6 Tips for Avoiding Burnout in Your Job Search

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Searching for a new job — even with the multitude of tools and resources available — can be almost immediately overwhelming. So it’s no surprise a large amount of job seekers experience job search burnout at one point or another.

Want to get back on track to new employment? Here are some ways to avoid burnout in your job search:

1. Replace Applying to Jobs With Networking

It’s easy to get burned out in the job search process and just give up. When you’re feeling like you can’t look at one more applicant tracking system, it’s time to switch gears. Instead of giving up entirely, work at networking instead. It can be way more fun to meet new people and build new relationships than to fill out another form. Plus, these new contacts can turn into hot job leads, and help your video resume or cover letter get in front of the right set of eyes.

– Josh Tolan, Spark Hire

2. Mix It Up

Today there are about a dozen different ways to find a job. By playing in all the buckets (job boards, social media, networking, temping/contract work, volunteering, etc.), candidates have a varied day and maximize their chances of success as no one can predict which bucket will lead to the job.

– AnnMarie McIlwain, Founder and CEO, CareerFuel.net

3. Find Job Search-Life Balance By Staying Active

Burnout often accompanies a long, strenuous job search. Job seekers can avoid burning out by keeping themselves busy outside of their search for employment. This means staying active, spending time outdoors, enjoying hobbies, and making time for friends and family. Similar to the work-life balance you try to maintain while employed, it’s important not to let your job search consume you.

– Nathan Parcells, InternMatch

4. Focus On No More Than Four or Five Jobs Or Companies At The Same Time

Don’t stray from your original search criteria. Know and learn about the three or four companies that best support your search and focus on the specific roles that align with your interests, strengths and goals. Do not look at too many (more than four or five) jobs or companies at the same time.

– Emily Krull, PNC Financial Services Group

5. Force Yourself To Do Something Physical

Walk, run, lift weights, etc. Do this away from home. It’s so hard if you have been out for a while, and you get more and more desperate, but job search burnout will hurt you the long-term. You could also volunteer for something — whether in your church, your community, or even for a friend who is working. Doing something that gets you partially in the workforce will keep you engaged.

– Sudy Bharadwaj, Jackalope Jobs

6. Focus Your Search With Alerts

If you must look at job postings, don’t spend hours surfing the web. Set up email alerts with a job aggregator like Indeed.com. Commit to looking at the results over coffee for 10 minutes each morning. That really should be all you need. Set up alerts using Google news alerts to alert you of companies in your industry of choice that have activity. An example is: Medical Device Companies+Growth+Texas. You can also track individual companies this way.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford, Resume Writer and Job Search Coach

What do you think? What other ways can job seekers avoid burnout?

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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3 Advocates That Greatly Increase Job Search Success

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A job search can be long and difficult… and lonely. After a while, frustration sets in. At first, nothing but your dream job would be acceptable.

Now, maybe you’ve considered settling for something outside your ideal career path, joining the growing ranks of the “under-employed”. In the most frustrating situations, perhaps you’re included in the million-plus 18 to 24-year olds who have completely stopped their search for a full-time job. Maybe you’ll go back to school, or move back in with your parents.

Clearly, it’s time to take your job search to the next level… by enlisting assistance from three sources of instant credibility:

  • The Champion
  • The Mentor
  • The Coach

These three advocates, each with very different roles, can serve as a “living reference” for you. Most important, they serve as a vocal sponsor to influencers, recruiters and hiring managers,  greatly increasing your ability to secure a job.

1. The Champion

Role: Your Champion is an industry expert who knows you well, adamantly and vocally supports your career choice, and who is confident in your ability to perform well in the industry they represent. By definition, they will not endorse you if they have any reservations. After all, their reputation is at stake.

Key Traits: Specific expertise within the industry you’re pursuing; credibility; longevity; influence

Where to Engage: Industry-specific associations; internships; social networking; your local Chamber of Commerce

2. The Mentor

Role: The Mentor has first-hand knowledge of your personal growth and career path, and has been influential in your development. The Mentor plays a critical role in your job search as they speak expertly to several critical points including your work ethic, willingness to listen and learn, and overall strengths.

