How to Use Facebook to Land a Job

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2193213362_b5d556491eIt isn’t just the volume of users that makes Facebook an attractive source of hiring and research – it’s also the fact that 70 percent of Facebook users engage daily, versus only 13 percent of LinkedIn users, according to a 2015 Pew Research study. While many job seekers consider LinkedIn to be the professional network and place to be, it isn’t the only social network recruiters will look at. According to Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey, 66 percent of recruiters reported using Facebook to recrtuit.

Conduct an audit. Head over to Google or your favorite search engine and search for your name. Take note of what appears on the first page of search results. Chances are, you will see a listing that says “[Your name] Profiles | Facebook.” Click on this link, and you will see the Facebook profiles of people with your name.

Next, look at your status updates. Do your posts have a globe next to the date? If so, your update is public, which means anyone and everyone can see your update and comments others have added. If you do not want certain status updates to be public, you can change your settings by clicking on the inverted triangle and changing the post to “Friends.”

Know your privacy settings. Facebook has a reputation for changing privacy setting criteria. If you haven’t looked at yours in awhile, it would be wise to do so. You can change privacy settings for “Who can see my stuff,” “Who can contact me” and “Who can look me up.” If you do not want people to be able to search for you by email or phone number, adjust those settings. You can also prevent your profile from showing up in search engine results by removing that criteria.

“Job seekers think that their profiles on platforms like Facebook are private and that hiring managers can’t find them. This is not always the case,” says Lisa Brown Morton, President and CEO of Nonprofit HR. Know your settings, but a better strategy is to be careful about what you post.

Stay professional. “Oversharing and acting unprofessional is also a common mistake many job seekers make,” Morton says. “As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t show it [to] your grandmother or put it on your résumé, you shouldn’t put it on social media.” Avoid using profanity, sharing provocative or inappropriate photos or speaking negatively about your current or past employer.

Find job leads. Facebook isn’t a job board, but you can use its Groups feature to find people posting jobs in your field and geographic area. Chris Russell, recruiter and founder of CareerCloud, recommends searching Facebook by using your city and the word “jobs” to find groups that share job leads.

Fill out your profile. If you are going to become more active on Facebook for your job search, one way to enhance your profile is to add past work history and professionals skills to the “About” sections of your profile.

Network. Have you stayed connected with your college classmates? What about other alumni? Be sure you’ve added your college and even high school information if you want others to know what schools you attended. Consider joining Facebook groups for alumni as well.

Participate in discussions in groups or communities by your occupation, and “like” a company’s page or join its career group to interact with employees managing those accounts. You can also search Facebook for people who work at your dream company. In the Facebook search bar, start typing “people who work at {insert name of company}.” You can see who works there and who your mutual friends are.

Leverage social media. “By failing to have an active digital presence, job seekers miss opportunities to build up their professional profiles and find job opportunities their competition is likely taking advantage of,” Morton says. Socially savvy job seekers will have an advantage over those who are not active.

Every day people are using social networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Your connections with people on these networks could potentially turn into a new job if you use them appropriately. Remember: Companies prefer to hire referrals and people they know.

Hannah Morgan writes and speaks on career topics and job search trends on her blog Career Sherpa. She is the author of “The Infographic Résumé” and co-author of “Social Networking for Business Success.”

How to Respond to ‘Aren’t You Overqualified?’

You have your eye on a job that is below your current career or education level. There could be a myriad of reasons for it. Perhaps you are moving, re-entering the workforce or just trying out a new industry or type of job.

It can be hard to get through the résumé review stage. And if you do manage it – pat yourself on the back! – how do you convince employers during a phone screen or interview that you are the right person for the job, despite being perceived as overqualified?

Below are potential interview questions you may be asked and how to respond to them.

“Why did you apply to a job that you are overqualified for?”

