My Guide To Job Hunting, Part I – Treat Job Hunting Like Your Job

by Elizabeth on October 22, 2012 · 7 comments

in Job Hunting, jobs, librarianship

Way back in 2010 (when this blog was still Adventures of an Unemployed/Newly Employed Librarian!) I wrote a series aimed recent graduates and unemployed librarians to help with job hunting.  I thought it would be a good time to update that series for all my new readers and for any unemployed librarians out there.  While this series is mainly aimed at library-related jobs, I think that everyone can find something useful here.

Even before my 5 month stint as an unemployed librarian, I was a serious job hunter.  I started job hunting the September before I graduated library school in December 2009.  So I easily clocked in at 8 months of serious job hunting before I lucked out with my current job.  Thus, I consider myself fairly experienced in the realm of library job hunting.  I am by no means an expert, so this serves as a disclaimer that what worked for me may not work for you.  But I hope it at least helps.

Somewhere along the line (sometime before graduation) I developed a daily routine or a process for job hunting.  I had several mentors in library school, ranging from professors to practicing librarians to the director of my program, and all of them provided me with job hunting advice and taught me great skills.  I sort of meshed all these skills together and created my own process/routine/guideline/whatever you want to call it.  There are five parts in my process, and beginning today, I will share this guide with you.

Part I: Treat job hunting like it’s your job

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got before library school graduation was treat job hunting like a job.  What my awesome mentor meant by that was you should set aside time every day to job hunt; create a work-like environment  and sit down and do nothing but job hunt.  Go somewhere else other than your home if you need to further that “going to work” mentality.  Sometimes it helps to put on real clothes (no yoga pants don’t count) and look and act as professional as possible.  Do whatever it is you need to do to feel like you are “working”.  Don’t answer the phone, surf the internet, check facebook, or do any of those unproductive things that limit how much we actually get done.  You should devote several hours each day where you do nothing but look for jobs, apply for jobs, and work on your resume(s) and cover letters.

I had a routine during my unemployment.  After breakfast, I would get dressed (because I don’t know about you, but I’m not very productive when I’m in my pajamas) and do the usually morning piddling on the internet (blogging, facebooking, email checking).  After that I would set a time limit (usually two hours) where I job hunted.  I made myself apply for at least four jobs every day.  If I ran out of jobs to apply for, I worked on my resume, emailed potential contacts or followed up on previous applications, and continued to look for more jobs.  If I didn’t finish all 4 applications in the two hours, then I would go back later in the day and finish them up.

Clearly this takes discipline and motivation, but if you think of job hunting as your only job until you find a real one, I find the motivation isn’t too hard to come by.

What do you think about this?  Do you have a routine that helps you stay focused on job hunting?

Coming next week: Get Organized

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 christine October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Not only is job hunting a full time job, it’s exhausting!


2 Elisa October 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I’m also a December grad! 🙂 I started applying for jobs shortly before the fall semester started and was hired for my 1st position 4 months after graduation.
For those who are full-time time and have a land line (as I did) you can include both your school (or off-campus apartment) and home addresses on your resume. Remember to take your school address and phone number off when you graduate.
Oh, don’t talk about your job hunt with your classmates! Others may be applying for that same position.


3 mumbles October 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Glad to see you blogging again, and especially glad to see this series coming around again.

What was your job hunting routine during the time when you were still in school? Was it more catch-as-catch-can, or were you able to dedicate regular (though possibly smaller?) blocks of time to it every day?


4 Elizabeth October 24, 2012 at 8:44 am

When I was still in school, I did most of my job hunting at my part time library jobs during my downtime. All of my supervisors were more than happy to help me with my resumes and cover letters and no one seemed to mind that I was doing personal work as long as it didn’t interfere with my real work. I also used some of my downtime between classes and work do get some things accomplished. I usually only worked on job hunts on campus so that I could focus on homework and having a life when I got home.

So to answer your question, it was definitely more catch-as-catch-can than dedicated regular time.


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