Job hunting can be an emotional roller coaster and a drain on your time. It’s easy to get discouraged and lose your motivation. That’s especially true in today’s economy where long-term unemployment, which is defined as 27 or more weeks (6 months or longer), has reached levels that we haven’t seen since 2014.
But, it’s just as easy to hit the reset button and set yourself up for a successful and satisfying job search.
First, it’s important to recognize that there are a lot of variables that impact how long the process may take, including the economy, the level of demand in your field, location, experience, job searching strategies, and employment history, principally.
For the average person, it is likely to take five months to find a new job, according to a study of 2,000 Americans by staffing agency Randstad.
Recognizing that this process is more of a marathon than a sprint is important to getting yourself mentally prepared for your job search.
In addition to current unemployment statistics due to today’s economy, remember that there are plenty of factors within your control that can shorten your job search.
Freshen up your skills, training, and certifications to match those that you see on the job postings for your desired positions and field. In a time when most of the country is social distancing, take advantage of the extra time at home by joining 47 million other people who have connected to the online learning community.
Once you’ve done that, focus on the aspects of your job search that you can control. If LinkedIn isn’t a part of your job search strategy, it should be. LinkedIn averages 14 million open job postings at a given time. One study found that 122 million people received an interview through LinkedIn and 35.5 million people have been hired by a person they connected with on the site.
Make sure you have a professional profile picture, which can increase your number of views by 14 times.
It’s critical that you refresh your resume as well. Ensure it highlights your most recent accomplishments and any new skills or training you’ve acquired, including technology platforms your company uses for telecommuting.
Write down your job search strategies, which should include leveraging your professional network. And, finally, write down specific, time-bound goals related to your job search to maximize your chances of success.
Mental preparation, along with some leg work, can make the difference between a slog and a slam dunk of a job search.