Job search going nowhere? Here are 10 ideas to try

By Tiffany Leong posted 06-24-2020 08:51


Job search going nowhere? Here are 10 ideas to try
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By Liz Ryan

It’s beyond frustrating to sit in front of your computer pounding out job applications and then waiting for weeks to hear a word back from employers.

After a few weeks of typing so much that your arms get sore without a single encouraging reply, you might start to think that your online job applications are going straight from your keyboard into the depths of nowhere!


You are right. You cannot conduct a 2020 job search by applying for jobs online and waiting for employers to respond. You have to take matters into your own hands!

Here are 10 ideas to try when your job search comes to a frustrating standstill.

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1. Re-brand yourself with a human voice. Read about Human-Voiced Resumes and one of their key elements, Dragon-Slaying Stories


Editor’s note: For more resume writing advice, read Resume tips: A guide to getting past the ATS machines. 

2. Make a Target Employer List and let that list drive your job search, rather than whatever job ads happen to be posted right now. 

Editor’s note: C
heck out this additional guide to creating a Target Employer List from The Balance Careers.

3. Use LinkedIn to research employers and to find your specific, individual hiring manager (aka your possible future boss) for each of your target employers.

4. Write a compelling Pain Letter and send it with your Human-Voiced Resume directly to your hiring manager. 

5. Network like crazyHave coffee, lunch or breakfast with at least one person a week and attend at least two larger networking gatherings every month. Networking is uncomfortable for a lot of people at first but the more they do it, the easier it gets!

Editor’s note:
 You can also have coffee dates or lunch dates virtually. Just pick a time and tell them to get their food/drinks ready ahead of time. If you want to pay for their meal, email them a gift card at least a day before. 

If networking events aren’t happening in your area, join online meetups and virtual networking events, and view BGS’ Global Alumni Events Calendar—if you see something that interests you, reach out to the chapter contact and tell them you want to attend! 


6. Get a consulting business card—if you were not a consultant before, you are one now! As you network with new acquaintances and old friends and colleagues, give out your consulting business card. You are not a needy job-seeker—you are a consultant and a problem solver!

7. Learn about Business Pain and its central role in hiring and in your job search. The key question to answer is “What kinds of Business Pain do I solve in my work?” You need to know what kind of pain you solve in order to approach hiring managers with your Pain Letters. 


8. Don’t sit at your computer for more than a couple of hours at a time. Don’t talk yourself into the false belief that filling out lots of online job applications will get you a new job faster. Activities that give you time and space to reflect are much more high-impact than another hour of clerical work—activities like walking, cycling, dancing, painting, reading or listening to your favorite tunes!

9. Spend as much time as possible with people who build you up, and as little time as possible with people who bring you down. If you’re working with a recruiter (or more than one) in your job search, be choosy. Follow the energy! Uplifting people deserve your time and attention—people who deflate you do not.


10. Finally, remember that you are powerful, brilliant and talented when you’re working and when you’re not working. You don’t need a business card or a job title to be significant. The minute it hits you that you have already accomplished a great deal on this planet and have much more to contribute, other people (including hiring managers) will see your flame, too!


This article originally appeared in the  spring 2017 issue  of HONORS Magazine and has been updated with links to additional resources. 


Liz Ryan is the CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, a publishing and consulting firm whose mission is to reinvent work for people.

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