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Job Search Taking Too Long?

by Rosanne Beers
Career Coach

Ask yourself these questions to determine where your job search is stalling and what to do about it:
  1. How much time are you dedicating to your search?

    Serious job hunters spend at least 20 hours a week and 40 hours a week, if they are unemployed. If you are not making job hunting your top priority, you are kidding yourself.

  2. Is self-motivation your problem?

    Try to identify other job seekers, and meet with at least one other person on a regular basis to compare notes and cheer each other on.

  3. Are you unfocused on what you're trying to do?

    Hire a coach. You can't properly target perspective employers or create a positive impression in an interview until you have developed a strong sense of yourself. A coach is an objective partner who can hold your agenda for you and mirror back what you've identified as most important to you as you go through this complicated process.

  4. Can you verbalize your strengths and site examples of how you can apply your skills to benefit perspective employers?

    You need to thoroughly research a company and understand their particular needs to be able to do this. The two best ways to research companies are:
    1. Call the companies directly and ask them to assemble sales/service brochures, newsletters, annual reports, career pathing materials, or anything else that will help you learn about their operations and arrange to pick it up.

    2. Talk to people who work for the companies on your target list.

    Read whatever printed material you acquire before talking to people who work for the companies on your list. The printed material should help you ask intelligent questions based on your print resources. Tap your network to see who knows someone who works for the companies on your target list and ask to use their name when you contact the people you identify for an informational interview.

  5. Have you fully utilized your network to develop leads for unadvertised jobs?

    Use your resume to aid you in soliciting help from those you trust. By utilizing the approach I am laying out, you will be expanding your network as you continue through this process.

  6. Are you doing informational interviewing?

    Approach people you have identified who work at your target companies and solicit interviews to gather additional information about the companies and industries you are interested in. These people can help you expand your contact base further.

    At the end of each informational interview, ask who else you should talk to to continue your research. Your informational interviewees may prove helpful in later stages of your job search as well. Informational interviews allow you to gather information you can't find in print and get a sense of the company's values and culture. Don't take a resume to an informational interview. At this stage you are only trying to gather information to help you later. If you take your resume, it looks like you used the informational interview to identify job openings and you lose credibility. If you want to develop ongoing relationships, take the time to develop them now.

  7. Are you lining up job interviews?

    Use a multi-faceted approach:
    • networking

    • direct contact with employers via mail or telephone

    • recruiters

    • the Internet and

    • print media.

    Set daily and weekly goals for yourself.

  8. Are you getting interviews but no job offers?

    Solicit feedback and analyze your presentation skills. Successful candidates do both of these things.

  9. Are you determined to find a job that fits you?

    After the interviewer has indicated he's ready to delve into your background, politely ask if you can clarify one or two points about the company's goals and expectations for the next one-to-five years Your company research will guide you. Follow the same procedure regarding the position for which you are being interviewed. Find out what skills and personal qualities are essential for someone in this position. Ask if there has been anyone in this position that did not work out. If you get an affirmative response, probe for the contributing factors.

    Ask how your success or failure would be judged. By asking astute questions, listening, and reading between the lines, you should be able to do a good job of positioning yourself in relation to the prospective employers and objectives. You may discover things traditional interviewing techniques would not uncover. Before accepting any position, ask to speak with others you would be working with. Ask each person you speak with the same questions and compare their responses and your gut feelings.

    © Rosanne Beers & Coach University. All rights reserved.

    Rosanne Beers is a personal and business coach who helps professionals manage themselves better for a more fulfilling life. She can be reached at (515) 225-1245. She offers a complimentary coaching session to professionals and small business owners upon request. Her web site is located at She can be reached by email at [email protected]

    Coach University offers the Coach Training Program at

    The contents of this document are for informational purposes only. Please seek professional, legal, and financial advice where applicable.