The spring days are getting longer and warmer, flowers are sprouting, and recent economic reports show signs that the economy is bouncing back to life at long last. Now is the time to dispense with winter's funk, take a breath of fresh air, and put some spring into your step. You can reflect in your actions and personality the sense of newness and possibility inherent in this season. Here are five ways you can use this season to spring forward your job hunt:
1. Embrace the process. Put simply, it takes a lot of work to get work. It would be great if you could just post a resume on a job board, have your skills and accomplished noticed, and be recruited for the job of your dreams. Sometimes it happens like that, but less than 10 percent of jobs get filled this way. Instead, for the vast majority, this method is nothing more than a lazy person's pipe dream.
Take a fresh look at what you have been doing. Ask yourself: "What has been working, what isn't working, and what can stand some improvement?" With this insight, you can successfully reboot your job hunt. If you embrace the process of establishing a solid strategy, building your personal brand, targeting jobs that you're highly qualified for, networking in-person, and working social networks like LinkedIn, you will energize your hunt.
2. Share the joy of others' success. By monitoring your LinkedIn status feed you will often see people in your network post new positions they've landed. Use their success as an opportunity to touch base and offer your congratulations. You might ask what they did that helped them in their search the most, and in the course of conversation remind them of specific connections that they can help you establish.
3. Break out of your shell. This is the season of college alumni gatherings, professional organization programs and community events. You never know in advance how a common school bond, interest in a professional development program or shared concern for a nonprofit's cause can build or boost a relationship. But it happens all the time.
This is also a great time to check out Meetup.com for groups in your area. The site makes it easy to sort events by date, location (within five or 10 miles of your zip code) and common interest/activity. Groups abound not only in Career and Business categories, but also in just about any other interest, hobby, cause or activity imaginable.
4. Volunteer. In springtime, nonprofit organizations push to obtain new volunteers for their programs and fundraising efforts. It's great to get some volunteer experience on your resume, especially if by doing so you're somehow utilizing your professional skills.
Offering your time and talent to a great cause or group is a proven path not only for "doing good," but for your own professional development. Often, organizations hire people who have volunteered with them. Moreover, it is a way for you to create relationships with others involved with the organization, including donors or other participants who have connections in their own businesses and elsewhere.
5. Get some exercise. Maybe you aren't the person who has been running on a treadmill in a gym or taking Zumba classes all winter. But with the better weather, now is a great time of year to go outside. Take a stroll or brisk walk a few times a week, ride your bike, or engage in other fresh air activities. The cost can be minimal, or even free—a price that even those on the tightest of budgets can afford. As you get into better shape and get the endorphins flowing, you'll feel better about yourself, look better to others, and be in a better frame of mind to do everything else related to a job hunt.
Arnie Fertig is the head coach of JOBHUNTERCOACH.COM, where he utilizes his extensive background in HR Staffing and as owner of a recruiting company to help mid-career job-hunters land their next job. Arnie provides one-to-one coaching services to individuals throughout the U.S. in all aspects of the job hunt, including: resume writing, personal branding, utilizing social media, enhancing networking skills, preparing for interviews, and negotiating compensation.