Our Moving Ahead Program has over 1,500 alumni, all who are welcome to visit St. Francis House at any time and seek us for support and resource advice in perpetuity. The Alumni Resource Center bulletin board on the 4th floor hosts a new topic each month.
“April Showers Bring May Flowers”
April is here, and with it comes the rain. But don’t let April’s reputation for gloomy weather keep you from moving ahead! We’ve all heard the phrase “April Showers Bring May Flowers”- the idea that, despite the gloomy weather of April, we have something wonderful to look forward to in May because of the work the rain is putting in now to prepare the land. That same concept can be applied to your job search.
Putting in extra effort (or watering, if you will) in the short-term to pull together all of your application needs will lead you to better results in the long-term! Here at MAP, we see the hard work our students and Alumni put in every day, and have a few tips on how to kick start your Spring job search and keep you motivated along the way.
Create a Job Search Strategy
Having a solid job search strategy is a great way to focus your energy and attention, and to hold you accountable. First, determine the type of jobs you want to apply for and get a sense of how your current skills and qualifications will help you along that path. You can use skills maps, or highlight common themes among a series of Job Descriptions and match the recurring words and phrases to work you have already done.
Once you’ve given some thought about your current skills and what you might bring to a new position, rewrite or focus your resume to match those goals. Spending a lot of time on the forefront getting these materials completed will save time and energy on the back end.
Set a goal for the number of applications you should send each day or week (we suggest 3-5 per day), and create a follow up schedule so you don’t lose track of your progress!
Check in with your Network
Often overlooked is ensuring that your references are up to date with what you are doing, and still willing to speak positively on your behalf. Touch base with your references- make sure you have up to date contact information for them and that you are letting them know what type of work you are looking for. Whenever possible, you should give them notice of what positions you have applied to so they can be ready.
Your network can extend beyond those you use as a reference, however. Think about the people you know, work with, or have worked with previously- how can these people support your current career goals? Do they know of any positions that could be a good fit for you?
If you can’t tap into your current network, or are having a hard time, you can add to your job search strategies by scheduling in some networking events. Start building a new network to tap into!
Cope with Job Search Stress
Take time to recognize how your job searching is making you feel. If you’re overwhelmed or exhausted, it’s a sign of burnout. Once you know what is happening, it’s time to take action. Seek support from those who are experiencing similar challenges- there are many Job Search Support Groups in Boston to attend! You can also change a few of your routines to ensure you are eating right, sleeping well and moving enough throughout the day. If you’re feeling stressed while completing applications or searching online, take a moment to try some stretching or breathing exercises. Small efforts to curb your attitude while job searching can have huge impacts!
Ready to take your Job Searching to the next level?
Every Thursday for the Month of April, we will be hosting Resume Review sessions. Stop by with your resume to have it looked at, and jump on a computer to start making changes. Don’t forget, the Alumni Resource Center is open Monday – Friday with access to computers for job searching.
We also have Job Search and Reference Request Worksheets, lists of Boston Job Search Support groups and workshops, and some easy to do breathing and stretching exercises available for anyone interested. You can stop by the Alumni Resource Center, or request copies via e-mail from Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.