Searching for jobs is rarely easy, so it's important to use the best strategies possible. Since it's usually a lengthy process, good job searching habits are key to staying in the game and landing the position you want. If you just spam resumes without a game plan in mind, you'll be giving yourself a huge handicap.
SFGate came up with the top five job search habits which we've collected for you below. While the points are broad, sticking to them will help you stay focused and on-track.
1. Persistence – Whether you've adopted a fire and forget attitude or have given up entirely, forgetting to be persistent can shut more doors than you might realize. Never assume that your applications and emails have been received, read, or processed. Companies and hiring managers tend to be overwhelmed with emails, and it's very easy to let one slip through the cracks – you might be that one. Rather than spamming companies, wait roughly one to two weeks before reaching out to a company or individual to confirm that they received your information. If you don't hear back after the second or third email, then you can forget about it.
In a general sense, don't ever give up the search. The day you wake up and decide to drop the whole thing is the day you've truly lost out. Just make sure you always evaluate your approach so you're not beating your head against a wall with strategies that don't work.
2. Follow Up – In lockstep with persistence, always follow up. Whether it's a call, text, or email, it's better to follow up on an initial outreach. Don't take silence as rejection: there are litanies of reasons why an individual or organization hasn't reached out to you. Following up, whether after a job application or an interview, puts you back in the minds of whoever you've contacted. Even if it leads to a confirmed rejection, it's better to know than to let your imagination run wild.
3. Resilience – Searching for jobs usually comes with a huge dose of rejection. If you have difficulty coping with it, you'll be worse for wear in the long run. There are many ways to handle it, so the important thing is to pick whatever works for you. Even at the best of times, searching for a job is a strenuous grind that can wear you down and a string of rejections will damage anyone's ego. Think about a job search as a marathon: you're in it for the long game, not a quick win.
4. Stay Connected – While it's possible to find a job with a cold application, it's generally a lot easier to find a position through your network. The people in your network can point you towards job openings in their company or to people they know who have them. Either way, staying connected broadens and reinforces your support system and the chances that you'll find an opening. Plus, once you find a position, companies tend to hire people who are recommended by people who know them. It's a lot easier to trust someone they can be vouched for.
5. Give Back – You've probably benefited from a helping hand during your career, so don't forget the people you know who could use one too. Whether you're in a low point during your job search or just landed your dream position, keep in mind the people you know who could use some help. This is a great way to tend and expand your network while strengthening ties with other professionals. You never know, advising someone on their resume might lead to a big payoff later in your career. Plus it's always a good idea to help those in need!
Find the Right Veteran Job
Whether you want to polish your resume, find veteran job fairs in your area or connect with employers looking to hire veterans, Military.com can help. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to have job postings, guides and advice, and more delivered directly to your inbox.