You must convince the interviewer that this is what you’ve determined you want to do. You are either not satisfied or unable to continue along the path you were on (maybe due to a family relocation or a sincere desire to change career paths). It is important to be transparent here, although you don’t need to go into explicit detail on personal matters.

“You have been in roles where you’ve managed people. You will not be doing that in this role. How do you feel about that?”

This can be tricky, so choose your wording wisely. Acknowledge that is true instead of trying to minimize your current or previous responsibilities. At the same time, you need a good answer for why it’s OK with you not to be exercising those skills in your next job.

Maybe you discovered that personnel management is not for you, and you are content to stay in a backseat position – that’s perfectly acceptable. Maybe you are fully committed to making a career switch, are prepared to start at a lower level and are excited to learn from those who’ve been on this career path longer.

“We can’t match your current salary.”

Hopefully you are already aware that this is bound to be the case, since you are considered overqualified for what you’re applying for. You can be prepared to respond diplomatically with something like: “Yes, I am fully aware of that and expected that. The reason I am interested in this job is because I want to switch into a role that I find fulfilling. Money is not my primary motivator.” To be realistic, you can also add something along the lines of: “Naturally, once I gain more experience, I would hope to be considered for a raise but only at the appropriate time.”

“In this role, your boss would be younger than you. Does that bother you?”

Here you’ll want to acknowledge that this can be an uncomfortable situation, because it certainly is for many people. Don’t try to immediately slough it off as easy to handle. You may feel that a person experienced in this type of work – no matter what age – will be a resource from whom you’re excited to learn. If you’ve had bosses younger than you before, that is also worth mentioning.

“Why should we choose you over a candidate right out of school?”

This is a tough one, because it implies many things: The entry-level candidate won’t expect a high salary, might not be as demanding as an experienced hire and may be less ambitious at first. This is when you need to emphasize what makes you unique and stay positive. Don’t badmouth millennials. Talk about yourself and what you offer. Name the skills you possess from years in a work environment that translate well to this job – it could be anything from negotiating to writing to resolving conflicts.

When you’re viewed from the outset of an interview as overqualified, it can be tough to overcome and persuade the interviewer otherwise. With a bit of anticipation and planning, you can confidently respond to any curve ball that the employer throws your way.

Most importantly, acknowledge that the potential issue they present indeed exists. Then focus on your skills and personal experience, and avoid talking poorly about others. If you take this approach, the next time you’re faced with “aren’t you overqualified for this position?” you’ll be able to convince an employer that you are determined to make this career move and are both willing and excited to learn.

Mobilize your professional resume

Invest in a professional resume that will make it past any gatekeeper and outsmart applicant tracking software.

This week I want you to focus on one of the core marketing materials you’ll use during the job search – your resume.

When was the last time you printed out a job application and mailed it to an employer? While it’s not unheard of, it’s certainly not the norm these days. And chances are, you surf the web rather than open a newspaper when you want to find job listings.

Since job boards emerged in the late 90s, the way we search for and apply to jobs has radically changed. With just a few key strokes you have access to thousands of job posts from all over the world. Unfortunately, this also means you’re competing within a much larger, less-qualified pool of candidates. Your resume needs to not only speak to the recruiter and hiring manager; it must first make it past an electronic gatekeeper known as an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Below are five tips to help you craft a professional resume that will make it through the gatekeepers – human and otherwise – and impress the hiring manager.

1.       Tell the right story

Research conducted by TheLadders shows that recruiters spend an average of six seconds (!) looking at your resume to decide if you’re a fit. It’s incredibly important that you first clarify your job goals, and then build a resume that supports these goals. Highlight your relevant experience and accomplishments, and eliminate extra information that isn’t necessary. Don’t make the recruiter guess – spell out your goals and qualifications.

2.       Include relevant buzz words

Incorporate common terms and key phrases that routinely pop up in job descriptions you’re interested in applying to (assuming you honestly have those skills). The ATS software is programmed to scan your application for specific buzz words to determine if you’re a likely fit for the role. You typically have to make it past that check point before a human will ever set eyes on your application.

