Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

How to Jump-Start Your Job Search

Have you been jobless for more than 6 months? If so, it probably seems like forever, doesn't it?

To make matters worse, you may have fallen into a rut that's making your job hunt take even longer than it should.

Here are four ways to jump-start a stalled job search and get that position you really want, faster than you might have thought possible.

  1. Make your job search a full-time job

    If you're finding it hard to get motivated and get out of bed in the morning, make a change. Starting tomorrow, go back to the routine you had when you were working.


    You can gently trick your subconscious into thinking you are again a valuable professional -- and thus, more desirable to employers -- if you return to the schedule you had when you were employed.

    That means no sleeping in, watching TV or lounging around the house in dirty sweats. Don't do anything during your job search that would get you fired if you did it at work.

    Shave or do your hair every morning, put on your professional wardrobe, sit down at a comfortable workplace in your home, "punch the clock" and get busy spending at least 8 hours a day on your job search.

    And I mean 8 solid hours every day of networking (by email, phone and in person), following up on resumes you've submitted, researching companies you want to work for, responding to job postings, etc.

    You may be shocked at what 40 hours a week of concentrated job searching can do.

  2. Prime your network pump

    Because networking doesn't work miracles overnight, many folks give up on it after a few weeks. If this describes you, it's time to reassess how you've been networking.

    According to job search expert Peter Weddle, "In employment networking, the Golden Rule is that you have to give as good as you get. In other words, you have to share your knowledge, information and expertise if you want others to share theirs."

    That means you should be ready to give valuable information or a personal referral to everyone in your network. This will enhance your reputation quickly. Folks will be glad to hear from you when you offer suggestions that help them do their job better. Eventually, this can get you an introduction to someone who can hire you.

  3. Network with like-minded people

    To network even more effectively, focus on people you have something in common with. This kind of "affinity networking" can produce a dramatic increase in job leads.

    Think of all the organizations that you share an interest with. Examples include:

    • professional associations
    • social organizations
    • college or graduate school alumni organizations
    • high school friends/teachers
    • niche groups, such as Asian women in technology, African-American dentists, Gulf War veterans, etc.

    You should be able to come up with a dozen or more organizations. For more ideas, visit and search for Web sites and contact information. Then get busy networking. Because any group you have an affinity with can introduce you to job leads you might otherwise miss out on.

  4. Follow up like clockwork

    According to the April 20, 2004 issue of the Guerrilla Marketing Coach email newsletter, up to 68% of sales are lost due to inconsistent follow-up.

    You're probably missing out on an equally high number of job offers if you don't follow up consistently on every resume sent out, every interview you go on, and every networking contact you make.

    To do this right, give hiring managers one more reason to hire you every time you follow up with them.

    Example: provide additional samples of the money you've saved or earned for employers over the years. Never miss a chance to prove you can do the job you seek.

So, if your job search has stalled out for 6 months or more, pick one of the above four tactics and put them to work today. You could be back to work sooner than you think.

-Kevin Donlin

Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients in all 50 states and 23 countries. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, CBS MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly, CBS Radio, and many others.

copyright (c) by Kevin Donlin