At some point in time, most job seekers feel like they have reached a dead end in their search. Despite the fact that they have put in so much time and effort into finding new opportunities, they have yet to see the fruits their labor. If your job search is taking longer than you anticipated, you may be making a few mistakes that are holding you back. Below are 4 job search tips that you can put into action today.

1. Create a Job Search Strategy

Do you have a strategy or a goal for your job search? If not, you may find yourself aimlessly wandering through job boards and postings. Without a clear goal or a strategy, you will find yourself wasting quite a bit of time.

You want to be sure that you find the job that you want. The only way to do this is to first determine where you want to be in the next six months or a year from now. Once you know what you want in the future, you can start applying for jobs that will help you reach that goal.

After you start applying for jobs, you will need to stay organized. Create a spreadsheet that keeps track of the jobs you have applied for and jobs that you want to apply for. Start creating a list of contacts that will also help you throughout your search.

2. Create a Well-Organized Portfolio

There’s a good chance that potential employers are going to want to *see *what you have accomplished. If you don’t have a well-organized portfolio on hand, you may find yourself missing out on opportunities.

If you have physical copies of your work, keep it organized in an easy-to-locate folder in your home. If you only have digital copies, keep them all organized in one folder on your desktop. This will make them easy to locate when you need them.

3. Attend Networking Events

Networking events are great opportunities to connect with recruiters and submit resumes to companies that are hiring. While you may be tempted to attend these events in groups, it is often best to go alone. Otherwise, you will wind up spending the vast majority of the time with the people you attended the event with. Attending these events alone will force you to step outside of your comfort zone and make connections with local employers.

4. Be Proactive About Your Search

If you find yourself falling into a job search slump, you may blame the economy or other outside factors. The truth is that *you *are responsible for your job search, and you only get back what you put in.

It’s easy to feel discouraged when things don’t go your way, but this will only set you back in your search. Rather than dwelling on your fear or your failures, adopt a positive attitude. Follow up with interviewers and attempt to get some feedback on your performance. Use this feedback to improve your next interview. Being positive and proactive about your search will help you land the job of your dreams.

Originally posted by Dane Carlson on April 25, 2014 in You Don't Say.

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