Using time productively is essential if you want to be successful in your job search. That means being organized and making each day count. If time is wasted, you will undoubtedly remain unemployed longer.
The primary culprit for most jobseekers is sitting at home, waiting for the phone to ring. Other obvious time wasters are pursuing leisure activities, taking vacations, or tackling long-overlooked projects at home.
Some people stay at home because they believe that once word gets around they are looking for work, the phone will ring off the hook with job offers. Unfortunately, that does not happen.
Others opt to stay at home and conduct their job search in writing as a way to protect their ego. A rejection to a letter is easier to take than one in person. Unfortunately, simply sending out letters and resumes as the primary job-search method produces a one-percent response rate at best.
Although staying at home may seem appealing, it will prolong your job search. No one gets a job without an interview and you cannot meet with a prospective employer if you are at home. It is too easy to get sidetracked and turn on the television, make a snack, catch up on some reading, or take a nap.
Put in a Full Day
Consider your search for a job to be a full-time job. Attack the marketplace! Spend six to eight hours or more each day looking for work. Put yourself in front of those who are in a hiring capacity for the organization or department where you want to work. You have to be active and make it happen for yourself. No one else can do it for you.
The bottom line is the more interviews you go on, the better your chances of landing a job. Your number-one priority should be to arrange as many interviews as possible. In order to accomplish that, you need to meet with anyone you can, from prospective employers to contacts who may be able to furnish job leads. Never turn down an opportunity to meet with anyone. Unless you have a previous appointment scheduled, offer to meet at whatever time is convenient for the contact, early or late. You must be flexible and willing to meet before and after conventional work hours.
If you make a call to a prospective employer and are told that there are no job openings, say that you would like to meet anyway. Be aggressive but pleasant. Do not take no for an answer. Some jobs do not exist but are created because the employer is impressed with a person’s qualifications. Even if you do not get an offer, the interviewer may be willing to provide names of decision-makers at other companies that might be hiring.
If you are able to obtain names of contacts in that manner, be sure to use the interviewer’s name as the source when you make calls for appointments. It sends a message to the contact that the interviewer thought their time would not be wasted by meeting with you.
One Name Leads to Another
In networking an interviewer’s contacts, you are creating a whole new field of potential job sources because of those individuals and the people they know who may be hiring if they themselves are not. There is no such thing as having too many contacts when you are looking for work. You never know where a job may come from – it might result from what appears to be an unlikely source or contact, an individual who knows or has heard of someone who is looking for a person with your background.
As your job search progresses, you should be generating more and more contacts. It is a definite danger signal if you suddenly find your field of potential sources narrowing down and you keep making calls to the same people.
Save as much of the "prime time" daytime business hours as you can for interviewing and networking. Do your contact list-building and other background work after hours, so your days are clear for meetings.
A contact list requires decision-making. Who will you see first? Who will you save for later? What appear to be your best, in-between and marginal prospects? Those questions need to be answered and a day-by-day schedule set up for yourself.
Save the Best for Last
If you are just starting your job search or are in the early phases, put off seeing your best contacts until later. Understandably, you want to see the best sources as soon as you can, but it is a mistake to move on them too early. First become familiar with interviewing and answering the kinds of questions that interviewers ask. You want to be skilled at interviewing before going to your best prospects, so practice first on your more marginal contacts.
One of the most important elements of a job search is momentum. Many jobseekers reach a point where they have had a number of interviews, believe they are under consideration at several companies, and feel it is time to slow down and await the results. After all, they may reason, "I deserve some time off because I have been working so hard at my job search. Surely one of the sources I have contacted will come up with a job offer, and maybe more than one. I can afford to take it easy for awhile."
Wrong. You cannot afford to relax or slow down. Keep up a full-time effort until you get a job offer. You never know what may occur at a company where you interviewed. An organization’s staffing plans have been known to change virtually overnight, and what seemed like a promising prospect one week may turn out to be non-existent the next. You simply cannot afford just to wait for an offer. It may never come, and in the meantime you are wasting valuable time.
In summary, there is no easy or automatic solution to finding a job. It takes hard work and long hours. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it, and the sooner you will become employed.