Dear Career Coach:

I’ve been out of work for a while, and it seems that it’s getting harder to get an interview. I keep applying for every job I can find, but I’m not getting any response. I think that my unemployment is hurting my chances, and it’s getting worse the longer it goes. What can I do?


Job Seeker Joe

Dear Joe,

You are not alone. Many qualified job seekers are finding that it’s taking longer to land a position in this economy, and employers realize that, too. The good news is, I believe things are starting to turn around and we’ll see hiring start to pick up soon. Meanwhile, there are some solid steps you can take that will significantly strengthen your position in the job search.

First (and this is probably the hardest one), try to keep a positive attitude. Your optimism and energy reflects in your voice and words, and they have a powerful effect on your success—both in how you present yourself as a candidate and in how others perceive you.

One of the best ways to do this is to use your “between jobs” time to learn a new skill, or volunteer for some organization that could benefit from your experience, whatever that happens to be. Not only will it help get your mind off your struggle, it will help you network (you never know who you’ll meet), give you some additional skills, and provide you with a story that illustrates how you can be proactive.

Second, realize that online applications are often a “black hole” of cyberspace, but you can improve your chances. If your resume isn’t getting you the response you want, figure out what you need to do to change it. Do you have the right keywords on it? Check out job descriptions in your field to see if you match up. If not, find a way to legitimately include them on your resume—take a class, do some job shadowing, figure out how your skills transfer, etc. Research resume writing online for tips on how to write a killer resume.

Third, make sure you’re harnessing the power of social media. Are you on LinkedIn? If not, create a great LinkedIn profile, start connecting with others, join groups, and contribute to discussions. Research hiring managers in your industry, and start contacting them directly. Show them how you are a great solution for whatever problem they’re facing in their company.

And last, don’t forget to sign up for my free webinar: How to Get a Better Job—Faster! It’s job interview training like you’ve never seen before…you’ll be fired up and ready to go after the job you want.

Best of luck,

Peggy McKee

Career Coach

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, management, recruiting, and career coaching. Go to Career Confidential for innovative tools and powerful advice to land the job you want today! =>

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