The parallels have been noted many times, but job hunting really is like dating. You're all giddy and hopeful, and maybe if you're talented enough (or have friends), you get a call. You set a date. You stress out over your outfit and debate whether a Spanish soccer jersey (Casiiiiiiillas!) could be considered appropriate.

The day arrives. Conversation flows and you discuss vision, dreams, ideas. Everything's sparkly and magical and the receptionist smiles beatifically as you exit. Elated, you begin planning your new life.

Once you've ridden that delightful puffy cloud, reality dumps you into a steaming pile of silence. Trying not to look too desperate, you send a kind, handwritten thank you note. Nothing. The Easter Island statues talk more than your company-to-be. You spend weeks going over everything you said, searching for the source of some unnamed offense and driving your friends crazy with your self-psychoanalysis.

Screw that.

 Though no amount of gelato can wash away the disappointment, keep focused. Don't pepper your industry with resumes. Although sending out 20 resumes a day feels productive, three applications with well-written cover letters may be more effective. Grab coffee with someone in your field - someone you respect.
And finally, don't panic. I made the mistake of freaking out and applying for everything in sight while still working full-time. I'd work a full day, come home and write cover letters into the night. Within a month I was exhausted, frustrated, and I wasn't writing very well. So I took a two week break. The thought of not applying for anything was frightening at first (what if I miss an opportunity?!), but it was necessary. It was also helpful for me to schedule job application times and stick to them.

What's been a helpful strategy for you to help focus your job search?


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