Key Traits: Passion; excellent communicator and teacher; patience

Where to Engage: Social media, professors and department heads; volunteer and civic organizations; mentor-driven internships; student leadership activities

3. The Coach

Role: Ranging from the career services team at school to a professional career counselor, the Coach may be someone very new in your life – and perhaps should be. Your Coach, which usually charges a competitive fee for their services, fills a much-needed void in an ultra-competitive job market: objective (and sometimes blunt) advice designed to get you to that next level

Key Traits: Job market expertise; vast personal and professional network; success stories within your industry or geography; objectivity

Where to Engage: Google; Twitter chats; social networking; personal referrals

For those still in school, engaging the Champion, Mentor and Coach is much easier than it may be for non-students, those who have graduated or are in career transition. However, even if you fall into one of these post-college categories… it’s never too late to secure and nurture these vitally important relationships:

  • Immediately strengthen your online influence through social networking, especially on LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Rather than get that job waiting tables or at McDonald’s, seek a paid internship within your career path
  • Volunteer at change-oriented non-profits or civic organizations
  • Attend trade association and Chamber of Commerce meetings – and be assertive with your message: “I am coachable, I have a strong work ethic, and I am looking for work.”
  • Reconnect with those who may fill these roles: former supervisors, educators and colleagues who have gone on to success

Are any of these suggestions a “quick fix” for getting you a job? Obviously, no.

Get started today, however, and your enthusiasm will become clear to all those around you – including your potential Champion, Mentor and Coach. And with these three advocates at your side, your job search will improve dramatically.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at YouTern.

About the Author: CEO and Founder of YouTern, Mark Babbitt is a serial mentor who has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO.com regarding job search, career development, internships and higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce. A keynote speaker and blogger, Mark’s contributions include Huffington Post, Switch and Shift, The Daily Muse and Under30CEO.

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Hidden Jobs for the Unemployed or Underpaid [Infographic]

Recently released statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that more than 60 percent of the U.S. workforce do not currently have a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. 12.3 million are unemployed and 8 million additional people are employed only part-time due to current economic conditions. With the unemployment rate remaining steadily within the 7-8 percent range, many Americans are searching for ways to make ends meet. A surprising list of jobs with no degree requirements has been released that include enticing salaries and a large amount of openings.

Special thanks to Job-Applications for developing and sharing this infographic.

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7 Terrible Ways to Search For a Job

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Let’s face it: We’ve all heard our fair share of job search horror stories. From addressing the wrong company in your cover letter to blowing a job interview, mistakes come in all shapes and sizes — and can happen to anyone.

Here’s a mistake you may not realize you’ve been making: the way you search for a job.

Although it’s never fun to evaluate your own performance, the job search is based heavily on trial and error–and there are certainly wrong ways to go about seeking employment. Don’t waste valuable time, energy, and money on a terrible job search. It’s time to take a deeper look at the way you’re searching.

Here are seven terrible ways to search for a job–avoid these so you don’t become a job search horror story legend:

1. Never Leaving Your House. We now live in an age where it’s completely possible to be too immersed in technology. One sure-fire way to fail at your job search is to confine yourself to your home. The job search might leave you feeling a little like a hermit, but you need to maintain relationships with your network to tap into their valuable resources. Make a point to stay in touch with your connections, as well as putting effort into expanding the network you already have.

2. Thinking Only Inside The Box. The job search is no place for routine and standard thought processes, especially in this highly competitive job climate. Job seekers who don’t stand out won’t get hired. Go above and beyond to get noticed by employers by looking for new ways to boost the presentation of your qualifications throughout the hiring process.

3. Trying To Fit A Mold. No worthwhile employer is looking for a drone candidate. Too many individuals find themselves attempting to fit a certain mold during their job hunt — this certainly isn’t a positive tactic. Break the mold by cashing in on your niche and showcasing yourself in a way that leaves hiring managers unable to pass you up. This means truly assessing what you can bring to a position and marketing yourself appropriately.

4. Failing To Get Personal. Far too many job seekers overlook the need for a personal touch during their job search. Getting personal spans many areas including: personalized interactions throughout the hiring process, expanding your network through personal interactions, and more. A successful job search demands a level of personalization that can only be reached through focus and energy.

5. Forgetting To Strategize. While timing and luck do play a special role in the job search, all job seekers are certain to fail without a set strategy. The amount of time and effort you put into developing a strong and well-thought out job search strategy, the faster you’ll get hired. Develop goals, create lists, manage your time, track your applications, and network until you’re blue in the face.

6. Failing To Explore Other Avenues. Your job search should involve a variety of different elements. Getting hired today means finding new avenues to reach out to employers. Gather a list of companies that you want to work for, join professional organizations, attend conferences, and build an unbeatable online brand.

