Before we go on vacation, it’s always a good idea to take the car in and have the tires rotated, oil changed, and the brakes checked. After all, you are putting a lot of wear and tear on the vehicle, and it is a good idea to do some maintaining to keep in good running order. Using this logic, it also makes sense to do a regular ‘tune-up’ on a job search to make sure everything is operating properly and in optimum condition.
Here are some quick tips to assess how effective you are being in running an efficient, targeted job search:
- Are you a tired driver? What is your emotional state? Do you feel positive, energized, or have a hopeful outlook on your job search? If you are feeling down and listless, it’s time for a oil change and shift in direction to get the parts moving again. The success behind every job search really lies in keeping everything in motion. The moment you let one ball drop, the rest of them come tumbling down around you as well. You need to keep the engine that drives your job search happy and well-tuned, so if you don’t feel that great about how things are progressing, it is time to start doing things differently.
- Is your GPS working? If you carefully track your mileage on what works in a job search and what doesn’t, you will have a better idea of where you want to spend your energies. It’s always worth taking calculated risks in trying new tactics out to see if that provides any additional momentum. However, if you keep reaching dead ends, then it’s time to turn your job search around and head in a different direction altogether. Or else, stay on trusted roads that have plenty of job on-ramp opportunities.
- Watch your indicator lights. The people in your network can be your indicator lights letting you know in advance about hidden problems within target company cultures or can give you a heads up about things you can do in advance to pave the way to an interview. Keeping in touch with your contacts (that means refreshing them consistently) helps you stay in touch with all corners of your job search machine and be on top of any issues immediately.
- Keep your tires inflated. Being positive about your future is as essential as the air that keeps your tires inflated. You need well-inflated tires to be able to roll down the road, and the same holds true for your positive outlook. People are attracted to positive people, and you give off a ‘vibe’ that can be picked up on by interviewers, causing them to like you. If you are deflated, it acts as a push-back. So take a moment to evaluate what it is that puts a spring in your step, and make a conscious effort to include that in your day to keep the positive energy flowing.
Keeping your engine tuned and job search vehicle in prime operating condition requires upkeep and maintenance. Using these tips can help you stay primed and ready to respond to any opportunity that comes along your way on the road to your next job.
Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.