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Five Ways to Take Control of Your Job Search

Jumping Through The HoopsFeel as if looking for jobs is a chore, completely out of your hands? Do you feel at the complete mercy of resume-screeners, interviewers, and HR departments? While these aren't totally false, feeling down by these facts isn't going to help your self-esteem and confidence...and that's not going to help you land that new career.

Career and executive coach Rob Hellmann details five ways to better assert yourself in your job hunt.

  1. Position yourself correctly. Focus on how you can help your target audience. Drop the jargon that is only relevant to your current or last job and use the language of the next.  
  2. Go out and get what you want. Don’t just wait for the ad to show up or for the headhunter to call. The way people find most jobs these days is by proactively leveraging their network or contacting people directly who they don't know. Don't be afraid to reach out this way.
  3. Proper communication is key. Make sure your “message” isn’t getting lost because of poor delivery. Get feedback from someone on how you represent yourself in various communications channels – resumes, emails, phone calls, cover letters, and interviews.  
  4. Don’t be too scattered. Trying to go for many different job targets at once can make things more difficult and less efficient. Focus on one thing at a time, with some overlap. You want to be perceived as an “insider” in the industry or profession you are targeting, and to do that you need to focus and build your network within your target.  
  5. Have fun! I recommend spending at least 35 hours per week on your job search if you’re unemployed and 15 plus if you’re employed, but you need to take breaks from the job search and go do what you enjoy doing. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it will come through in your interactions with potential employers. Spend at least a few hours each day doing something you enjoy. 
Rob Hellmann is a career and executive coach at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS). Contact him through his website at www.hellmannconsulting.com
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