7. Not Learning From Mistakes. Errors are bound to take place during the job search, but the real mistake is not learning from them. You may have sent out one too many mediocre resumes, but you’ve grown through this and developed a hard-hitting resume for your latest opportunity.

During the job search, it’s important to be both a critic and a marketer of your own work. Transform your employment search by repeatedly evaluating its effectiveness.

What’s the best job search advice you would offer first-time or out-of-practice job seekers? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author: Afifa Siddiqui is the COO and Co-founder of Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform that cuts the time to apply in half. Connect with Afifa and Careerleaf on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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6 Questions Adult Learners Should Ask About Returning to School

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This is it: You’ve made up your mind. This is the year you’re going to go back to school to finish your college degree/take that continuing education course you need/earn your master’s. Congratulations!

As you get started, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all of your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed. That means you know exactly what you need to do regarding enrollment, transfer credits, online options, and financial aid. If it’s been awhile since you last stepped into a classroom, some of these details may be a little fuzzy. The best way to be crystal clear and move ahead on your path is to meet with an advisor at your chosen school and ask as many questions as possible.

To make it easy, we’ve prepared a list of top questions adult learners should ask about returning to school. All you have to do is print it out and take it with you.

1. Which Test Scores and Application Materials Do I Need to Apply?
If you’re in the process of applying to go back to school, the first thing to do is find out what materials you need to have to apply. Gathering transcripts and letters of recommendation can take time, so get started as soon as possible.

You also need to check in regarding standardized tests: Which ones does your program require? For some tests, previous scores can be used, but only for a certain amount of time. For example, the GRE (the exam required by many graduate schools) test score is good for five years, so you may not need to retake it.

2. Do I Have Credits Hiding Out Somewhere?
This is a big one, because it can save you time and money when you head back to school. If you took any kind of post-secondary courses, from a math class at your local community college to a certification program at a trade school, find out how many credits you have and if you can apply them to your current program. The best way to get started is to obtain a transcript and have it reviewed by a program advisor. He or she will be able to tell you how many of your previous credits can be transferred over.

3. What Kind of Night, Online and Weekend Options are There?
Class structures have probably changed since the last time you were in school. Make sure you ask your advisor about all the class options, from regular classes to online to nighttime to weekends. A mix of all of these might be the best fit for your busy schedule, and make going back to school easier than you imagined.

4. What Are the Time Commitments?
Your advisor should be able to give you a clear idea of the time commitment estimated for each course, including homework. This should help you determine what your work schedule will be while you’re in school, as well as if you want to go full- or part-time.

5. Are There Internship or Other Practical Requirements?
It’s important to ask your advisor what kind of internship or practical work experience will be included as part of your program, especially if you’re going for a masters. You want to make sure your program is going to help you get the kind of background and hands-on learning you’ll need to succeed in the workforce after you graduate. (It’s also a good idea to ask your advisor about specific course requirements, so you know exactly what you’ll be studying.)

6. What About Financial Aid?
Even though you’re not fresh out of high school, you’re still eligible for financial aid.  Don’t forget to check out scholarship options as well, as there are plenty for adult learners. Check out this page to get started.

What other things do adult learners need to think about before they go back to school? Add your thoughts in the comments below!

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at myFootpath.

About the Author: Noël Rozny is Web Editor & Content Manager at myFootpath, a career and education resource for students of all ages.

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What to Write for Work Experience When You Have None

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2012 was a year of change for many, particularly in the type of work people were seeking.  While our country realized unemployment is at some of the highest rates since the Great Depression, many found themselves exploring more gainful new job opportunities while often struggling to parlay previous skills into these new types of work.

Like many, I, too, entertained the idea of changing my career focus, and one challenge I faced was a lack of relevant work experience.  Here is some advice on how you can take the education and experience you already have and rewrite it so that you can apply it to a new career path.

1. Feature a career mission that leverages similar experience and education

If you are unable to show actual relevant work experience, creating a more robust career mission statement is a great way to tie together where you have been with where you would like to go next.  For example, if you are looking to shift your career from working as a Data Entry Clerk to a Business Analyst, you may want to rewrite your data entry work experience in a way that emphasizes the information and industries you have been exposed to during your work in this field and accentuate how this has given you business analysis-type experience.

2. Leverage your education in your career mission

If you have acquired a degree or even participated in formal higher education that in any way ties into what you are looking to do, use your education in lieu of your experience to feature your deeper understanding of this field.  While it does make sense to be honest where you lack experience, leveraging what you have learned can be a legitimate way to compensate for this.

