15 Steps To Overcoming Job Search Anxiety

May 4, 2011 

Graduation is just a few weeks away and the class of 2011 along with their parents is feeling the anxiety, big time. What’s the anxiety about? The job market. It’s been four years of hard work, new friends, and fun. Now it’s time to leave all that behind and go out and find a job and begin to build a career. When this class entered college, the job market was better and although it has been reported that this job market will be better than last year for 2011 grads, this job market will be more competitive than ever. Fear and anxiety can keep you stuck. Some describe it as if their feet are stuck in cement and they cannot move. Usually this happens when one focuses on the end result and the task is so large that they just can’t take any step forward. They are so fearful of failing that they cannot move. So how do you move forward and compete? There is a method and a strategy and it’s all in the preparation.

Here are the steps.
1. Start researching the job boards for job descriptions you are interested in
2. Take note of the knowledge, skills, and abilities they are looking for
3. Print all of those job descriptions and put them all out on the table.
4. Make a list of what they are looking for and separate that list into 2 columns: technical skills/knowledge and characteristics
5. Review your work experience, internships, and project work and identify where the synergies are.
6. Review your resume to make sure it depicts what the companies are looking for. You may need to modify your resume accordingly.
7. Always tell the truth on your resume. If you’ve got what they want, then say so. If not then don’t.
8. Start sending out your resume and cover letter; email, snail mail, or however it’s requested.
9. Gather your evidence that reveals how you have the technical skills/knowledge and the characteristics that the companies are looking for. Evidence is stories of your experiences, etc., that show how you meet the requirements.
10. Prepare your 30 second commercial so you can answer “Tell me about yourself”
11. Practice your stories.
12. Target 20 companies of choice.
13. Make a list of everyone you and your parents know. This is your network.
Let them know what you are looking for and why you think you would be of value (why you meet the qualifications) to a company and ask to be referred to anyone they know. Ask for referrals into your 20 companies of choice. Networking is how most grads are getting their jobs.
14. Reach out to your college alumni who are working in your career of choice and your 20 target companies, for advice.
15. Remember, looking for a job is your job right now. Do not give up. Think of it like a funnel. The more you put in the more comes out the other end. However, its got to be quality or the funnel will get clogged.

Staying in action will help the anxiety lift. Remember some anxiety is good because it can be motivating. When the anxiety gets debilitating and you feel like you can’t move, take one step at time.

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