How to Get Your Search Back on Track

July 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Like many things in life, job hunts have fits and starts. Sometimes you think you’re close to landing a position so you settle back a bit and figure you’ll see what happens — and then if it doesn’t work out, you need to start all over again. Or you may have procrastinated and now it’s late summer and those contacts you were planning to call aren’t around — and you’re in danger of missing the deadlines you’ve set for yourself.

The key to getting your search back on track is to take things step by step and to stick to a new plan. An overwhelmed, disorganized job hunter is usually an ineffective job hunter (and someone not real enjoyable to be around besides!). It’s time to stop fretting over the fact that your search got stuck in the mud, and to focus on moving forward with energy and focus.

So here are a few strategies for refocusing your job hunt:

*Evaluate what didn’t work. Figure out why you got off track with your search. Some of the main reasons are procrastination; going after too many openings; chasing jobs in organizations where you don’t have contacts and therefore were just one of many, many people competing; applying for jobs for which you’re really not qualified; and having a so-so resume, cover letter or interview skills. There are many steps to a successful search and if you’ve been blown off course, you need to determine just where the winds were coming from that sent you there. Enlist others to help you figure this out. Once you know what went wrong, you’re much less likely to repeat the mistake.

*Develop a new game plan. Readjust or just scrap the previous job-hunting plan, even if you put time into it. Sometimes changing things up in ways large or small will give you the energy and resolve you need to meet the considerable challenge of a job hunt. It’s tough out there and you need to be armed and ready. If the places you were applying and the ways in which you were networking aren’t appealing, come up with new strategies. Find other organizations for networking; call friends or former colleagues you hadn’t contacted before; spend time on different list serves, Web sites or social networks. Even changing one or two of your job-hunting methods can help enliven your search.

*Conduct an interview skills makeover. Many times, without even realizing it, perfectly well-qualified applicants fail to get a job because they had an unsuccessful interview. Interviews require the following ingredients — good public-speaking skills, research (on the company or organization, the job and the interviewer), knowledge of the subject area, and the ability to show real interest in the position without appearing at all desperate about getting a job. The only way to get really good at this — and it’s a life skill, like cooking, driving or parenting — is to practice, and to do so in front of others. Get the help you need to interview well. Simply put, no matter how proficient you may be at other parts of the job search game, you won’t land the offers you might if you learn to handle interviews with ease.

*Here’s a link to a piece — from the BBC, via — that looks at the future of journalism and what kinds of expertise may come together in various enterprises:

A New Journalism On The Horizon (BBC)

*The folks at Deloitte have come out with their fourth annual “Ethics and Workplace” survey, and the results may interest the unemployed and employed alike (and maybe some recruiters out there as well). Among the most interesting facts, fully one-third of the employed workers surveyed want to find another job when the economy turns around. And the big reasons behind that are they no longer trust their employers, who they don’t believe are straightforward with them. No big surprises there, but it still offers food for thought:

NEW YORK, July 26, 2010 — According to Deloitte’s fourth annual Ethics & Workplace Survey, one-third (34 percent) of employed Americans plan to look for a new job when the economy gets better.  Within this group of respondents, 48 percent cite loss of trust in their employer and 46 percent say lack of transparent communication from their company’s leadership are the primary reasons for pursuing new employment at the end of the recession. Additionally, a large majority (65 percent) of Fortune 1000 executives who are concerned employees will be job hunting in the coming months believe trust will be a factor in a potential increase in voluntary turnover. 

“With lack of trust and transparency factoring into the employment decision of roughly half of the respondents who plan to job hunt in the coming months, business leaders must be mindful of the importance of both on talent management and retention strategies, as well as the bottom line impact,” said Sharon Allen, chairman of the board, Deloitte LLP.  “By focusing on these two areas executives may be able to reduce attrition.  It could also allow them to mitigate the expenses associated with the hiring and on-boarding process and ensure that tacit knowledge remains within their organizations.  Establishing and reinforcing a values-based culture can ultimately help to cultivate employee trust.” 

While the survey found 59 percent of employees feel more is being demanded of them because of today’s business climate, 72 percent say their employers continue to support their work-life needs and 77 percent of executives say they remain supportive of employee personal needs outside of work. Sixty percent of employees suggest that technology plays an important role in helping them meet their professional and personal demands, which is enabling them to trust their employers more. 

 “Executives are facing a number of challenges today and maintaining a workplace in which employees are able to thrive is certainly one of them,” Allen continued.  “The survey shows that trust and flexibility are critical in today’s workplace.”

