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Wake Up Your Job Search

Anyone can stay inspired with a job search that lasts a week. What if it’s three months later, and you’re still job hunting? How do you change boredom and frustration to motivation?

Get inspired

Inspire yourself. Listen to music, watch an inspiring movie. Talk to someone encouraging. Pray, meditate, worship. Find a couple of things that help you turn around your attitude and use them.

  • Take a break: Instead of trying harder, take a walk, ride a bike, bake brownies, or run an errand.
  • Challenge yourself: If you’re a gamer, start keeping score. Can you increase your interview ratio? Make more calls than you did yesterday.
  • Learn or teach: Can you renew your interest with new information? (You could start by subscribing to my weekly e-newsletter). We rarely learn as much as when we teach. Can you help someone else?
  • Acknowledge your achievements: Read your resume. Remember each detail of each accomplishment. Relive the moment. Feel how proud you were. Who was with you? Did you celebrate? If not, now is the time.
  • Partner up: Find a friend or acquaintance in the same predicament and agree to hold each other accountable for a certain amount of work per week.

Use engaging job search strategies

You’re likely to need to conduct a job search several times during your career, so why not make it the most pleasant experience possible? That way, you might persist a bit longer, make a more concerted effort, and give yourself a better chance of success.

  • Start a blog: Be considered an expert in your field, and be found by blogging about news in your industry, how you would approach current problems in your field, and answer questions posed by others who do what you do.
  • Scramble the process: Instead of waiting for the employer to call your references, ask a reference to call the hiring manager to put in a good word for you.
  • Tell a story: Turn your elevator pitch into a 30-second story about an accomplishment.
  • Reward yourself: Set a goal and a reward. Five phone calls gets you a bike ride. Finishing the cover letter means a game of solitaire. An interview gets you a movie and an evening off.

Be creative with your resume

You can be creative with your resume without being outlandish. Use:

  • Tasteful graphic elements: The main thing to remember is that anything you add to the resume must add meaning, not decoration.
  • Color: Color and format interest can be appealing and, more important, lead the reader’s eye where you want it to go.
  • Font size: Keep it consistent in the body of the resume with larger size type for your name and section headings.
  • Lively writing: The best way to make your resume stand out is to write great content that matches your target position. Tell stories that offer examples from your experience.
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