Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If this is the case, then insanity is rampant amongst job seekers today.

Are you frustrated that no one is responding to the dozens of resumes you are submitting online? Do you find yourself discouraged at attending career fairs only to be told to apply online and then nothing happen? Not only is this unsuccessful practice a form of insanity, but the frustration will lead you to insanity as well.

Get off of this hamster wheel. The job search process is frustrating enough. There is too much in life you can’t control, so focus what you can control. If something is not working in regards to your job search strategy, then change it. Here are a few quick tips to increase an effective job search process.

  1. Talk with a career coach: Career Coaches have the experience. These experts know the job search process across industry and functional area of business. They know the pulse of business today and work to guide job seekers towards the goal of finding employment. Visit www.careerealism.com for a solid list of professional career coaches.
  2. NETWORK: I can just imagine all of the eye rolls are reading my recommendation to network. Simply put, networking is the key to finding employment. Remember that applying for positions online is only a piece of the process. It is not THE process. Too many job seekers spend their time only applying online. If this is your approach, you are missing the most important step which is to connect with real human beings. Humans hire; systems track candidates.
  3. 3. Build a solid and professional online presence. Your LinkedIn profile should be a comprehensive marketing story of your past successes and future abilities. You should have a strong presence on Twitter making sure you are following industry professionals and employers of interest. Use Hashtags to search for conferences in your field in which you cannot attend. Get involved and be seen. To learn the very best tips on social networking, please read Miriam Salpeter’s book “Social Networking for Career Success”.

I recently read that job seekers should stop focusing on pushing our resumes for a successful job search and instead draw people to you. The former is how you put yourself on that job search hamster wheel. You will keep running in place without getting anywhere near your goal. Get off the hamster wheel and stop the insanity in your job search and career management. Stop doing the same thing and expect different results.

While many career fairs are still yet to arrive on the calendar, many have already taken place.  For those who have already attended a career fair, the conversations were completed, the give-aways were received, and the applications were submitted online—now what?  Are you one of those people who attended a career fair and are waiting impatiently for a call from all of those employers?  Please tell me your answer is no to that question.  Here are a few tips to make the benefits of attending career fairs last longer than the day of the event: 

  1.  If you received business cards or wrote down the name of the person you met at the various career fair booths, make sure you write thank you notes.  Let me repeat that:  write thank you notes!  Email or handwritten is not the question here.  Just make sure that the people you meet receive thank you notes in one form of communication or another.  That is step one and one of the most important things you can do.  How many recruiters do you think receive thank you notes from career fairs?  Some do, but many do not.  Set yourself apart from the rest of the people who attend these events. 
  2. Make sure you applied online to the positions you discussed with the recruiters.
  3. Search for company representatives through LinkedIn, Career Shift or your campus director of former students.  Contact those individuals to build expanding relationships with people who work with the organizations that interest you. 
  4. If you are seeking an internship yet were told at the Career Fair that the employer will not be seeking interns until the spring, then be sure to connect with that company again later this fall and most certainly early next spring.  Work to get on this company’s short list of candidates. 
  5. If you did interview for a position at the career fair or soon afterwards and did not receive an offer, be sure and connect with this company again.  As I stated in a previous blog, “NO” today does not necessarily mean NO FOREVER.  Work to change that NO into a YES!