And for more about Deloitte or the survey, go to:

*Who says no one is hiring in D.C. in late July and August? Check out these immediate job and free-lance leads:

*Here’s another Hill lead — Rep. Bart Stupak’s office is looking for a press secretary. But those interested better hurry as materials need to be sent in by Wednesday:

Rep. Stupak: Press Secretary

Moderate Midwest Democrat serving on the Energy & Commerce Committee is seeking a press secretary for an active office. The ideal candidate will have prior press experience, be an excellent writer, have an outgoing personality and have experience with both electronic and print media. Candidates should fax their resume along with 2 short writing samples to 202 225 4710 by no later than July 28th. No calls or walk-ins please.

*The Air Force Association in Arlington has an opening for an entry-level defense reporter for its print and electronic magazine:

The Air Force Association

is seeking an entry-level defense reporter for Air Force Magazine’s print and online editions. Duties include reporting, writing, proofing, and editing Air Force-related news items. Military experience beneficial, but not required. Send resume and salary requirement to No phone calls. This is an immediate opportunity with a proposed start date of late August!


*This is an interesting free-lance opportunity — the New York Times Real Estate section is seeking a financial journalist to pen a mortgage column:

The New York Times Real Estate section is looking for a freelance financial journalist to write a weekly mortgage column. Qualified candidates should send a résumé to VIVIAN MARINO at

*Another free-lance opportunity — Brightstar is looking for copywriters:

Freelance Copywriters, Brightstar

Company Overview: Brightstar is a global leader in the fast paced wireless industry, working with all of the major manufacturers, operators and retailers to bring the latest and
greatest technologies to market. We are known for our innovation, speed and customer focus – and we seek high energy, high impact freelancer copywriters to join our team as we help revolutionize the wireless space.

Freelance Copywriters
You are responsible for the conception and execution of innovative copy for integrated, cross-channel initiatives including large web initiatives, digital marketing, print advertising, sales collateral, white papers, case studies, video and voiceover scripts and/or direct mail. You should possess sharp writing skills and have the ability to understand more than one voice; adapting your writing skills as necessary to long form or headlines. In addition to being an exceptional writer, you must be able to juggle multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment. You must be able to create a range of concepts for each project, be self-motivated with a positive attitude and have strong communications skills.

$25-$50 hour
Submit: Resume, Cover Letter, 3 clips to:

*The Washington Post’s Express has an opening in D.C. for an editor/writer:

Editor/WriterThe Washington Post/Express

We are looking for someone to do the production-heavy work of putting out the Weekend Pass section of the paper every Thursday. We’re aiming for a team player who can also do Web production and writing/blogging, as well as churn out original
arts writing. We’re looking for someone who is used to a fast pace, can write about all genres of art and music, and who knows the local scene most of all.

The posting is here, and below:
From flowing poets to abstract painters, from Latin beats to hip-hop grooves to independent film, the D.C. area’s arts scene boasts influences as diverse as its diplomatic corps. And if you can write with as much verve about artists who receive polite applause as those whose fans flash devil horns, we want to hear from you.

Express, The Washington Post Co.’s free commuter daily, is seeking a content editor to join our fast-paced newsroom. We’re looking for a lively wordsmith who has a deep knowledge of D.C. arts and entertainment, who can translate print stories into innovative digital packages and who can hold forth with ease and wit on all elements of pop culture: music, movies, art, books and more.

The ideal candidate will have five to 10 years’ experience in a news-gathering environment ­(print or online) ­ and must demonstrate seasoned editorial judgment and a mastery of grammar, story-telling structure and AP style. Exceptional headline-writing skills, comfort using online publishing tools and some page layout experience are also essential.

Send resume, letter, three writing samples and three before-and-after editing samples to or to Express, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20071

*And to wrap up today’s leads, the German-American Fulbright Commission is accepting applications for 10-month grants for journalists to study in Germany:

The German-American Fulbright Commission

10 month grants for journalists

The German-American Fulbright-Commission offers 10 months grants to high potential young U.S. journalists to come to Germany for a research and practice-oriented experience.

During the fully sponsored stay the grantee will have the opportunity to combine their own research interests with the job experience mostly at print or broadcast institutions and cities of his or her own choice.

We would very much appreciate if you could forward our program information below to potential candidates.

Fulbright Commission Germany:

Institute of International Education:

For further information:

Happy hunting today!



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