3.       Avoid a scrambled view

Don’t include tables or images in your resume and avoid using the actual Header and Footer sections of the Word document, as these will only confuse the ATS and scramble your application. When choosing your resume font, stick to ones that are easy to read and ATS-compatible like Arial, Tahoma, Cambria, and Book Antiqua. New Times Roman is fine too, though I normally avoid it because it’s so common. Stay away from Arial Narrow, Calibri, Georgia, and Garamond because they are incompatible with many ATS systems and can be difficult to read on mobile devices and tablets.

 4.       Control the communication

Make it easy for recruiters to contact you by including only one phone number and email address. I recommend using your cell phone since you have control over the voicemail, who picks up the phone and when. Use a professional email address such as Gmail, which won’t be considered outdated. Add in the URL to your LinkedIn profile (and personal website, if applicable). This will help control communication and steer the recruiter toward the right online profile.

 5.       Consider a professional re-write

Here at TheLadders we say there are three things you should never do on your own: write your will, do your taxes, and write your resume. Even though I’m a certified professional resume writer, I’d turn to a colleague for a resume re-write because it’s hard to remain objective when you’re writing about yourself. And frankly, not all of us are born writers. Make the investment and hire a professional who can turn your laundry list of experiences into a story that supports your goals and outsmarts ATS software. You’re 40% more likely to land the job you want with one.

Use these tips to craft a resume that will help you land interviews. Next week, we’ll talk about using a smarter phone in the job search.

 

The 3 Most Common Mistakes People Make in Work Documents

The world of work requires excellent writing skills. However, many of today’s professionals spaced out during their high school English teacher’s lessons regarding the art of diagramming a sentence or how to write an effective persuasive essay.

Like it or not, how you convey yourself in writing can make or break your message and the impression others have of you. Here are some of the most common mistakes in business writing, including how people write their résumé and cover letter. Take note now, and be prepared to make up for those lost lessons.

1. Inconsistent spacing. You most likely know someone (probably your boss) who can look at a document, and – in less than a second – announce: “Something is wrong with this.” This person has been gifted with “Inconsistency Spotting.” This ability to notice and correct the extra space after a word or the errant use of two lines between paragraphs can supercharge the impact of written work. The good news is that you don’t have to be born with this power – you just need to stop before you send a document and do the following:

Select “Show/Hide Codes” on your document so that you can see every space and return. In Word, it is the icon that looks like a backward “P” in your toolbar.
  • Verify that you have handled like items in the document consistently. For example, intentionally have a space (or don’t have a space) on each side of every dash used. In a résumé, dates are one of the most obvious dash spacing pitfalls with one entry of “August 2012-June 2013” followed by “July 2013 – March 2014.” Notice the difference? Neither one is right or wrong, but using both formats in one résumé shows a lack of attention to detail.
  • Have a plan for how many lines or returns are between related sections of a document. For example, you may want to use one line (single-space) between each paragraph but two between sections in a contract.
  • Verify alignment of text. If you aligned left in one area but accidentally selected justified (meaning lined up on both the left and right) in another, the spacing between characters will vary. Mixed alignment on one page can distract the reader.

2. Fanciful fonts. A selective reader can spot a cut-and-paste document a mile away. Often, it will have excerpts from different documents, but the author has not gone back to verify that all text has the same font and point size. In today’s crowd-sourcing world, business professionals often draw from multiple sources to create sales collateral, write informational letters and even write their résumés.

However, it is critical that these items come together in one cohesive document. Make sure you verify that the fonts, point sizes and treatment of things like headers and titles is harmonious before hitting “Send.”

3. Sloppy spelling. I am sure we have all heard about the importance of spell checking. However, even when you run spell check, two issues can remain. First, spell check may have changed your incorrect word to a similarly spelled word that has a different meaning. You need to reread your document for both spelling and message after spell check. Just a little change from “of” to “if” can dramatically alter the message.

