the opportunity. Research the employer and search for the organization on LinkedIn (LI) to identify the skills they prefer and to see if you have any connections you can reach out to. The Career Center hosts a group on LI called the Hanover Career Alumni Network (HanoverCAN) with over 1,000 alumni whose sole reason for joining the group is to help young Hanoverians transition to the professional world. Join the group! If I am connected with any of your leads, I'd be glad to walk you through the process of requesting an introduction for you.

Follow up: If you don't hear from a potential employer after a couple of weeks, it can be a very good idea to contact them to see if they have any questions, to reiterate your interest and to find out where they are in the hiring process. (Be sure to do so professionally, understanding that they are busy running a job search AND covering the tasks of the vacant position). Even if you get a rejection letter, it is good form to write them a "thank you for the opportunity" message and to ask them to keep you in mind should a similar position open up. You might also be able to contact them to ask for information about how you might strengthen your application in the future: were there specific skills or background they were seeking that you could work on or develop?

Do something else in the meantime:  It is good for self-esteem (not to mention the résumé) to be productive and busy while you're searching. If you can't find a full-time paid job, a part-time job, volunteer position, or an internship can still be beneficial. Maybe one of your connections has some tasks they'd appreciate your doing. Or maybe there is a local nonprofit they know of that you could ask them about volunteering for. You'd get skills, have more to add to your résumé and LinkedIn profile, and you'd be a place to hear about openings as they arise.

Adjust your effort: In addition to the effectiveness of your strategy, how fast you find the right job is largely due to the time and effort you put in. That means if you put in half as much effort your search is likely to take twice as long.

Reinvigorate yourself: Build a little fun into your week to use as a reward or incentive for staying on task with your search and to help balance the cost of job searching. You're likely to be more productive and energized afterwards.

Good luck and let us know if we can help!

Best wishes,
Margaret