Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 5, 2012

Searching for a job is a job of its own

By Jennifer Nichols
Tribune guest columnist

— Do you consider yourself a job-seeker? If so, my first question to you is, “How much time of each day, week or month are you spending in search of a job?”

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but your answer will help you determine if you are actually job searching or if you are just going through the

motions.

I often speak to individuals who consistently say, “I have tried everything,” or, “Nobody is hiring.”

That may be true, but often it’s not.

Job searching is not a hobby and requires a lot of discernment, investments of time and energy, and

persistence.

In short, it’s a full-time job to look for a job.

If you’re taking a casual approach to job-searching — that is, you are treating it no differently than you would if you were planning your weekend with some friends or family — then you’re doing it wrong. To make your job search successful, it is time to treat it like your job and to take a professional approach to your search.

The first step to professionalizing your search is to be choosy in the positions for which you apply. Effective job searching is far more extensive than submitting resume after resume. Applications often take a lot of time to complete.

Tracking down the materials that the employer wants attached to the application can be time consuming. Maintain your choosiness by applying to positions that you would actually consider accepting and those for which you are qualified to apply.

Instead of spending hours applying for every position under the sun, focus on two to three applications at a time. By being selective, you’ll be able to more easily succeed in the second step, which is to invest the proper amount of time and resources into your search.

You must tailor your resume to positions, research companies, attend job fairs, join networking opportunities in the community, volunteer, follow up with your recently submitted applications, and — if you are a student, alumni or graduate — make sure that you are touching base with your college or university’s career services office to aid you in your search.

If you aren’t doing all of that, then you aren’t giving yourself the best opportunity to be successful. Use every resource at your disposal, whether at school or within your community.

The final step to professionalizing your search is to be purposeful and persistent. If you passively look for a job, you will miss opportunities because your search is inconsistent. Do something each and every day related to your job search. If you actually want or need a new job, you need to make sure that you have not and will not miss a single opportunity.

Taking a more professional approach to your job search will save you time and create success. So quit going through the motions and get clocked in. You have a job (search) to do.

• Jennifer Nichols is the director of career services at Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo. She can be reached at jnichols9@ivytech.edu.