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Revitalizing a Stalled Job Search

by Kim on December 18, 2015

I think there have been many challenges facing job seekers over the past several years including a need for people to shift their thinking and strategies, especially for those who have remained unemployed for over a year. I believe a new reality needs to set in as well. Gone are the days of staying with one company for many years, big perks, unlimited expense accounts, “good” employer-covered health insurance, six weeks of vacation, etc. The status quo isn’t going to cut it anymore, like it or not. No longer can you just send in a “basic” executive resume that lists required skills and hope to receive an interview based on skills alone.

If you can open yourself to the possibility of relocation, accept the fact that benefits may not be like they were before (yet still offered) and understand that the “perfect” job may not materialize (while being perfectly acceptable), it will be easier to take a teeny step back if it means greater opportunities in the long run. Yes, you may have to prove yourself again, but it need not take long. Ask yourself if it’s better to remain unemployed, holding out for that “perfect” position or knowing that it may not materialize the way you envision; how many positions are perfect anyhow? The longer you remain unemployed (for whatever reason), the less marketable you are. Actually, it’s always good to ask yourself these questions once in a while because you never know when you might be facing an unexpected job loss.

Networking is key; social networking as well. However, if your value message isn’t conveyed in any of your social networking, it won’t make much of a difference. Finding opportunities on your own is also important; setting a goal/plan; treating your search like an actual job vs. passively posting your resume on some career board then waiting for the phone to ring.

Find a mentor, talk to people who HAVE been gainfully reemployed (learning how they succeeded), seek out informational interviews, join relevant groups. Volunteer once a week if you have to; even for an hour at Meals on Wheels, an organization with chapters in nearly every community. I volunteer there because it’s a great organization, takes only an hour or so out of my week (or more depending on what they need and what I can give) and I’ve met some wonderful people. Stepping outside of your own needs and doing for others is not only helpful for your community, but also a great boost to your own self-worth, especially if you’ve been unemployed for an extended period of time.

Revisit your resume with new eyes…if it’s just a list of duties? It’s not surprising that it’s not getting noticed. You have to remember that the reader is looking for what YOU can do for THEM, not what they can do for you. Your resume is about selling what you can offer in terms of true, measurable results. Otherwise, the reader has no idea how well you performed in your past roles. Even if you were THE person who used to make things happen and were recognized for being “the best” at what you did, if the resume doesn’t convey that, how is the reader supposed to know what you can do for them?

Put your energies toward your goals and new purpose instead of the bitterness which can understandably develop based on the past and lack of new opportunities. If something hasn’t been working for a while, then it’s time to figure out what needs to change. Take help from others when you can, offer same to them and take your own life into your own hands to make things happen. Even if the future doesn’t look perfect, at least you have a plan and are in control again, just in time for the New Year!

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