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Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Career, Influence FIVE! |

FIVE Questions To Ask Yourself When Stuck In Your Job Search

The role of a good coach (career coach, life coach, business coach, etc.) is to ask great questions that help you to find the answers to determine your path. Here are some great questions to help you coach yourself in your career path.

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1. Am I looking in the right places?

The path of least resistance is to fill out applications online, using hot job boards like, careerbuilder and monster, but the hidden job market is full of opportunities not seen by the typical applicant.

Consider looking at the online career section of a company that you have an extreme interest in working for, based on industry, company culture, location, etc.

Consider looking in another industry if the one you are in is stagnant or on the decline. Your skills are very likely transferable, and a carefully crafted resume can help you make an industry transition. A good career coach can help you think of ways to apply your skills to a new line of work.

2. Am I top of mind?

It is important to be top of mind in your network for it to be effective for you. Regarding your network, your influenSPHERE is the core where you stand to gain the most in terms of your career goals.

Who works in the industry that you hope to find work in? Who is a center of influence in a complimentary industry that would gladly speak to your strengths in the workplace. These are the people that it pays to be top of mind with. Follow up with them as your goals change, but also find ways to help them personally and professionally. Follow the golden rule by helping them first. They are them more likely to think of you if an idea comes up regarding your professional advancement.

3. Am I memorable?

As far as the submission process goes, to be top be memorable is a challenging task to say the least, but it can be done. Having a carefully crafted cover letter and resume is essential. That means doing your homework.

One resume does not fit all, and templates for cover letters can get us in a boring rut that can do nothing for standing out. Research the company that you hope to work for. Speak their language by tailoring your cover letter and resume submission. It is worth a few extra hours of work instead of submitting a standard resume immediately. Also important are subject lines that stand out so the reviewer is more likely to open your mail.

Resume and cover letters do not come easily for most people. It is a specialized skill, much like marketing. Consider getting professional help if you are not getting the results you want.

4. Am I casting a wide net?

The job market is competitive. Even in the hidden job market, competition can be fierce. That means you must be flexible in your search. Relying on one or two submissions to get you employed is rarely enough.

Using multiple strategies can increase your chances for finding employment. Some of those strategies include online job boards, hidden job market sourcing via your network, using placement agencies, attending job fairs, and even accepting freelance opportunities in the interim.

5. Am I being proactive?

One of the problems with the open job market is that it is often very difficult to be human in the process. Your resume is often a digital part of the process and you may never know if another human actually views it, much less who that human might be if they do review it.

If your homework leads you to the name of the recruiter, hiring manager, or decision maker, take an opportunity to reach out in a more personal way. Send them a note in the mail, a carefully crafted email, or even a phone call. Often job searchers are told that it is not acceptable to go around the “accepted process” but with all the competition for jobs, proactivity can be an asset that plays nicely to your being memorable. After all, that and resourcefulness are certainly traits that could transfer well to the workplace.