The second issue is that spell check does not do well with names of companies and people. If you mindlessly accept the recommendations of spell check, you may accidentally change “Collegial Services,” for example, to “Collegiate Services” and “Robin Reshwan” to “Robin Reshawn.” Trust me that no matter how great the content of your letter, you lost me when you messed up my name or my business’s name.

In summary, there is a reason why so many job descriptions include “Must be detail-oriented.” With the ease of forwarded emails and attached documents, writing mistakes are not only detrimental with the first recipients, but the pain lives on each time your message is sent to someone else.

Successful business correspondence requires thoughtful planning and careful editing. The good news is that anyone can master the skills necessary to send a visually consistent document if they stop to assess before sending the message.

Emotional Preparation for Interviews

Hiring is an emotional process for both the candidate and the interviewer.

Hiring is an emotional process for both the candidate and the interviewer. The hiring process is shrouded with a veneer of logic “to hire the best qualified person”, but in reality it is grounded with emotion. Your enthusiasm, confidence and energy will determine whether or not you get hired.

Twenty (20) years in the hiring business has taught me one important lesson; the most qualified person never gets hired. This is because personality “fit” and the candidate’s personal qualities are extremely important to the interviewers. Interviewers receive and interpret all the inputs coming from you. One of the many inputs evaluated by every interviewer is your emotional state. When you are feeling great you project a positive image of yourself and are more “likable” and “hire-able.”

Here are several suggestions to help you get emotionally prepared to be your best.

Motion creates Emotion
Get moving! Go for a walk, run, exercise, cycle, meditate, do Yoga or Tai Chi, stretch, dance, do something! Exercise gets your blood flowing to your brain and can improve your mood almost instantly.

Listen to Music
Sing your favorite song that gets you in a great state of mind. This works great while driving to the interview. You arrive in a fabulous mood.

Inspirational Phases
Repeat an inspirational phrase that is meaningful for you. Write it down, read it and say it out loud.

Use Your Imagination
Imagine yourself doing your favorite activity. Imagine every detail vividly and you will be amazed at how your body will feel. Our nervous system responds to our imagination as if the images in our mind are real.

Remember
Remember a time when you were absolutely at your best. Pick the mood; remember what you were doing in detail and voila, your body returns to that state of being. Remember a time when you felt absolutely at your best, or imagine how it will feel when your current job search is complete and you have landed this fabulous position making more money than you have ever made before.

Researching the company is only part of preparing. The most important part of interview preparation is getting yourself ready emotionally. Get ready to be hired, and you will be hired.

Best of luck on your next interview. It is the most important moment in your search for a better position.

How to Overcome Job-Search Misery

Say you’re a boxer who’s been taking some serious beatings lately. You show up to each match still swollen and sore from the last. You feel slow and scared and start expecting to get your butt kicked. The more pressure you feel to win just one stupid match, the more bummed you get when you don’t. And you start thinking maybe you should just give up the whole cruel sport.

The job hunt is pretty brutal, too.

A long, arduous search can leave psychological bruises and hurl you into a self-defeating cycle. “It’s a blow to your self-esteem,” says David Reiss, a psychiatrist based in San Diego. The more confidence you lose, the worse you perform in the job search. This process “takes a half a step off your game,” Reiss says.

1. Have fun. Do you remember this concept of fun [pronounced: fuhn]? You’re still allowed to have some, even if your job search has been unsuccessful. Think about what makes you happy, and do it. “What do you usually do for fun, and what have you given up?” Reiss asks. If money’s tight, find cheaper variations of those activities, he adds. Say you used to love going to dinner and a movie with friends. Keep the sentiment, and nix the expense by inviting folks over for an at-home movie and potluck.