3. Gain experience through volunteering and working for free

If you are unable to find a way to present the relative skills from either your past work experience or education that qualifies you to move into this new arena of work, a final and very powerful way to rewrite your experience is to actually go out and get it.  Volunteering a limited amount of your time to work for someone who already has extensive expertise doing what you want to do can be a great way to gain experience quickly.  Usually, you can also ask the person you are apprenticing with or even their clients to provide you with a recommendation in exchange for your free work.

4. Make sure your resume is formatted properly

Some industries have slightly different expectations for what a resume will look like and include. For example, in most cases, skills should be located towards the bottom of the resume, but that’s not the case for the IT industry. And resumes should be devoid of color or anything too fancy – unless you’re entering the graphic design industry.  Find example resumes in your field to make sure you’re following the proper standards.

If you’re in an industry without any special requirements, you still need a clean and professional resume format. Consider looking at Word’s templates or using a resume builder.

Many people will face an impasse in their career when they move from one type of work to another. While change might be what is in order at such a moment in your career, presenting yourself with the proper experience may be closer than you think. These techniques will hopefully help you translate your passion, vision and education into new real life opportunities.

About the Author:  Juliana Weiss-Roessler is a professional resume writer. She’s written hundreds of resumes and cover letters in a wide range of fields. You can learn more on WeissRoessler.com.

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3 Ways Embracing the Internet Will Help Your Job Search

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If you’re not looking for work using the web, it’s about time you did and the following simple statistics should persuade you. In 1998 (when only a small proportion of the world knew about the internet), there were over twenty-eight million jobs listed on the net. According to Pam Dixon’s book, “Job Searching Online For Dummies,” over 17,000 new job opportunities are posted on the net each week. The book further states that recruiters and employers use the internet to make approximately 48% of all successful hires.

As it is evident from these facts, a high number of recruiters and employers are making good use of the web and so should you.

Want to learn how to utilize the Internet as a job-hunting tool? Here are five handy tips on how to make full use of the web to breathe new life to your career needs.

1. Create electronic versions of your documents

Most employees still consider resumes and cover letters as a first measure for considering a job application. To ensure that you’re ready for any job opportunities that arise, you should keep an up-to-date copy of these documents in a computer folder just in case you’re required to feature them on your job application email.

2. Beat the competition by standing out

It is important that you invest in methods that make you to stand out and really attract the employer’s eye. You can do so by:

  • Posting video resumes instead of just written documents.
  • Design an online portfolio where recruiters can view your details in an exclusive manner.
  • Use social friends to connect with professionals within your industry. (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all good springboards for landing an online job.)

3. Narrow your options

As mentioned earlier, the internet features thousands of job posts on a weekly basis. Therefore, you are highly likely to drown in information if you don’t have specific preferences in mind. Before you even think about navigating different job boards, identify your niche and pick a specific industry (or region) where you feel your skills are in demand. You can narrow your options on job boards further by searching for specific company names, salary range, and experience requirements.

To remain up-beat with the happenings in your target industries, register for regular email alerts. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any good opportunities.

About the Author: Annie Dodson is a career consultant and blogger from Australia. She has been blogging for over five years, mainly about business, management and HR. Currently she is working as a marketing consultant at Apply Direct. In her spare time Annie enjoys cycling, yoga and cooking for her friends.

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Informational Interviews: The Best Job Search Tool You’ve Never Used

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Imagine a friend just arranged an interview for you at a fantastic company in the industry you’re looking to work. The catch: This is an “informational interview”. The employer does not have a job to offer you.

However, this is the best interview you may ever go on.

You may find it odd to interview where a position doesn’t even exist. And you’d be right… that is odd… And if you’re like many people new to the “Real World”, you’ve never heard of informational interviews. What do you stand to gain from them? And how do you get one?

An informational interview differs from a typical job interview in that you are not expecting to gain a job offer as a result. You should not ask for, nor will you likely be offered a job. This type of interview is… as the name implies… strictly for informational purposes. This type of interview offers you several benefits:

  • Networking is your most important tool in your job search. Impress the interviewer, and they may become an important addition to your network – and might refer you to people who are hiring!
  • Because this is not a job interview, you won’t be asked the standard interview questions like “what is your greatest weakness”. Instead you’ll be able to gather information beneficial to your job search like the best skills for a person in the position you want; company and industry information from an insider; and perhaps some high-level resume critique.
  • Because this interview isn’t about you getting a job, some of the pressure is off. Think of it less as an interview, and more as a meeting. You must be professional, of course, but you can relax a bit more than you likely would during a job interview. Work on building your interviewing confidence!
  • The interviewer is participating as a kind of favor to you – taking their time to help. Be sure to have prepared quality questions ahead of time. With the right set of questions, you will gain a lot of information.

