There is a lot of talk about forming good habits lately. I typically hear about habits in the context of drinking water, working out, or waking up earlier, but good habits are very important for job searching too.
Here’s something I see ALL of the time. Someone kicks off a job search and they go out of the gate strong, applying to tons of jobs and feeling really energized. Then, a few weeks pass and the energy fizzles out, the applications slow, and they have a few weeks where they are just “too busy” for a variety of (legitimate) reasons. Then, they get discouraged and wonder why nothing is happening.
The job search is a marathon, NOT a sprint. Frankly, it’s not even a marathon – it’s a GRIND. The only way out of it is doing the work, not just when you feel like it, but consistently. Of course, it’s fine if you’re having a slow week or are busy with other things, but that simply means your job search is not moving forward.
So if you’re feeling a sense of urgency, here are a number of good job search habits you should form today and then hold yourself to throughout the duration of your job search. I’m also going to share an awesome free app which will help you stick to these.
1) Review job alert emails once per day
I’m a big believer in efficiency when it comes to job searching and one of the habits I do NOT want you to get into is spending hours each day on job boards.
In order to avoid this, I recommend setting up job alerts (info on how to do that using Indeed here and the LinkedIn jobs app here) and then commit to simply reviewing them on a daily basis. Set them up for different job titles as well as by companies you’d like to work for. This doesn’t mean you’ll never have to visit a job board again but it does mean you’ll be doing a lot less of it.
2) Apply to X new jobs per week
The next habit to form is setting up a weekly application goal. Believe it or not, I don’t really care that much about what that per week application # is as long as it’s something you can stick to consistently.
For someone working on a full-time basis and passively job searching, 1-3 apps per week might be the right number and for someone who is in the “needs a job yesterday” boat, I’d recommend 5-10 per week.
Remember that not all jobs applications are lengthy. Both Indeed and LinkedIn have an “apply now” feature (companies can choose if they want to activate it) which basically just involves dragging in your resume and hitting one button.