Searching for a job is intense — especially when you’ve been doing it for a solid six months. It’s easy to give up and drown your sorrows in Netflix episodes of Modern Family and a pint of Haagen-Dazs.
And when you’re not glued to Netflix, you’re glued to your other mobile devices — anxiously awaiting any good news from hiring managers.
In a 2014 Glassdoor survey, 59 percent of job seekers believed they had a better chance of being considered for a job if they applied as soon as the job was posted online.
But is it really helpful to be glued to your mobile device all day? No. Because there are plenty of other activities that are considered work than just applying for jobs all day. If you let your resume and skills ferment long enough, they won’t be as valuable anymore.
Here are four ways job seekers can stay present in the workforce and in life — even if they haven’t landed a job just yet:
1. Get certified.
Take a class in something that may be of interest to hiring managers, could set you apart and make employers take notice of your resume. Maybe you could accomplish your goal with more education or training, but you’re not in a position to go back to school at this point. The answer just might be earning a certification in your current field or a new one.
The job market is extremely competitive. Instead of explaining the six-month gap in your work history, it’s easier to explain you were expanding your education and taking classes during that time that contribute to the position for which you are applying. Attaining a certificate permits you to build skills and knowledge that can help you do your work better — and most hiring managers know that.
2. Blog it out.
Stay two steps ahead of hiring managers by creating your own personal brand. Most often, they conduct online searches on job candidates before deciding whether to offer them interviews. Chances are, hiring managers will search your name on the web and look for evidence of involvement in business networks and community projects.
Create a personal blog and write about topics that matter to employers. A personal blog is something done on your own time and shows your work ethic and willingness to go above and beyond. You could even include the link to your blog when applying for jobs.
They want to find examples of success at work or internships, college or volunteer positions. Keep in mind any material on your blog should be professionally written and error free. Consider what special projects you have worked on in the past, and create a special tab for your portfolio.
3. Use your body instead of your brain.
Sometimes, clearing your head is the best way to get back on track during your job search journey.
Instead of scouring job boards 24/7, try doing something you consider stress-relieving. It’s important to take care of your body as well as your mind and find inspiration in other ways.
Find a nearby trail and go for a run to get some fresh air, or grab some friends and sign up for a fun group exercise class. These examples may seem very basic but are simple stress.
4. Take a roadtrip.
Visit a few places in your state where you’ve never been before and find your inspiration in other ways. It’s important to step back from your routine for a day and have some fun.
Spend a day or two driving to a city and explore. What businesses are there? What do people do? Is there a museum? Give yourself a chance to learn something new. You never know where life will take you or who you will meet unexpectedly.
How are you working during your job search?