The most successful job-seekers have a long-term career strategy developed with smaller short-term goals to assist them in achieving a long-term goal.Your most basic goal may be to simply find a new job in your field, but even in this job market, that could be more long-term. Instead of dwelling too much on getting the job, put more emphasis on the process of finding the job.
In other words, create daily job-hunting goals for yourself. Make it a goal to accomplish several things each day, such as tracking down and following up job leads, applying for jobs, making new network contacts, going on job interviews.
It's a bit of a cliché, but the best way to really focus on finding a new job is to treat the job-search like a job in itself. Invest as much time, energy and commitment to FINDING a new job as you would if you HAD the job. The more things you can do today to find a new job will result in more job opportunities - maybe not tomorrow or even next month, but the rewards will come to you eventually.
Of course, everything counts - but let us use a marketing example to demonstrate that when you are seeking a new job you are basically marketing yourself to prospective employers.
Marketing is not just about having a great product, but also having the right packaging, distribution, price, and promotion to attract consumers. There are many stories of great products that have failed miserably because of some flaw in the other elements of marketing.
If you are struggling with your job-search, review your entire marketing package:
All products need some freshening at times, but they also need to have obvious features that are in demand. Review your accomplishments, education and training, and other elements that make you - or can make you - a strong candidate. Just as consumers love new and shiny products, so too do employers seek job candidates who have the best mix of education, training, and accomplishments - all packaged in a friendly, positive, and professional style.
The three most important elements in promoting yourself to employers are cover letters, resumes and interviewing technique. If you are not getting any interviews, the problem could very well be with your resume or cover letter. Seek advice from experts about the quality of your resume and cover letters. If you are going on interviews but not obtaining any offers, the problem may be with your interviewing style; consider asking a hiring manager who did not hire you to critique your interviewing style, or consider conducting a mock interview with someone in your network or an interview coach like myself.
YOUR DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS.
The vast majority of job-seekers who struggle to find a job in any economy typically are only utilizing a small part of their job-search distribution channels. When job-hunting, your most important channel for uncovering a job lead is your network of contacts - the vast majority of new hires result from a personal recommendation of a network contact. And with the expansion of social networking sites, networking has exploded online. Besides networking, other channels for uncovering job leads include: Web job boards (national, local and industry/profession), company job postings, trade publications, local newspapers, cold calling, recruiters and the list goes on.
In any job market, it's important to have a realistic idea of your value to prospective employers, but it is even more important in a weak market not to price yourself out of the chance to obtain the interview or receive the job offer. Use industry salary information to determine the salary you seek - especially if employers ask for that information from the beginning with a salary request. You should also have a strong understanding of the salary negotiation process so that you're ready when the time arises. Finally, you typically should not undervalue yourself when job-hunting, but in bad times, you may be forced to take a big cut in salary just to pay the bills; if so, stay determined that it is just a temporary setback until the market gets better or until you can find a better job.
ONE FINAL TIP.
Whether you believe the power that marketing has in job-hunting, the most important thing to remember is that you should always put your best foot forward in all aspects of job-hunting. You cannot be defeatist. You cannot appear demanding. You cannot appear or act overqualified. If you are not getting any interviews or if you are obtaining interviews only to be told you are under qualified or overqualified, the problem is indeed in the marketing of yourself - and you'll need to fix it before you'll be successful.