6 Ways To Stay Motivated In Your Job Search

November 10, 2021
5 mins

Photo by Scott Graham.

If you start to feel like you’re losing motivation in your job search, instead of pushing forward in the same way, it may be time to pause and reconsider your entire approach.

If you've been searching for a while without achieving the results you're looking for, it's natural to experience a drop in motivation and energy. This is especially true when you've already got a job and are looking for your next one in your free time.

Here are some tips to help you stay on track so that you’ll glide easily towards that job you’ve always wanted.

Photo by firmbee.com.

1. Allocate enough time to your search

Let’s start with some balance and scheduling regular well-being breaks. When you come home from work exhausted, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is spending more hours in front of the screen sending out applications.

However, searching for a job does require an investment of time and effort. The key is to allocate a set time each day (or alternate days), and use that time efficiently.  

If you’re too tired in the evenings, block out some time at the weekends when you’re more relaxed and refreshed.

There are no hard and fast rules for how much time you’ll need for a job search. If you're already in full-time work, setting aside at least 7-10 hours per week will help you achieve your goal within a reasonable time frame.

Treat your search like any other work-related project – allocate enough time and resources, and set a deadline so that it doesn’t stretch out endlessly.

2. Be organised

When you have multiple applications on the go, and leads to follow up from your network, it’s hard to keep track of your progress. It’s also difficult to draw any conclusions about the efficacy of your search methods and ways to improve your strategy.

Have you been sending multiple CVs, but getting no responses? Are you being invited to first interviews but never getting beyond that stage? Are you entirely reliant on job boards, rather than using your contacts to find leads or seeking out opportunities to network?

Whether you use one of the many free tools such as JibberJobber and Huntr or just a simple Excel spreadsheet, tracking your search activity – from identifying the opportunity to the outcome, will help you stay organised and make it easier to assess your progress.

3. The right mindset

A positive and agile mindset is the most powerful tool you can have to protect you against losing motivation.

Before you get back to your search with renewed energy, take some time to focus on your progress to date. What strategies have you used that earned even the smallest wins and how could you build on them? Use the feedback you’ve already received to consider what you could do differently in the future and try to refine your approach.

Reflecting on your feedback in order to tailor your approach will ensure you’re consistently taking steps to get you closer to the job offer you want.

Photo by Bruce Mars.

4. Revisit your CV

Most employers use automated screening tools to filter out irrelevant applications so you'll need to tailor your CV each time you approach a company. This takes time but will pay off for two reasons.

The first is that when your resume is rich in relevant keywords, it’s more likely to pass through the initial screening stage and be read by a human being!

The second is that recent research suggests, that the vast majority of hiring managers make their decision based on soft skills – something that traditional chronological CVs often fail to highlight.  

To make it easier for yourself, use a tool such as WordClouds – just paste in the job posting and it will extract the keywords that a particular employer is using.

And don’t waste precious hours formatting – a simple layout, saved as a .pdf will make it easier for the AI screening software to pick up the key words it's looking for.

5. Make your cover letter shine

Applicants often underestimate the importance of a great cover letter. But it can be a great investment of your time, especially when you’re applying for a position directly, or via a referral from your network.  

It’s the first and best chance you’ll have to introduce yourself and capture the interest of a hiring manager who may have hundreds of almost-identical CVs to review.

So don’t let it be boring or predictable. Make each cover letter unique, explain why you are the one who can solve the problem that the company is facing. Let your personality and strengths shine through.

Use keywords authentically and you’ll increase your chances of being viewed as a great potential match with your new employer.

6. Treat each interview as if it was your first and only one

Attending interviews and still failing to secure the job can be soul-destroying. But it’s vital to stay on top of your interview game.

Although you want to keep all of your options open, and may have several applications progressing at different stages, when you're invited for an interview, treat it as a unique opportunity. Treat every interview like any important business meeting – go in with the outcome you want in mind.

Prepare actively. Do plenty of research into the company. Contact others who work there -even on LinkedIn if you don’t know anyone personally. Find out all you can about the culture, their challenges, and even their dress code.

Enlist your friends, family and colleagues as your cheerleaders – let them remind you of how great you are! Use their support to help you enter each interview room with a winning mindset.

Make it a genuine two-way discussion. You need to get a feel for the interviewers as much as they need to get to know you. Treat it as an opportunity to get you one step closer to that job you’re searching for. Analyse what went well, what could have been better. Leave each interview feeling stronger than when you went in.

The best way to avoid losing job-search motivation, is to take full control of your search. Getting organised to track your journey is a great starting point. Focus on the quality rather than the quantity of your applications. Be realistic about time frames to ensure your motivation will stay high. Treat each opportunity as a unique chance to shine.

And, if you feel in need of some job-search inspiration - check out the helpful resources on our website to land your dream job faster!

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