2. Vent. You’re right – that hiring manager is a jerk for never confirming he received your application. Yes, the job search is cruel and unfair. It’s true, the whole process does make you feel like an insignificant, unwanted, tiny speck of a person. But – but! – carry an ounce of that negativity into an interview or any correspondence with a potential employer, and you may be the one coming off as a jerk. Those bad vibes also have the tendency to drain your happiness and derail your productivity.

It’s normal to feel upset. “You can’t stop the feeling; there’s no button to push to make it go away,” Reiss says. But you can push some weight on the bench press, or push yourself up into the crane yoga pose. Try turning to exercise and meditation to vent your negative feelings, Reiss says.

3. Get some perspective. “When you’re in a prolonged job search, you start doubting everything you have to offer an employer,” says Lea McLeod, career expert and author of the 21 Days to Peace at Work email newsletter. Then, come time to interview, apply or network, “you’re not putting your best foot forward when your primary motivation is about how you’re failing versus how you’re succeeding,” she says.

You’re not failing. You’re just doing your best in the job search process, which – let’s face it – sucks and is full of rejection. It’s not personal, Reiss adds, although it may feel like it. Plus, “there are realities that the system isn’t always fair,” he says. “The deck may be stacked against you for reasons that have nothing to do with your abilities.”

It may help to curb your expectations. “People go into a job search with incredibly unrealistic expectations about what it’s going to take,” McLeod says. Here’s the reality: The process is going to be long and take more than staring at job boards, particularly for folks without years of experience or who are transitioning to a new industry or role, she says.

Now that you’re square with the reality of job searching, it’s time to toughen up. As Reiss puts it: “Look at the grief and the anger in the eye without letting it own you.”

4. Seek support. Of course, being grounded and motivated through an arduous job search is difficult without someone in your corner of the ring. Discuss the job search with a friend or family member – “someone who can help you snap out of the doldrums,” McLeod says. He or she may let you complain for five minutes, and then give you that perspective and encourage you to plan your next steps.

Not just anyone can fill this important role. “You need someone who can keep a level head and be objective but compassionate,” Reiss says, adding that this person can also help with mock interviews and tell you if you’re coming off as desperate or grim.

Sometimes this support should come from a professional. If you’re turning to drugs or alcohol​, or if the job search is disrupting your sleep, appetite, concentration or relationships, Reiss recommends seeing a mental health professional.

5. Find a part-time job. If you’re unemployed and struggling financially, McLeod suggests getting a side gig like a part-time job or contract or temp work. Not only will the job help you pay the bills, but it will chip away at the financial stress that magnifies the pressure you feel to find a job, she says. “It doesn’t have to be your career job,” McLeod says. “But have it be something that gives you a focus for your energy other than your job search.”

6. Change your strategy. Scrolling through job boards and applying online as you come across postings is a recipe for a lengthy, depressing job search. “If you keep staring at this environment that you can’t interact with, that you have no control over and that you don’t get any feedback from, your job search​ is going to get very long very quickly,” McLeod says.

Her mantra? “Stop applying, and start targeting,” she says. Brainstorm companies you want to work for, and then find ways to build relationships with their employees through your first-, second- and third-tier connections. This networking is more likely to snag you a job than sending your résumé​ through a company’s applicant tracking system.

And it’s more energizing, too. Say you make a point to reach out to 10 people a week, and a few of them agree to meet up or take your call. That positive response – hearing someone say “sure!” instead of nothing at all after you apply to a job – is motivating. “That can keep you going when you have a long, arduous search,” McLeod says.

She adds that you can even join or create a group of fellow job seekers, who would meet regularly to ask each other questions, share connections and hold each other accountable for staying on top of his or her hunt. McLeod stresses that the point of the group isn’t to ​kvetch, but to give and receive support. Plus, she adds: “It gives you a sense that you’re not out there alone.”

Did You Lose Your Job?

How do you explain how you lost your job. This article does a good job of helping you find the best way to explain.

If you’ve lost your job – or are going to lose your job – the last thing that you want to talk about is “why” you lost your job. In fact, the question

“Why did you leave your last job?”

is one of the toughest questions to deal with – especially if you’ve been let go in one form or another.

