A Dozen Tips for Staying Motivated in Your Job Search

Of all the social networking sites out there, the best one for finding employment, is LinkedIn. The premise for LinkedIn is to get in touch with your network of previous colleagues, classmates and friends. It takes a "six degrees of separation" approach and when you connect with your immediate network (first degree), you are also able to see to whom they are connected and so on up to three degrees. If you are interested in reaching out to one of your network's connections, you ask to be introduced. With over 37 million people already on LinkedIn, the network you may have access to is huge.

In addition to the paid job postings in which companies advertise on LinkedIn, Recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates for their positions. When you enter your profile information, it is like displaying your resume for the recruiters and hiring managers to find. You can also go one step further and ask previous colleagues to recommend you, which is where they write a paragraph or two endorsing you through their experience working with you. It's like having a reference letter for anyone to see!

So how do you get started on LinkedIn? Go to the LinkedIn website and go through the steps to sign up. When you are asked about your contact preferences, be sure to choose the category "career opportunity" so that recruiters and hiring managers feel comfortable contacting you regarding a job they may have.  Enter all of your information as if you were writing your resume, including key words, duties and accomplishments. You may even use your resume for this step. Once you are comfortable that you are appropriately represented, begin inviting people to connect to you. You will need their email addresses to do this step, unless they come up when you search on previous employers. In that case, if they've listed the same company, you will be given the opportunity to connect to them. You will see people responding to your invitations right away. 

Once you become connected, ask individuals to endorse you. Here is where they have the opportunity to describe their experience working with you. A good way to ask for this favor, is to write an endorsement for them first. Everyone likes to be able to show off positive words that others have to say about their efforts. And you can bet that any recruiters or hiring managers who view your profile will be looking for endorsements to get a pre-reference, if you will.

Consider updating your status to tell your network what you are looking for in your job search. Make it brief, such as "looking for a new opportunity in the Los Angeles area in Sales" or whatever your field is. This alerts people that you are actively looking - it's like having your own classified ad for hundreds, even thousands to see. 

Building your network is an on-going endeavor. You should continue to build it long after you get your next job, as it's good to keep your network fresh and active. You may wish to add people with whom you interview as you go through the job search process.

Utilizing LinkedIn for your job search is a great way to maximize your network to help you land that perfect job!

1.
They are: constant rejection, constant failure, and lack of control. Don’t let them make you inactive and lacking in confidence.
2.
: Every minute you spend thinking about your past job is a minute robbed from your future. And anyway, your previous employer is no longer paying you for thinking about them; you’re giving them free consulting time.
3.
It is human nature to spend more time thinking about your weaknesses than your strengths, but getting a job and being successful in a career depends more on your strengths than your weaknesses.
4.
The goal of “getting a job” isn’t enough. See in your minds eye the job you want, in detail.
5.
Practice interviewing, get input on your résumé, get appropriate job search and career counseling and help. Remember, “good enough” isn’t good enough.
6.
About 70% of jobs are obtained through some form of personal contact (such as personal networking and utilizing recruiters). Less than 10% of jobs are obtained through the Internet; so why spend 95% of your time on the Internet?
7.
Make a specific schedule listing your resources, actions, problems, solutions, expected results, and deadlines.
8.
We all have excuses for why we’re not making the calls we need to make, or writing the letters we need to write. For example, don’t pamper yourself into thinking that you can make a job search call only when you’re “in the mood.”
9.
Getting a job is a numbers game; the more potential employers you get in front of, the better your chances not only of getting a job, but getting the kind of job you want.
10.
Being a professional is not a function of how you are treated by others or whether they recognize your skills. Being a professional happens when you behave like a professional. And the most important time to behave like a professional is when you are NOT being treated like one.
11.
Everyone knows that, but then everyone tries to make everything stand out in a resume. Can’t be done! You have to be ruthless in deciding what is most important, and put that first. It will help your motivation.
12.
Sure, everyone talks about their experience and their skills, but companies hire because they need someone to help them solve their problems and achieve their goals. That’s what to focus on.