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10 Tips for Easing Job Search Stress

You’re out of work and you’re missing that paycheck.  Stressed?  You betcha!  Anxiety during a job search is normal, and expected.  While it’s impossible to eliminate it, here are tips for easing job search stress:

1.   Surprise!  You do have a job—Approach your job search with the same professionalism and determination you would bring to a new position.  Wake up early, get dressed, and get online! It helps to follow a checklist of tasks to do and people to contact.  If you’re being proactive, you’ll feel less anxious.  Make phone calls, do your research, and contact and expand your network.  Consider Alumni and Business Associations, and LinkedIn – everyone you know could be a resource!

2.  Take stock—You may consider being laid-off a detriment, but it could be an opportunity.  Think about what you loved about your last job and what you didn’t. Now is the time to explore your options.  Do you want to try another role or industry?  Review your skill set and experience and determine what will get you excited about your next job.

3.   Tailor your resume—Your resume is your most important marketing tool, but too many people don’t leverage its power. A generic resume (even if it costs a bundle at a resume service) will not land you your next post.  For each job, you need to tailor your resume to highlight your skills and experience that best match the job description.  Do not rely on the cover letter to be the story – oftentimes, people skip right over the cover letter.

4.  Be open to feedback—Once you’ve compiled your resume, get feedback.  Ask friends, former colleagues, or a recruiter to peruse it.  Recruiters specialize in your industry and know what terminology and experience will “sell” you better.  Be open to making changes to land that next job.

5.  Get out there—You may not have any interviews scheduled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be meeting people.  Join networking, business user and alumni groups and attend meetings.  This gives you an opportunity to tell your job search story.  When you do get that interview, you will have your pitch perfected.  Volunteering is another great way to get out of the house, gain some perspective, and enhance your resume.  Look for non-profits that may need help in your field, so you can lend a hand while honing your skills. 

6.  Invest in you!—Purchasing a new suit or accessories to update your look (shoes, neck-tie, blouse, jewelry) can help motivate you to get out there and network.   Your confidence will project during the interview process - when you look good, you feel good.  First impressions are very important!

7.  Revisit education—Would you be more marketable if you took a course or became certified?  Look into classes offered by user and business groups, local colleges and online.  Taking classes is a great way to increase your skills, make connections and show that you have initiative.

8. Consider contracting—You may want a permanent position, but consider contract work.  It gets you back in the workforce, gives you a paycheck, and may even lead to a permanent role.

9.  Use downtime positively—While a large amount of your time will be dedicated to the various aspects associated with securing a new job, you will find that you now have some free-time and flexibility within your daily schedule.  Use this time to do something you love that time rarely allows for when you’re working full-time; revisit an old hobby, enjoy the outdoors, learn a new skill or craft, create art, exercise, garden, volunteer etc.,  this will help you maintain productivity and a positive attitude in an otherwise stressful time.

10. Ace the interview—Your revamped resume, additional course work, and networking WILL get you an interview.  Be ready!  Research the company and position so you can demonstrate that you do your homework and show how you’ll make an impact right away.  Align your skills and your successes – your role, and the results.  Sell yourself, be positive, smile, and ask smart questions. 

Follow these ten tips to help minimize job search stress and get you primed for permanent employment!

Photo Credit:  Geekologie