Participating in a job search can be frustrating in addition to being exhausting. You can spend hours updating your resume and crafting the perfect cover letter for each individual job you want to interview for, but you still might not even score a phone interview. Once you do go in for an interview, you may make several mistakes, or you might feel like you aced the interview but then you may find that you don’t hear anything after, which can leave you feeling like you are stuck in limbo. The good news is that spring may be the best time to start your job search because there are many jobs but not as much competition. If you have been feeling like you have no jobs to even apply for, you might have more luck now. Here are some ways to overcome common hurdles that job seekers face.
1. Expand your search
If your main problem is that you can’t find any jobs to apply to, then you probably need to expand your search. If you always use the same search engines, try branching out and trying new ones. Check your local newspaper; also, consider checking LinkedIn. Try searching sites that target a specific field, such as iHireLegal for a law job, or try HumanResourcesJobs.com for a human resources job; most fields have sites dedicated to the specific field.
On the other hand, if you are having a tough time finding a job in your field, consider looking outside your field. You may need to do some work to get a job in another field, but it might be a good idea to try if you are truly striking out in your own career focus.
2. Fix your interview mistakes
If you recently had an interview, and you feel like you blew it, you may still be able to fix it. Some mistakes are hard to come back from (such as improper dress at an interview, offensive behavior, or being late); however, there are many ways you can come back from other mistakes. According to Askmen, your first step should be to write down all the ways you think the interview went wrong; doing this will allow you to really determine the problems, and also discourage you from acting based on an initial unfounded negative emotion if you are overreacting. You can also follow up with the interviewer to thank them and clarify any issues, and you can even consider asking for a second interview to make up for the first one.
In the future, also be sure that you are aware of potential body language mistakes to avoid during an interview; some of these mistakes can turn an otherwise positive interview into a bad one.
3. Get an answer
Sometimes you won’t get a job no matter how well you interviewed, or how perfect your experiences fit the job description. However, there’s a lot to say about closure, and if you are missing that aspect, it can be hard to let go. If you believe that you should have received an invitation to interview, you can try to contact the company or interviewer to be sure that your application was received, to show your interest in the position, and to try to schedule an interview. If you already interviewed but you never received an answer, it is also appropriate to check in.
If you have already tried to contact the interviewer or company, and you are still waiting for a response, you may want to try a few tricks to get an email response: writing short emails with short subject lines, using emotion, and asking questions can help elicit a response.
4. Explain a gap in your work history
If you are shying away from applying to certain jobs because of a gap in your work history, or you simply think that an unexplained gap is preventing you from getting invited to interview, then you need to handle the gap. A good idea is to use your cover letter to explain that period of time. For example, if you were helping to care for an aging parent, you can explain why you were not working (or why you were working less).
According to Bronwen Hann writing for LinkedIn, you should explain why you were let go from your previous job, keep your attitude positive about why you left a position, share any certifications or activities you did to improve your skills during the gap, and be sure to be honest.
There are many other reasons that you might be struggling in your job search. Whatever the reason, hopefully you can use these tips to start moving your job search in the right direction.