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How’s Your Job Hunt Going?

If your job search needs a jumpstart, it pays to sit down and analyze your situation. You should carefully question everything you’re doing. But, be careful -- the wrong questions can be harmful to your career health.

Example: Never ask yourself questions like, "Why can’t I find a job?" Or, "Why won’t anyone hire me?"

Such “Why” questions will prompt your brain to give you excuses instead of answers -- you’re too old/too young/too experienced/too stupid, etc. There’s not much you can do about being young or stupid, is there? Which just leads to more frustration.

Instead, when analyzing your job search, ask yourself empowering “How” questions like, "How can I generate just one networking lead today?" Or, "How can I meet someone who works at 3M?"

Such “How” questions lead to actionable ideas like these: you could call an old buddy from high school, someone you worked with two years ago, a neighbor who works for 3M, etc.

See the difference?

Let’s follow this logic and replace two common “Why” questions with more-empowering “How” questions that can get you hired faster …

  1. Why is my job search taking so long?

    This “Why” question will produce more frustration than answers. Instead, examine every aspect of your search and ask yourself this “How” question: How could I improve this?

    Analyze the following:

    • Where you look for job leads each day
    • The resume and cover letters you send out
    • Your networking activities
    • Your job interview skills

    If you could improve each of those areas by just 10%, you would enjoy an overall 40% increase in the effectiveness of your job search. Do that and you can’t help but get hired faster.

  2. Why aren’t employers calling me?

    This is another question that will generate a long list of frustrating possibilities, none of which is fun or useful to contemplate.

Instead, ask yourself, How could I get in front of more decision makers who can hire me? Answering this “How” question will encourage you take positive action. For example, you could:

  1. You will learn new ways to meet hiring managers and recruiters. That’s the obvious benefit.

  2. Your calling for advice will flatter those people, making them more likely to remember and recommend you to potential employers. This is the not-so-obvious benefit. (Is it self-serving, too? Perhaps, but it’s not illegal or immoral is it?)

-Kevin Donlin copyright (c) by Kevin Donlin Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and job search help to clients in all 50 states. Author of "51 Ways to Find a Job Fast -- Guaranteed," Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio and many others. As a reader of this publication, you can get a Free Job Search Kit ($25.00 value) at the Guaranteed Resumes Web site - The Instant Job Search System.