In this economy, a long job search effort is unfortunately more the norm than the exception. It can be very defeating and job searchers can easily run out of ideas of what to do next. Here are three articles that may help:

  1. Can’t find a job – 8 side gigs that actually make you money
  2. 6 reasons they didn’t call you back
  3. 6 Tips to finding a job after college

Here is a summary of their practical advice and my thoughts

  • Network, network, network - both articles talk about this. Even if you have talked to everyone you know. Go back, be concrete with what you need help on, and follow up. Nurture your relationships over time and I would also add avoid networking faux pas. I will write about one of these in another post. Also try to expand your network by going to new events and meeting new people.
  • Don’t take silence personally and have realistic expectations - as the first article highlights, many reasons that company don’t call back have nothing to do with you – like job disappeared due to budget cuts or they are swamped
  • Make it easy for company to know why you are good fit - do all the work in your resume and interviews to tell them why you are the best fit. No one at the company has the time to do this for you. Also, follow direction. If they want past work samples, do it. If they want you to do math problems, do it. It’s their job opening, they can do pretty much anything that is legal. Don’t complain as that will immediately disqualify you in this tough market. Lastly follow up in a week if you don’t hear from them. Just don’t be a pest.
  • Expand search criteria - to things like part time or contract work. Being more flexible and creative can help you find more opportunities.
  • Have a life at the same time – job search is an emotional roller coaster and can be very depressing. Still go out and have fun. Allow yourself breaks or even plan trips every few months to give your mind and emotions a break.
  • Get help - get a friend to look at your resume or do mock interviews and/or hire a career coach that can give you a professional perspective. But remember, most of the work depend on your effort. Your friends or a coach can only be guides. You cannot expect them to do the work for you. It doesn’t work that way.

Ultimately, hang in there. A job is out there for you. You just have to hang on and do the best you can. Remember “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Good luck out there!

- Lei

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4 Thoughts on “What to Do if Job Search is Taking Forever

  1. Stephen Gonzales on December 27, 2013 at 12:03 am said:

    Great information! throughout the wait, however typically must you follow up? I realize it onerous to balance not being a nuisance, however rental them recognize i’m serious regarding the position.

  2. Pingback: List of 28 Soft Skills - Business Professionals | Career Success - Ask a Wharton MBA

  3. Marty on May 31, 2011 at 5:45 pm said:

    It used to take me 6 months to hire an engineer. That would be from the time my boss said, “do it”, to someone sitting down at their desk to start work. Actually, they then had about a week of safety classes to take before they could really start being productive. That is 6 months if everything went right. There can many unbelievable time delays that prevent a quick hire.

  4. Great suggestions! I remember being in that position and it is a roller coaster. I think it's extremely important to remember some of the stuff you mentioned above.

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