Yikes, the job search. It can be daunting, it can be scary, and it can be exhausting. However, when done correctly, the journey will lead to an incredible position in the company you want. I recently graduated from graduate school, and I took the job search seriously. So, here are a few tips to staying sane while searching for a job.
1) Start with a narrow target
Your first inclination when searching for a job may be quantity. You may think the more applications you submit, the better your chances of getting hired. However, this also increases the chance you will burn out. Instead, determine your dream location, company culture, position, and industry and start there. Give yourself time to pursue your dreams before branching out.
The key to staying sane is staying organized. I created an detailed excel document with all the relevant information: websites, job descriptions, titles, social media profiles, locations, application dates, follow up dates, and more.
3) Take a minute
Once you've collected all the information you need, take a step back. Read, comment, and share the organization's blog posts, chat with them on Twitter, and engage on Facebook. The goal: get on their radar before submitting your application. If they recognize your name, it increases the chance your resume will stand out.
4) Create a schedule
Hunting for jobs is a job in itself, and that's the way you need to look at it if you want to be successful. Block off a specific time everyday to focus on your task, and set and accomplish goals.
5) Start Small
Speaking of goals, start small. Don't underestimate the amount of time it takes to properly complete one application. Locating opportunities, researching the brand, targeting cover letters and rearranging resumes takes time. I suggest aiming for five a day. Don't burn yourself out. If you're doing too many, you're probably not doing it right.
6) Find the Right Tools
Sidekick saved me during my job search (yes, that's my personal referral link.) Nothing is more frustrating than not hearing anything back after submitting an app. Sidekick alerts you when the recipient opens your e-mail and which links, if any, they click on. This helped me determine when I should follow up, how I should word my follow up, and when it's time to let it go.
Note, it's also frustrating when you know someone opened your email, and still doesn't respond, so be prepared.
What is your best piece of advice for staying motivated during the job hunt?