When was the last time you evaluated your job search performance? If you’ve been unemployed for longer than you’ve planned, you owe it to yourself to make a few improvements.
Self-assessment is an essential way to ensure your job search tactics haven’t gone stale. While silence from potential employers is the ultimate sign your job search isn’t going so well, it’s far too general to truly assess where your problems lie.
Here are five signs to help you evaluate where you need to switch up your search to ensure a speedier path to employment:
1. You don’t have a set job search strategy
One size does not fit all in terms of the strategies job seekers can use to get hired, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one at all.
One sign your job search might be failing: You haven’t put much thought into how you plan to get find a new position. The way you seek out positions is a main factor in how successful your search is.
Developing a strong job search strategy simply involves how, when, and where you seek out positions. Focus on your personal needs, time management, resources, and effort when building your strategy.
Some ways you can do this include creating and maintaining a list of job boards and online resources within your industry niche, establishing a list of networking contacts to build stronger relationships with, and managing your time by developing a job search calendar.
2. You have no industry contacts
It’s common for some job seekers to become so wrapped up in their search that they completely lose ties with the real world. And not having any contacts within your industry is a key indicator you’re not networking properly...or at all.
Switch up your search by placing a stronger focus on networking. This will not only speed up your job search, but also potentially eliminate searching altogether. This is because contacts you’ve developed a strong relationship with often send you job listings before they ever make it to a job board, or may pass along your information before a position even opens.
3. You’re focusing too much on social media
The professional use of social media platforms act as a great aid for your job search, but they shouldn’t be the only tool you’re using to secure a new position. Social media platforms add value to your personal brand during the search, but finding a new position involves a lot more than spending your days on LinkedIn.
For more beneficial results, utilize social media to actually connect with individuals within your industry. This means more than adding them as a friend--actively build relationships with these folks by organizing informational interviews via phone or simply grabbing coffee.
4. You wing it every time you have an interview
It’s surprising how many job seekers truly believe in blind attempts at success. If you’re regularly “winging” the majority of your interviews, it’s safe to say that you need to switch up your strategies. While there is the off-chance this might work, there is a greater likelihood you’ll come off as unprepared and unprofessional.
Every level of the job search and hiring process should involve a large amount of preparation. With the incredibly competitive job climate, your potential employers are certain to notice your lack of preparation and go with another candidate. Focus on developing better preparation habits to benefit you in the long term. You can do this by studying your resume to ensure ease when you’re speaking about your experiences, researching your potential employer, and practicing answers to typical interview questions.
5. Your job search involves more waiting than doing
Waiting is a strong indicator it’s time to redirect your job search. While this is often an unavoidable part of the search process, you should never spend the majority of your search waiting around to hear back from potential employers. This is where a level of proactivity is required.
If you haven’t heard back from potential employers in a few weeks, it’s time to make a call or send an email. Simply checking in on your status -- especially after an interview -- won’t hurt your chances of getting hired.
Don’t let a worn-out job search ruin your chances of finding the position you’ve been dreaming of. Regularly assess your job search performance to stay in tune with your success.
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.