Getting Over the Job Search Slump

Posted on: August 20, 2014

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeeded.” ~ Michael Jordan

It is exhausting, hard work, and time consuming…We’re talking about the job search. An essential part of any student’s life, researching and identifying the dream job you want does not come easy. There are numerous tools and online resources as well as Jones International University’s career services center to help you through the difficult process, but the job search can certainly be a physically and emotionally draining. While it can be discouraging to constantly apply for jobs with minimal return on investment, we’re offering some non-traditional ways to combat the job search slump with tips and tricks to freshen up the career conundrum.

Think out of the box—Many students envision their dream job within one specific industry. However, there are many industries outside of the silo that can use your expertise and assistance. For example, in business, every type of company needs a business expert, whether they’re in the oil and gas field, advertising industry, or even retail. Start thinking about ways your education and skills can be transferred into different industries and search for jobs in those markets. Oftentimes, you’ll find more opportunities by thinking outside the box.  

Use what’s in front of you—Are you really proud of a paper you wrote or an idea you developed that could potentially change your industry? That’s what some post-graduate students have done in the past—leverage an idea or class project they worked on and applied it to make it their career. For example, in an Intro to Engineering class, one student co-invented a device that she later turned to patent and used to launch her own startup…and it all stemmed from a project she started in her class. Whether you have a physical device or even just a philosophy about how your career field should operate, using those ideas to your advantage in job interviews and applications will help you stand out from other candidates. Hiring managers will note your passion for the industry and remember your unique philosophy.

Employ Positive Reframing—Applying for every job under the sun and getting rejected by every single one of them takes a serious toll on your confidence as a professional as well as personally. That’s why it is important to reframe your mindset in a positive manner. Try looking for something of value in every negative job search experience you might have. Examine your mistakes and weaknesses and turn them into lessons you can learn from. Think of them as motivators to improve your future performance and professional outlook. For example, you might not have a specific skill set a job requires, but perhaps your passion, enthusiasm ,ability to learn quickly and adapt to new environments are the stepping stones you need to convince your future boss  you have what it takes.

Promote Yourself—One of the main reasons why people get in a job search slump is because they don’t understand the basic mechanics of job hunting. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is start promoting yourself as a brand. How well do you sell the product that is you? You promote yourself with professional dress, good hygiene, etiquette, speech, etc. Have someone with good language skills review all of your written communications too. In addition, start thinking about how you might brand yourself on paper—maybe you can make your name into a graphic element that you can use as a header on all written job applications you submit. Tools like InstaLogo or LogoTypeMaker are cheap and great places to start building your personal brand. You could also create a personal website for yourself that has your work philosophy, resume, and social media networks right online so hiring managers can instantly search your credentials at a one-stop-shop. Website building tools like Weebly.com are easy and  intuitive—you don’t even need to know anything about web design to get started.

Remember that you’re not alone in this process. It takes months, even years for some people to find a job they enjoy. However, we know it’s all worth it in the end. We hope these tips and resources will help give you the boost you need to jump back into the job hunt!