Getting an informational interview is substantially different than how you secure a job interview. For starters, companies don’t post informational interview opportunities on the web, or on their company’s Careers page.

Getting an informational interview is about selling yourself, and networking:

  • Use your personal network to find referrals to professionals in your target industry, or even a specific company. Have a professor, LinkedIn contact, former boss or colleague speak with a friend of theirs on your behalf.
  • If you prefer to inquire more directly, ask your network member for the contact information of their referral. Approach the potential interviewer confidently via phone or email; be sure to mention the referral source: “Hello, I was referred to you by Bob Johnson. He said you might be a great person to contact regarding an informational interview.”
  • Remember that the person you contact has little, if anything, to gain from the interview. They are taking their time as a favor to you, or to their colleague who referred you. Be respectful of their time when scheduling the interview. And don’t get discouraged if you receive some rejections to your requests.

The informational interview is a vastly under-utilized job search resource. This tool can boost your interviewing confidence in a relaxed atmosphere, build your professional network and, in some cases, directly lead to in-turn referrals for job interviews.

Take advantage of these opportunities – and put yourself that much farther ahead of your job-seeking competition.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at YouTern.

About the Author: Dave Ellis is an original member of the YouTern team and is instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). Dave serves as YouTern’s Content and Community Manager, and enjoys his role as the company’s “Man Behind the Curtain”. In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals. Connect with Dave on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter!

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3 Reasons Job Seekers Should Be Excited About Their Prospects in 2013

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Things are looking up for job seekers, at least according to the latest unemployment report for February. Reuters reported that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest rate since December 2008. So after years of struggle, new opportunities, (236,000 jobs in the last month) are for the taking for job seekers and professionals wishing to change jobs and careers.

While the workforce makeup may likely never return to pre-2008 levels, 2013 will see the growth of several new employment sectors. If you are seeking employment, be optimistic. New ideas, prospects, and resources are available.

1. The Growing Economy

The American economy is improving. However, 12 million Americans are still currently seeking employment. While it’s progressing at a slower rate than everyone would like, it is headed in the right direction. The financial markets are closing in on all-time highs. Recent employment data has been positive, and forecasters predict continued growth in 2013. Approximately 170,000 new jobs per month are expected, with unemployment dipping below seven percent by the end of the year.

Over the last five years, employers’ needs have changed. Due to the economic decline, employers learned that they could survive and grow with a leaner workforce. Many former positions have been eliminated, but new prospects in technology, design, and networking have created a strong demand for trained professionals. The dynamics of our economy have changed and will continue to do so in terms of developing an efficient and effective workforce.

2. Better Online Resources

In addition to a recovering economy, the wealth of online resources for job seekers is almost overwhelming. Consider today’s tools for job searching in contrast to the standards of only 20 years ago. The landscape has been revolutionized by technology. Job search engines are prevalent, as are detailed job postings on companies’ websites. While the tried-and-true classified ads are still a resource, the digital world offers you greater convenience and accessibility, and a chance to really refine your search for the perfect position for you. All of these advances work to aid your quest for new possibilities.

Finding a job is greatly assisted by — and almost requires — multiple online resources today. These resources could include LinkedIn for networking, The New York Times or similar publications for the latest employment news, and Monster.com for endless job listings. These resources are just the tip of the iceberg. Access to your future career is easier than ever before. Online tools are only improving as search engines become more efficient and sophisticated to meet your needs. If you rely on five to seven career resources, you’re likely to be in a better position to sort through the noise and find your next employer. Begin with a general search, but pare down those postings to the genuinely promising ones that address your present and future skills 

3. New Career Opportunities

Many professionals have switched careers altogether in recent years. Switching careers is a brave and bold decision, but in our post-recession workforce, it can be the right choice for many. Over 3.5 million jobs are available in today’s economy if you have the right skills and experience. To gain these skills, consider online and offline resources that can help train you for a new field. Current knowledge in technology, operating systems, and network administration is sought after in many areas.

