10/28/2015 Stephanie Anderson

Job search resulting in more tricks than treats? How to turn it around

shutterstock_112331054Has your once dreamy job search turned into a nightmare reminiscent of a classic Halloween flick? If you feel like you’re running around more than a werewolf during a full moon, it’s time to stop the madness. These 10 job search tricks are guaranteed to provide only treats by refreshing your job search fast.

1. Beware of burnout
A job search is a lot of work and if you’re feeling burnt out, carve out time for a break. Most people check job postings and apply daily, but that can be overwhelming. Consider designating one day a week to take it easy.

2. Have fang-tastic focus
If you’re applying a lot and never hearing back, it’s time to refocus. You may be applying for the wrong jobs. Are you qualified for the position? Is your resume compelling? Are you using eye-catching verbs and phrases?

3. Avoid a hauntingly disorganized schedule
If you’re searching for a job full-time, it’s easy for days to blend together. Keep on top of the job hunt by scheduling time for your search on your calendar. A few hours a day is a great way to maintain focus.

4. Don’t be the invisible man (or woman)
If you’re looking for a job, you need to maintain a compelling LinkedIn profile. It’s virtually a given that employers will look to see if you have one these days. If not, you may as well be a ghost. For a stalled job search, refresh your intro and put up a fresh head shot.

5. Forget fright and follow-up
If you just apply and cross your fingers, you’ll be waiting for a long time. Proper etiquette is to send an original thank you (yes, email is OK!). Then, if you haven’t heard back after the designated time has passed, show initiative and follow up.

6. Cackle with your network
Cast a spell on your professional network by boosting your engagement on LinkedIn and by attending industry events in your city. If you’re as invisible as a ghost, so too will be your network’s ability to help you find a job.

7. Conjure keywords
Even if you dislike recruitment software as much as you do the boogeyman, it’s reality. To get past filters and eventually capture the eye of someone in HR, inject industry keywords into your resume and cover letter where they fit naturally.

8. Avoid the moonlight
While it may be mere hocus pocus, some claim that submitting applications and interviewing early in the morning helps candidates stand out. The rationale is that people are bright eyed and bushy tailed earlier in the day so you can more easily make a lasting impression.

9. Mystify with personality
Being polished and prepared does not mean being boring. Many candidates memorize answers, know all the correct terms and have every skill listed on the job app, but they play it too safe and come off as staged and insincere. Be confident and let your personality shine a bit.

10. Howl less, listen more
It’s easy to get so focused on conveying the right message and giving the correct impression that you forget to listen. And one-sided conversations are a red flag to employers. For more effective interviews, remember conversation is an art and being a good listener is just as important as being a good speaker.

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