If you are among the thousands of people who have been laid off in the last year and a half, you can simply state: “I was laid off.”

This answers the question but still leaves a lingering doubt in the mind of the interviewer, – “Why were you laid off?” The more specific your answer, the more effective it will be.

“There were six rounds of layoffs at my last company. I survived five rounds, but when it came to round six they had to cut deep. My position was eliminated along with half of my group because the project we were working on was cancelled.”

Not everyone will have such a definite statement to make. Whatever your situation is it will be helped by including facts and figures to explain the circumstances surrounding your layoff.

“10% of the workforce was let go,” or “One out of every ten jobs was affected, company-wide.”

When you quantify a statement it has more depth. When you tell the interviewer whether it was 10 or 1000 people were laid off helps put the situation in perspective.

Fired

If you were fired, you probably dread being asked this question. Not only have you been fired, you have to talk about it – over and over. How you deal with questions about being fired will depend on how you have resolved the issue with yourself.

Here are examples of how two candidates answer the question:

Candidate #1 “I had a great boss, but he left. From the very beginning it was clear that my new boss and I were going to be at odds. We just had different types of personalities. She kept changing the rules. One day she would want it this way, and the next day another way,” rambled Karen. “I don’t usually have problems with bosses but this woman was really overbearing in her management approach.”

This is not the best way to present the situation. This candidate could be classified as a “whiner.” Badmouthing former employers during the interview is a bad idea. No one wants to hear about someone else’s shortcomings, particularly someone they don’t even know.

A better example of how to handle the situation:

Candidate #2 “I was let go after a major reorganization. The merging of different cultures had caused a major change in the way things were done. There were some differences of opinion between my boss and myself and, in the end, I was fired.. I take responsibility for my part in the way things turned out. I learned a lot from the experience, and in retrospect, I would have handled it differently. But, that is behind me now, and I am ready to move on with a new perspective.”

This is a much better answer because it demonstrates strength and self-confidence. Candidate #2 takes responsibility and deals with the question honestly.

Whether you were let go under unfair circumstances or for something you did and regret, scripting your answer ahead of the interview will help you. You don’t want to bad-mouth your former employer or sound like a victim (even if you were). Practice your answer with someone in a mock interview and obtain feedback on your comfort-level while discussing your situation.

Lying

Probably the worst way to handle this question is by lying. One lie usually leads to another, and before you know it you are in over your head. You always take a chance whenever you put a lie on an application. The application usually has a signature line on the back where you sign, stating that the above is true, and that any false statements could be grounds for termination.

Perspective

It is a fact that “people lose their jobs everyday.” They move on and get new jobs. And, you will too. No matter what the circumstances, put it behind you and move on. Deal with your feelings about the lay off or firing, and prepare your answer to the question before it is asked. Being prepared will make you feel more confident and less emotional about the situation.

5 Phrases You Need to Stop Saying to Your Employees

Employee feedback, especially the negative kind, can be difficult to give and to take, which is why so many people dread the performance review process.

It doesn’t help that when employers say one thing, employees hear another thing entirely. Employers need to think about what they’re trying to communicate and how it might sound to employees to avoid any confusion or resentment.

Related: 3 Phrases That Kill Intrapreneurship

To make the process of providing and receiving employee feedback more productive and less dreadful, here are five things no employee wants to hear, and what employers should say instead:

1. “You’re doing a great job, but …”

What the employee hears:but …”

It’s never a good idea to begin a piece of constructive criticism with a compliment for the simple fact that the praise will go in one ear and out the other. Instead, focus separately on what the employee does successfully and what needs a little extra TLC.

Recognizing employees for their achievements will soften the blow of any constructive feedback they might receive — regardless of when it’s said. But focusing on their achievements apart from that criticism will ensure that employees don’t miss out on feedback that encourages them to continue doing what they do well.

