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Article: A Dozen Tips for Staying Motivated in Your Job Search Related Resources

A Dozen Tips for Staying Motivated in Your Job Search
by Dr. Sandy Marcus

1. Recognize your motivational enemies in a job search. They are: constant rejection, constant failure, and lack of control. Don't let them make you inactive and lacking in confidence.

2. Look forward, not backward: Every minute you spend thinking about your past job is a minute robbed from your future. And anyway, your previous employer is no longer paying you for thinking about them; you're giving them free consulting time.

3. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. It is human nature to spend more time thinking about your weaknesses than your strengths, but getting a job and being successful in a career depends more on your strengths than your weaknesses.

4. Turn your goal into a vision. The goal of "getting a job" isn't enough. See in your minds eye the job you want, in detail.

5. Over prepare. Practice interviewing, get input on your résumé, get appropriate job search and career counseling and help. Remember, "good enough" isn't good enough.

6. Network, network, network. About 70% of jobs are obtained through some form of personal contact (such as personal networking and utilizing recruiters). Less than 10% of jobs are obtained through the Internet; so why spend 95% of your time on the Internet?

7. Make your job search strategy specific. Make a specific schedule listing your resources, actions, problems, solutions, expected results, and deadlines.

8. Attack your own excuses. We all have excuses for why we're not making the calls we need to make, or writing the letters we need to write. For example, don't pamper yourself into thinking that you can make a job search call only when you're "in the mood."

9. Never give up. Getting a job is a numbers game; the more potential employers you get in front of, the better your chances not only of getting a job, but getting the kind of job you want.

10. Maintain your professionalism. Being a professional is not a function of how you are treated by others or whether they recognize your skills. Being a professional happens when you behave like a professional. And the most important time to behave like a professional is when you are NOT being treated like one.

11. Write your résumé and cover letter for a skimmer, not a reader. Everyone knows that, but then everyone tries to make everything stand out in a resume. Can't be done! You have to be ruthless in deciding what is most important, and put that first. It will help your motivation.

12. Focus on your bottom-line value to the company. Sure, everyone talks about their experience and their skills, but companies hire because they need someone to help them solve their problems and achieve their goals. That's what to focus on.

Sander Marcus, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Professional Resume Writer in Chicago. He has over 3 decades of experience in providing career counseling, aptitude testing, job search coaching, and resume writing to tens of thousands of individuals. He is the co-author of 2 books on academic underachievement, various tests, and numerous articles. He can be contacted at, Dr. Sandy Marcus may be contacted at


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