Written By, Jennifer Parris
If you’ve been job hunting for a while, then you know that it takes finesse, focus, and a lot of dedication in order to land a job interview and ultimately be offered a position. But if your job search has become stagnant, it can be very frustrating as well. Use these five tips to improve job search focus and productivity.
5 Tips to Improve Job Search Focus and Productivity
1. Stop multitasking.
It might seem like a good idea to scroll through job postings while talking to a hiring manager and answer that email, too. But contrary to popular belief, multitasking isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
In fact, multitasking actually has the opposite effect; it slows you down, decreases productivity, and can decrease cognitive brain function. If you want the best results, focus on one thing at a time, such as writing a winning cover letter, redesigning your résumé so that it disguises any employment gaps, or learning how to use videoconferencing for that upcoming Skype interview.
By spending your time on one task at a time, you’ll do it that much better, and your productivity will soar.
2. Read job descriptions carefully.
If you thought that reading one job description was like reading them all, think again. In order to boost your chances of getting past the applicant tracking system, getting your job application read by a potential boss, and getting called in for an interview, you’ll need to slow down your job search and focus on each job description, reading it carefully and then crafting your job application to match it.
If you breeze through the description and send in a generic résumé and cover letter, you’re only producing quantity, not quality.
3. Take a break.
It’s easy to get stuck in a job search rut.
You might even find that you’re answering emails and sending out applications on auto-pilot. Frankly, that’s going to hinder, not help, your job hunt. But when you take some time to relax, something amazing can happen—you start to think of fresh, new ideas.
It could be something as simple as hiring a résumé writer to help you with your problematic résumé, or you might even discover that what you’re after is a career change, not another ho-hum job in the same career field you’ve always been in.
So give yourself time to breathe deeply and expand your mind to think of bigger-picture ideas. It can change the whole scope of your job search.
4. Think of where your job search might be going wrong.
Having the ability to be objective about your job search can be tricky, but ever-so-important when you’re cranking out what you consider to be good job applications and not hearing back from employers.
One way to improve your job search productivity is to be honest with yourself and do some serious job search self-assessment to determine where it is that you’re going wrong. Maybe you get called in for many first-round interviews but no second interviews, which means you need to brush up on your interviewing skills. Maybe you’ve gotten some iffy feedback on the quality of your cover letters.
Or perhaps you’re applying for positions that you’re not exactly qualified for. Take a good look at your job search style and figure out where the pain point is. By focusing on what’s going wrong, you can then fix it and make it right.
5. Keep reading.
Sure, job searching can take up a lot of time, feeling like a full-time job in and of itself. But you should still try to stay updated on all of your industry’s latest updates and information. Not only can doing so arm you with the info you might need during a job interview—and impress a potential boss with your current knowledge—but also it can motivate you to keep job hunting by reminding you of all the things that you love about your field.
Look for some industry leaders to follow on social media, and if you have time, read some biographies on how some people have achieved the success they have in their life. It can inspire you, boost your productivity, and reignite your job search focus.
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