How to Revive a Stalled Job Search

Have you been looking for a job longer than you'd care to say? Well, maybe it's time you changed up your game plan. Here are some tips to help you form a new career strategy.

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Wed, January 09, 2013

CIO — If you've been out of work and searching for a job for what feels like forever, it can be easy to fall into a rut. The only way out is to work your way through it.

JumpStart Your Job Search

Those who can adapt and grow will always have a better chance of getting hired. Easy to say, but what does that mean on day-to-day basis?

If you're like many job searchers out there, you're getting tired and feel like you've tried everything. You've filled out countless employment applications and written many cover letters while not getting many callbacks.

According to BLS stats, the median amount of time people are unemployed is 21.4 weeks or more than five months. And while it's easy to throw your hands in the air and give up, now is the time to regroup, reevaluate and persevere.

If you feel like you're at the end of your job search rope, here are some tips from industry professionals that can help you revive and breathe new life into your search.

Step Back and Reevaluate

Step 1, says Doug Schade, principal consultant with WinterWyman, is to step back and reevaluate. "What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results," quotes Schade. If you aren't getting any call backs maybe you aren't applying for the right positions.

When Schade works with clients he asks them how they go about their search and many times he finds that they are too focused on one position. "It's time to reevaluate. Are you applying to the right type of position and how else can you be going about your search?" asks Schade.

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Simply submitting dozens of online applications won't do when the IT market is so competitive. Identify companies you'd like to work for and go after them. Make an in-person appearance. Connect with people from those companies on social networking sites.

You have to be able to step back with some objectivity to truly evaluate your skills and the jobs you are going after. Then build a plan to sharpen the areas in which you are lacking. Take a class, volunteer your time or do contract work that will allow you to grow professionally while also shoring up any talent gaps.

Get Out and Interact

It's difficult for people to get a feel for who you are when you are hidden behind a computer. Clubs and professional associations can be indispensable in your job search. Attending events like these get you out and learning. They also put you in a room with people who are interested in the same things you are and could potentially be hiring.

Pennell Locey is vice president of Keystone Associates, a career-management and transition services consulting firm. Locey recommends giving yourself a jolt by putting yourself outside your comfort zone. "Buddy up with another job searcher, go to an event from an organization you might not normally attend or call someone whose ideas have interested you and schedule a conversation that might take you in a new direction."

Tighten Up Your Resume

If you've been staying active, chances are you've added some skills to your toolbox. Add those new skills from any side projects or groups to your resume and online profiles. Make sure that your resume reflects the keywords that recruiters and employers are searching for.

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