Avoiding the Black Hole of the Job Search

Everyone knows that a job search takes time, patience, and persistence. And we all hate that it takes time and requires patience and persistence! There is nothing you can do to change the amount of time or effort that a job search takes. But there are some things that can help make your efforts productive.

The goal is to identify jobs that are right for you, apply for those jobs, and then get called for interviews. These are attainable goals and there are ways to optimize your efforts.


  • Automate the job search process. If you are using job boards, use the job alert feature. This feature will send you an email when jobs are added that match your career preferences.
  • Create multiple alerts using different keywords and geographic locations, if you are willing to relocate.


  • Customize your resume to target specific jobs and companies with the extra time you saved using email alerts.
  • Read the job description completely and follow instructions. If the company asks for a list of references up front, be sure to provide them. Not following directions will have your resume in the NO pile before a human ever sees it.

Realization of Goals

  • Understand the Applicant Tracking System. This software evaluates applicants based on criteria set by the company and the hiring manager. If you don’t match the necessary qualifications, you probably won’t get past the software.
  • Utilize keywords and phrases directly from the job description in your resume and cover letter to ensure that you will move past the software to a human evaluator.
  • Research everything – the job, the company, and the field if you are transitioning from one area to another. The company website is the first place to start. But then also search the internet for press releases and news articles that mention the company. Knowing what outsiders say about the company can be very helpful in the interview and in making a final decision about job offers!
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