Skillshare is a great online resource to begin exploring. Offline resources, like the Flatiron School, also offer very skill-specific training courses that can be completed in a relatively short period of time. The course to build web developer skills only takes 12 weeks and can lead to immediate employment in many locations. My own company recently hired two web developers trained at this school; one previously worked in finance, while the other was a boxer. Change can greatly benefit not only your current situation, but your future opportunities as well.

A new year offers a variety of reasons to be optimistic about job market trends. Our economy is recovering, and companies are more willing to hire than in the dark days of 2008. With greater online resources available, the job search itself has become more convenient and specific for your needs as a professional. It’s possible to search locally or nationwide with the push of a button. This impressive technology — and the changing demands from it — have changed our workforce. With an open mind about your career and the skills that could most benefit you in the future, your potential is unlimited.

This post was originally published on Under30Careers.

About the Author:  Jeff Berger is the President of Digital Media at the Universum Group, the global leader in employer branding. Jeff is a thought leader in the employment industry and is also the CEO of Doostang, a community of over one million elite professionals with inside access to thousands of jobs from top employers. He welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Twitter or Google+.

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Stop the Resume Spray and Pray: 4 Tips That Make You More Employable

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We’ve all been there… reading a job posting’s exciting title, and then the laundry list of qualifications that we don’t have (but really wish we did).

“I don’t have all those skills yet. But if they’d just gimme a chance, I know I’d totally rock at this job,” you think to yourself.

So, you tailor your resume to fit the position as best you can – ignoring the fact that your experience level fails to meet all but one of the seven set-in-stone requirements. You write a scintillating cover letter that says you’re a “really fast learner” and that you’ll solve all the recruiter’s problems.

This all-too-common job seeker tendency is known as the “Resume Spray and Pray” – where we send our resume to every job posting we find interesting – even though there is little or no hope.

Why? We already know that recruiters hate when under-qualified candidates apply. Their job is to hire the best fit for the position. They don’t hire to give people a chance! Yet we do it anyway. And then we’re surprised and disappointed when we never hear back from the recruiter.

Listen up candidates!

If you are currently engaged in this type of an employment search, it is time for an intervention.

Here are some suggestions for making yourself more employable and for dealing with the stress associated with a prolonged internship or job search, without using the Spray and Pray approach.

1. Never Stop Learning

You’re surrounded by resources. Whether online or in-person, no matter where you live there are opportunities to build your skills – and become more employable. Community colleges, volunteering, networking, internships – all incredible ways to improve your standing as a candidate.

An internship at a mentor-focused company – for any age job seeker – is probably the single best method to gain experience. Not only do internships enable you to develop new skills; you also have the opportunity to network and gain an inside view of both a particular company and industry.

2. Renew Your Spirit

Through a mentor, a new frame of mind or perhaps a surge of inspiration… change your outlook!

The rejection people face when looking for work can be demoralizing. It takes a toll on our bodies and minds in the form of fatigue, lack of motivation and depression.

During your job search, enlist the help of supportive people… family, friends and members of your church… even past co-workers or a mentor. Arrange to meet with members of your support network on a regular basis, perhaps weekly or monthly, to review specific elements of your search. You may even want to develop and utilize your own personal “Board of Directors”.

The perspective you’ll gain – from people outside the voices in your head – will help keep you motivated and productive.

3. Refuse to Give in to Desperation

Finding a new job is not like being late to the airport, driving faster doesn’t exactly equate to getting there sooner. Look at your search as a full-time job… a real job! Get out of bed… get dressed… and put in a solid “work” day – every day.

4. Get a Job. Then Get a Good Job

Given current economic conditions many of us apply to positions where – although our experience may show we should be considered – we just don’t stand a chance against current competition.

Take a step back. Consider applying for positions with perhaps less responsibility. You’ll be earning a paycheck and re-building your sense of freedom and contribution. The position may not be ideal, but you don’t have to settle long-term for being under-employed. And in this position, while you hone your skills and remain relevant in the workforce, you can network and show off your work ethic and passion.

If you don’t agree on this point, I understand it is a difficult choice. While you are considering whether or not this advice applies to you, however, please remember the old cliché: “It is far easier to get a job, when you have a job.”

After considering this advice, the Resume “Spray and Pray” should not be an option for you.

Learn. Engage. Get active. Change your environment – and your mindset.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at YouTern.

About the Author: Dave Ellis, is an original member of the YouTern team and instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals. Follow Dave on Twitter!

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