3 Ways to Be a More Efficient Job Seeker

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The number of unemployed people in this U.S. seems to be decreasing. According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for March 2014 was 6.7 percent. The job market has grown in industries like health care, professional and business services, and mining and logging. Although the employment situation is unchanged from months prior, these numbers do indicate stabilization and continued growth for the job market — good news for any job seeker.

If the job market is on a path to improvement, are there some ways to be more efficient in the way you search for a new career? After all, even though things may be on the up, it doesn’t mean you should slow the momentum. The job search is all about standing out, staying active, and making sure your strengths translate into an employment offer. Being top of your game is how you can obtain these goals, particularly in a progressing job market.

So, what are some ways to be a more efficient job seeker and keep up the pace?

Evaluate your job search strategy

In every aspect of your job search, you need to understand what’s working and what needs to change. For example, are you getting responses, and if so, what sorts of companies are taking an interest in your candidacy? What about social networking — are recruiters reaching out on LinkedIn or following you on Twitter? Is radio silence the common theme of your job search or are hiring managers opening the lines of communication?

Once you evaluate the results that come from your job search, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. For instance, if smaller organizations are taking an active interest in you, you may want to avoid larger corporations. In addition, if you’re getting tons of profile views on LinkedIn, think about upgrading your subscription so you can send more messages and access more job search data.

Stop applying for every job

It may seem like a good strategy to apply to every job, particularly if you are in desperate need of new work. But not every career is relevant to you and your skills. In addition, you may not be a match in terms of organizational values and company culture. While applying for more jobs may increase your chances at landing an interview, it’s more important to find the right employment opportunity for you in today’s job market.

When you find a career that looks interesting, take an in-depth look at the job description — check out what they’re looking for, what skills they need, and how they measure success. Then, visit the company website and careers page to see if you’d make a great fit. Not only can this improve your chances, you’ll also be happier in a career that’s tailored specifically for you.

Manage your stress

Stress is common in the job search. In fact, Americans who are unemployed for more than six months are much more likely to experience daily negative emotions, such as worry, sadness, and stress. They are also somewhat less likely to report positive emotions, such as happiness.

It’s really easy to give into stress during your job search. After all, if you’ve done all you can to stay active, it can be pretty disconcerting to get rejection after rejection — and that’s if you get a response at all.

There are simple things you can do for stress. For example, using job search management platforms can keep application materials and contact information in order. Taking on professional help, such as through a headhunter or your mentor, can also alleviate stress. In addition, mental exercises, meditation, or taking breaks can help you to get back in the right mindset.

If you want to be a more efficient job seeker, do yourself a favor and evaluate your search, stop mass applying, and manage your stress. Doing so can improve your chances and bring you closer to your dream career.

What do you think? What are some other ways to be a more efficient job seeker?

Image courtesy of Jhaymesisviphotography; Flickr

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.