What’s Wrong with This Job Search?


JM writes:
I am a college graduate with almost 5 years of professional experience. I am intelligent bright and quickly bored; therefore I have 3 jobs on my resume in 5 years.
The problem: I have been ACTIVELY looking for a job for more than 4 months. Actively — meaning utilizing the newspaper user groups online job boards and online search job engines. For example I have applied to 70+ jobs on Monster.com more than 50 on Yahoo Hotjobs and numerous others on job sites such as this. I have received little response. I have had a total of 4 job interviews for my efforts. I belong to 6 online job boards. I have gone through 50 hard-copy resumes for jobs from the paper. I have sent 40+ separate emails to prospective employers. Oh and I have joined a support group
and even bought new interview wear just in case.
I am at my wit’s end! I do not like it when people insinuate that I am not really hunting. From my efforts outlined above I am obviously doing what is needed to get a job. I am
frustrated and angry. Help!


The Career Doctor responds:
Wow. You are certainly doing a lot of different job-hunting activities but I think one of the things you are really missing is a job-hunting strategy. You need a coordinated effort to get a job not just a lot of activity. So if you will let me here are my suggestions for the next steps you should take to land that next job.
First take a deep breath and relax. Stress and frustration — even when we are doing our best to cover it — shines like a big red blinking light that turns away employers. You need to exude confidence and a positive attitude. Take a look at this article from my partner Ten Questions to Ask Yourself if You Still Haven’t Found a Job.
Second what kind of job are you looking for? What have you done previously and gotten bored with? What skill sets do you offer potential employers? Three jobs in the past five years is not a bad thing — not in today’s job market — unless it’s because you have a short-term mentality. If these jobs show some progress and continued responsibility and growth you’re in good shape. If they do not you may want to experiment with a chrono-functional rather than chronological resume.
Third job-hunting on the Net should really only be a small part of your job search — and so should chasing want ads. Where you should be spending the bulk of your time is identifying employer prospects and designing a direct-mail and networking plan to help you land a job in one of the companies. How much networking are you doing with your former coworkers and other professionals in your field? Read my article Networking Your Way to a New Job.
Fourth remember that looking for a job is full-time work — and there is no set timetable for how long it will take to find a new position … but first develop your strategy and I truly believe you will see your luck change for the better. I wish you the best.