So you got your foot in the door but stumbled in the interview.
Or you're doing everything right--so it seems--and you still
haven't landed a job offer. Whether you've been looking
for a job for 6 days or 6 months, rejection is never easy
The job hunt can really be withering to your self-esteem.
Self-doubt, loss of energy, and the impulse to bail and
back to grad school can creep up at any time. It's important
to keep a level head, though, as your attitude will color
your interactions with potential employers. Everything from
your tone of voice to your posture must say, "I'm a
winner," even if you're feeling less than triumphant.
Here are some tips for keeping your head above water:
If all you're doing is thinking about jobs, reading about
jobs, applying for jobs and interviewing for jobs, it's
easy to see your job hunt as the single biggest thing in
your life. You need balance. Make sure you're exercising,
seeing your friends, and having fun.
Want a real dose of perspective? Volunteer at a homeless
shelter or a soup kitchen. When you're helping others, you'll
forget about yourself and gain a valuable new perspective
on your situation--which probably will no longer seem like
the worst in the world.
If your cover letter and resume just aren't doing the
trick in landing you interviews, or if you make it to interviews
but then have trouble securing offers, solicit a dose of
honest, constructive criticism.
Contact someone whose opinion you value and ask them to
read over your materials or take you through a mock interview.
Listen to their feedback, remembering that their goal is
to help you. If they think you're doing fine, listen to
them, and keep doing precisely what you're doing.
Join a Support Group
It can be tough to look for support from friends and family
who are all gainfully employed and have no idea what you're
going through. The best solution may be to find a group
of people who are in the same situation.
Many career centers--on-campus or private--offer support
groups for job seekers for a nominal fee. No access to a
career center? Look in the phone book under "career
counselors" and call around, asking for referrals to
such a group.
Take a Break
Sometimes things just take time. Even a job hunt has a
certain cycle you must go through, and no matter how hard
you try, you can't speed up the process. If you're doing
everything right, maybe it's time to back off a little and
give yourself some breathing room.
Give yourself permission to take a break--a day or two,
or even a week--where you won't do anything new on your
job hunt. Of course, you'll want to monitor your e-mail
and answering machine to see if anyone's trying to contact
you. But don't initiate any new steps until after your "vacation."
You'll likely return to your search with renewed energy