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Let’s face it. Searching for a job is a job. The networking, research and interviewing alone can take months. Since most online applications take an average of 30 minutes to two hours to complete, dedicating a full day’s work to sitting in front of your laptop doesn’t seem so far-fetched. As the applications pile up, so do the rejection letters. Applying for countless jobs only to have doors repeatedly slammed in your face can leave your spirits at an all-time low. Here are some tips for coping with job search blues.

Understand you’re not alone

Feelings of frustration, defeat and hopelessness are common among job seekers who’ve spent months on end searching for a new job. If you’re feeling trapped in the quicksand of a dead-end job, it’s easy to wallow in self-pity and become discouraged. Jobs take a huge chunk of our daily lives, and adding a bad boss and rock bottom wages to the mix doesn’t leave a lot of time to plan for career advancement. Obsessing about your job and lack of opportunities, dreading going to work each day and experiencing overwhelmingly sad thoughts about life can all be signals that your job is making you depressed. This is especially true if these feelings continue for weeks or months at a time. The days of walking into an establishment, completing an application and immediately starting are long gone for the mature professional. Most job seekers don’t realize that it takes anywhere from 3-9 months to find a job depending on your strategy, resources, and industry. This timeframe is an eternity when the tiny threads of your sanity are quickly slithering through your fingers faster than your body can tense up from the sound of your boss’ voice. To cut your job search time in half, tap into your network. Rekindle the forgotten relationships with former co-workers and register for industry related events. As much as you want to retreat into the depths of your sorrow, put yourself out there and let your connections know you’re on the market again.

 Give your personal branding a boost

Stand out. Be seen. These words are thrown around by a myriad of career professionals, but very few share the secret on how to execute. Most job seekers have difficulty articulating what sets them apart from others with similar educational backgrounds and work experience. You must take inventory of what makes you unique and express those attributes in a compelling and exceptional way. Many employers like to “compare apples to apples” when making hiring decisions, and it’s your job to help them appreciate what makes your apple sweeter and juicier. When a hiring manager can’t gauge your worth compared to lower-priced candidates, they’ll simply go for the bargain brand to save a few bucks.

That’s where you kick it up a notch with self-promotion and personal branding. You’ll discover no two things impact your chances of landing a job offer more than confidence and networking. The adage that “it’s all about who you know” still rings true in today’s job search. More importantly, it’s also about who knows you. Referrals from your network hold more weight than credentials, and hiring managers need to feel that they’re missing out on a precious gem should they allow a competitor to snatch you up. This free personal branding training reveals the secret sauce for authentically attracting hiring managers and landing more interviews and job offers fast.

Get professional help

Set measurable goals for your job search. Maybe you want to contact ten target employers, add 15 people to your network or participate in five interviews per week. Whatever you decide, stick to it. Successful job seekers and professionals invest time and money into their careers. If you’re struggling to pinpoint your goals, hiring a career coach or resume writer to help support and guide you through devising a job search strategy can reduce the stress surrounding your job hunt. Sometimes, issues are far beyond the expertise of your coach or human resources professional, and it’s time to seek medical attention. According to Mental Health America, depression ranks among the top 3 workplace problems, and many times a depressed employee will not seek treatment due to fear of how it will impact her job. Hiding behind the façade of social media while you’re secretly dying inside will do more harm than good for your mental wellbeing. You must break free of the stigma surrounding mental illness and get the help you need to live a productive and healthy life.

Rejection notifications can be hard to swallow—especially when you know with every fiber of your being that you’re more than capable of doing the job. Everyone will experience sadness at one time or another. Seek guidance in recognizing the difference between periodic Sunday blues and severe depression to find a renewed sense of positivity to carry you through the journey of landing your dream job.

Ashley Watkins, Career Coach and Nationally Certified Résumé Writer with Write Step Resumes, LLC, provides high-quality résumé writing, interview preparation and career coaching services to help job seekers get more interviews and salary offers. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or via www.WriteStepResumes.com. If you’re struggling in your job search, schedule your free consult today.

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