2. “I need you to be more like [blank].”

What the employee hears: That person “is a better employee than you.”

Always focus on the employee receiving the feedback. Throwing other employees into the mix — whether it’s to demonstrate their superiority or inferiority — can do more harm than good. Employees will begin to see their peers as competition, which can lead to increased tension and a lack of teamwork in the workplace.

Instead of comparing employees, evaluate performance in comparison with the company’s mission, vision and values.

Related: Be the Benevolent Dictator Your Company Deserves

3. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to start training you soon.”

What the employee hears: “We’re going to start training next week.”

Words such as “hopefully” and “soon” fall on deaf ears. To avoid any misconceptions, it’s best to hold off on sharing development plans until those plans are closer to coming to fruition. Sharing company expectations and then failing to deliver can have a negative effect on management, the company and the employer brand as a whole.

As an alternative, consider discussing the employee’s expectations for the future and how the company can help fulfill those expectations.

4. “How do you think you’ve been performing?

What the employee hears: “I already know how you’re performing, but want to see if you’re aware.”

Not only does this question come off as a trick question, but it also fails to elicit truly honest answers. Employees might think they’re doing amazing jobs, but they may not be willing to blow their own horns. On the other hand, they might be aware that their performance has taken a hit, but probably won’t want to point that out. Don’t ask, tell employees how they’re performing and focus on moving forward.

5. “I’m cutting you some slack since …”

What the employee hears: “If you were anyone else, you’d be fired.”

Whether it’s during a formal performance review or a casual check-in, employee feedback should be constructive. This isn’t the time to discipline employees, but rather a time to identify areas for improvement and come up with a solid plan to address and improve on any issues.

Avoid saying anything that could be subject to negative interpretation by employees. Instead, opt to provide criticism in a constructive way, and offer ways to help employees improve.

What are some other phrases managers should avoid saying when providing feedback? What should they say instead? Let us know in the comments section below.

How to Keep Your Spirits Up During Your Job Search

If you’ve been in a job search for more than a few weeks you may be experiencing the feelings of defeat and despair, not to mention the urge to give up. It’s been a tough year, and then some, for those who have lost jobs for whatever reason. Interviewing with no second interviews or offers coming in begins to wear thin – very fast.

Here are some tips to keep your spirits up when you’re feeling down during this process.

1. Don’t give up.

You may have heard some of these stories before but they remain inspirational.

* Thomas Edison patented 1,093 inventions in his lifetime, but it took him 10,000 attempts to make an electric light bulb work.

* Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse series failed to become an instant hit, but he kept trying and in 1928 he added sound and made it an electrifying success.

* Milton Hershey failed several businesses before he became the “Chocolate King” and built Hershey town. He even went bankrupt in his first business venture.

(Source “Milana Leshinsky” – http://www.accpow.com.)

These are great “successes-after-failure stories” that couldn’t have happened if these people hadn’t continued to pursue their dreams. Anyone can give up – that’s easy! The challenge is to pick yourself up after a failure and move forward. That is what will set you apart from “the pack.”

2. Accept the ups and downs

It’s not unusual to have highs and lows during your job search. Some days you may even feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. Everything looks hopeful one moment with a job prospect ahead, and then it changes to dark and dismal in the next moment when you receive a rejection. Accepting the fact that this is a stressful time you are going through and that a great deal of it is out of your control will help you put things into perspective.

3. Give yourself permission to fail.

It is very disappointing when you feel like you “aced” the interview and then wait for the promised call that never comes. Be realistic – you aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview. Think of it this way, you didn’t marry every date you ever dated (at least most of us didn’t), and you aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview. And maybe that’s a good thing, at least some of the time. Remember, you are interviewing “them” as much as they are interviewing you.

4. Work on controlling stress

Stress becomes a problem when it begins to affect your lifestyle and health. Are you waking up in the middle of the night or skipping meals because you are feeling really down or upset? You may need to talk to someone who is a professional to get some advice about relaxation techniques. Park and Recreation departments in most cities offer relaxation courses of some kind – yoga, pilates, aerobics, or stress control exercises – for a nominal fee, that could assist you in getting back on balance.

