5 productive things to do during job search

So you’re applying and applying for jobs and the entire process seems endless and lifeless. And you don’t know what you’re doing wrong and why all your other friends have great jobs while you’re here typing out the same application information like a robot. Well, we’ve all been there and the economy hasn’t been doing us a favor either. Here are five things you should do while looking for jobs:

1. Volunteer your skills and experience for a project

You got a college degree and maybe a few months/years of experience. That’s great enough to help out for a newly founded startup, a nonprofit association or a friend’s creative project. Sure it’s not on your five-year plan but it definitely won’t hurt your resume. Actually in some cases, it can be your starting conversation to a recruiter or something that makes you standout. A couple volunteering sites to look into are VolunteerMatch, Idealist and AllForGood.

2. Start blogging or blog more often

Almost every job adds the “must have excellent communication skills” on the application and we probably add that on our resume too. But that isn’t enough to show what a good writer you are. Remember those creative writing classes back in school and ever wondered what use it would do in the future? To blog! (Ironic that I’m persuading you to blog more when this is my first post; but loving it already) Get out there and tell the audience who you are, what you love and why that’s important by starting a blog. Already have one? Blog on a monthly/weekly/daily basis to get your thoughts out there more often.

3. Up your social media presence

Our lives now revolve around technology meaning we need to keep up with it as well. Gone are the days when just an email account and a Facebook account meant you were a social media person. Start tweeting out on Twitter, write out your opinions on Quora, upload your photography on Flickr, connect with more professionals on LinkedIn, etc. It isn’t just a cliche that “the world is becoming smaller” since everyone is connected to another by one social media platform or the other.

4. Brand yourself

Along with your social media presence, your future recruiters want to know more about you. Create your own website/portfolio with a short bio about yourself and add all the social media apps you’re on. Connect it with your blog and include some of your favorite projects on the website as well. So if anyone googles you, your website first shows up with all your information. Creating business cards are a great way to brand yourself as well when you’re attending job fairs, meetups, networking events, etc.

5. Take up a coding class

Personally, I know a few friends who know how to code. And those friends can code really well. In your future job, you’ll either need to be familiar with a couple of programming languages or you’ll be working on a team with coders. Every tech event that I attend, at least one speaker mentions that learning a language will help your search, job and overall career.

All five of these things won’t guarantee you a job but they’ll definitely bring you closer to getting the job you want. Good luck on your job search!