It’s the results you are generating that are more indicative of the health of your job search, not necessarily the length. Whether you have been job searching for one month or one year, a stale job search can quickly derail your momentum and dampen your excitement about the opportunities that lie ahead. Here are five ways to determine if your job search has stalled and tips to inject new energy and get the results you desire:
1. You’re feeling demotivated and demoralized.
A successful job search requires confidence and the ability to influence others. If your head is no longer in the game, it’s time to take a pause and reassess your approach and your goals. The most common reason a job search yields poor results is a lack of clarity — lack of clarity in communicating your value offering, lack of clarity defining your job search goals and/or lack of clarity translating that into a defined search plan.
Get back on track: Take a break and spend time redefining the value you offer and identifying your desired end goal. Write these out and create a timeline for assessing the responses you receive. Reprioritize self-care during this time to ensure that when you relaunch your search you feel energized.
2. The pool of job titles you are targeting has dried up.
This is most likely to happen if you are only searching for jobs on job boards and through the job alerts you have set up. Get back on track: Begin targeting companies versus targeting a specific job title. Targeting companies allows you to research the ones on your list to determine if the company and the work they do is aligned with your personal values and career goals. This strategy also allows you to track the happenings at these companies and the trends of their job openings. Many companies allow you to upload your résumé to their database to be considered for current and future positions, expanding the pool of jobs available to you.
3. You’ve applied for numerous jobs with limited to no response.
In my experience, this is a résumé issue. Your résumé may have a lack of accomplishments-oriented content, not enough appropriate keywords and/or unsuitable formatting that prohibits you from successfully navigating the applicant tracking software.
Get back on track: Conduct an objective assessment of your current résumé. Look at it as a recruiter or hiring manager would and ask yourself: Does it represent me and not read like a general job description? Does it contain the highlights of the successes I have achieved, including quantifiable information to help support what I am claiming? Think metrics! Have I included keywords aligned with the type of roles I am searching for? A high-performance résumé that focuses on these elements can be an immediate game changer for your search.
4. Your LinkedIn profile is not doing its job.
While you are conducting an active job search, your LinkedIn profile should be attracting high-quality interest from recruiters seeking professionals with your skills and qualifications.
Get back on track: Fully optimize your LinkedIn profile. Change the headline to a keyword-rich one that reflects your unique value offering. For example, let’s say your current headline is “Sr. Marketing Manager at ABC Company.” A new, high-impact headline would be “Sr. Marketing Manager – Creating marketing campaigns that excite and engage consumers while strengthening brand recognition and accelerating market share gains.” LinkedIn allows for up to 220 characters in the headline. You are more than your current job title, and this section helps to distinguish you from your competition. It’s also important to create a compelling About section, using first-person voice to tell your career value story, and make sure you have chosen the top skills aligned with your current career goals. Just because you possess a skill does not make it worthy of making the cut. Be discerning when choosing your skills.
5. Recruiters are not part of your comprehensive job search strategy.
Many job seekers do not realize that every available job will not be found on job boards or company websites and that some of the best jobs are actually not posted anywhere. Third-party recruiters hold the key to unlocking many of these positions as they are hired by companies to source and vet qualified candidates.
Get back on track: Proactively reach out and develop relationships with recruiters. Leverage your newly updated résumé to begin the conversation and help them help you by being clear about what type of job you are looking for and what value you can bring to their client to help push your candidacy onto their short list.
If your job search has stalled, the good news is that there are likely some easy ways to restore its momentum. Try integrating these tips into your job search plan and enjoy the new results!
This article was originally posted on Forbes.com on December 27, 2021 as part of the Forbes Coaches Council. The original article can be viewed here.
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