The job search these days is a long and arduous process. For most of us, gone are the days of mailing out unsolicited resumes, getting calls for multiple interviews, and picking your best option from several job offers. Several members of my graduate program cohort and I are still in the throes of finding a job, even with freshly printed Masters degrees not yet in hand.
- Set realistic goals and pace yourself. Are you doing a national or local search? What is your timeline for starting a new job? Depending on where you’re looking and the number of jobs available, you may or may not be able to land a job immediately. Set some goals to submit a number of applications each day or week, timelines for follow up, and checking websites for new jobs. I spend about an hour looking for jobs then another hour or so editing resumes and cover letters and completing applications. After that, I take a break for the rest of the day.
- Find your niche job sites. Before I started my masters’ program, I had no idea how many websites were dedicated to just jobs in higher education. Now that I know of them, I can cast a bigger net when looking for positions without wading through pages of jobs on general job search sites.
- Create job agents. A job agent is a setting on many job websites that allows you to save settings (like if you are interested in a specific area within a field or looking for a certain location). I have ones set up for jobs in my area (both Georgia and South Carolina) and for online / remote jobs and receive a daily email for potential matches.
- Take a break. You may be thinking I’m crazy for suggesting you stop looking for a job when you need a job. My definition of a break is a few days. If you have a job agent, you can still be notified of new positions every day and then you decide if you want to apply for them. New jobs don’t materialize out of the sky, so spending hours every day looking does nothing but stress you out.
How do y’all keep your sanity in the job search?
If you need a job search pick-me-up, check out this post.