Four Job Search Survival Skills You Need Right Now

By Joseph Ramirez

It’s midnight and you’re staring blankly into your computer at the the 15 open tabs that have jobs you’ve applied to. Your “cover letter” folder is exceedingly full (because you customize like a pro) and you edit your resume at least three times a day.

Whether you are unemployed or just trying to change careers, the stress will get you. The good news: You are not alone. The bad news: It still sucks. We all have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and beers to drink. No matter what brought you to this point of staring at your computer into the wee hours, we all hope for that magical response: “Hey job seeker, We want you!”

So you wait, and wait, and wait some more imagining how amazing you will be at your new job. And then you realize it’s midnight and no one is going to respond to you at this hour. You go to bed, only to wake up a few hours later knowing your only guarantee is waiting.

This is your current life.

Searching for a job can make your life insufferable. Here are four not-so-easy tips to help keep your stress in check while you search, apply, and repeat (and repeat)!

1. Find the patience to make it through another day.

That job you just applied to hired someone else, the recruiter or HR manager is out sick and your resume is getting buried in their inbox with all the others, and that super cool startup you emailed doesn’t have the staff to search through the mountains of resumes it receives. The point, you have no control of what is going on from a company’s standpoint. Be patient and try not to call 17 times a day.

2. Focus on what you can control.

Take control of the process and focus on what you can directly influence. After applying to (what feels like millions) jobs your resume and cover letter should be perfection. This doesn’t mean padding them with bombastic words or elaborate descriptions. Be concise, be direct and showcase who you are.

3. Own the process!

Be methodical about where and what you are applying for. Spending 30 minutes applying for a job you’re completely unqualified for is 30 minutes you could have spent searching for a better match. Take your time parsing through companies. Ensure they are a company you want to work for and the job enhances your skills and knowledge . Remember, these companies are looking for you, they just don’t know it yet!

4. For the love of stress toys…BREATHE!

Sometimes you start to lose faith in who you are and what you have accomplished. Going weeks or months with nothing but crickets on the job front feels like going to a magic show with no magician. Don’t give into the idea of failure — it couldn’t be further from the truth. Your success lies directly in front you, not behind you. I know, easier said than done, I’ve been there!

Job searching takes time, it’s not easy, and it’s rarely a speedy process. So remember to find some patience, focus on what you can control, own the process, and breathe. I can promise you job hunting doesn’t last forever and when you finally land your dream job all the stress and time will feel worth it.

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Originally published at