5. Continue to get “out there”

Study after study published continues to indicate that “networking” is still the number one way to land a job. Take advantage of every opportunity to be with groups of people. This encompasses everything from your child’s soccer game to a Chamber of Commerce event. Informal networking can happen at any moment and when you least expect it. An example is of a man waiting for a bus. He struck up a conversation with another man also waiting for the bus and ended up getting a job lead and an eventual offer. No one can predict when an opportunity might come your way.

6. Prepare yourself

Preparing ahead of the interview will give you a definite advantage. What this means is getting focused about what you want the interviewer to know about you. You are presenting a picture of you with words. It is important to identify what makes you unique and what added value you can bring to the position. Reading through the job posting you are applying for and getting a sense of what it will take to do this job will help you look at the process from interviewer’s point of view. You want to let the interviewer know that you are the “solution to the problem,” and the best person for the job.

7. Keep in mind – you are not alone

Remember, it is an extremely tight job market and that for every job opening there are four or five equally qualified candidates standing in line behind you. It is essential that you are prepared, focused, and able to tell the interviewer what makes you unique and why you are the best person for the job.

Keeping upbeat is a part of your job right now. When you begin to give into the dark side you will project that to others. You want to stay as upbeat as possible, particularly while interviewing. Bringing confidence and energy to the interview are the two most important ingredients to connecting with the interviewer.

How Successful People Beat Stress

If it feels like everything is more stressful these days, that’s because it is. Recent research by the University of Cambridge has shown that more than a third of people feel overwhelmed by technology today, including 34 percent of tech-savvy millennials.

A separate study, conducted by Nielsen, found that 80 percent of American workers feel major stress in the office. A few reasons employees cited for feeling stressed out included long commutes, low pay, unreasonable workload, problematic co-workers and limited work-life balance.But there’s no need to suffer in silence. Keep chaos at bay by practicing these proven solutions to boost your energy, ratchet down your stress level and help you become a top performer:

Decide if you want more or less of certain activities. Stress drains energy, leaving you low on mojo to achieve important tasks and reach goals. To regain your center when knocked off balance by daily stressors, thinking about how you are spending your time can help. In their book “Find Your Balance Point,” authors Brian Tracy and Christina Stein suggest that you can energize your life and feel less stressed by considering which activities are giving you the best results, and doing more of those things.

By the same token, the opposite principle also holds true. “Obviously, you should be doing less of the things that are not working for you – that are not giving you good results and are causing you unhappiness and frustration,” they write.

Think about what you should start or stop. When you’re mired in your habits at work and home, stress can sneak up on you. You may be unaware that the choices you’ve made previously in your career and personal life no longer fit, leading you to feel stressed. Tracy and Stein suggest taking the above advice one step further to think about what new thing you can start doing today to boost your happiness and take you out of your comfort zone.

Similarly, you can probably identify actions or activities that you’d be better off cutting out of your life completely. “In time management or personal management, and whenever you feel frustrated and unhappy for any reason, ask yourself this great question: ‘What should I do more of, less of, start, or stop?'” Tracy and Stein write. “You will always find the answers somewhere within yourself.”

Beware of snowballing. While it’s true that stress in small doses can actually be helpful, when stressful situations go on too long, it’s a whole different story. Research from The University of Dublin has suggested that when your brain is exposed to cumulative stress, it can damage brain structure and function.

Excessive stress has also been linked with accelerated aging, increased risk of cancer and other diseases and decreased longevity. In his book “Are You Fully Charged?” author Tom Rath compares the accumulation of stress over time in your body to what happens when snow is left to sit for too long on the sidewalk, eventually becoming too deep, heavy and icy to easily shovel away.

Rather than letting stress snowball, Rath recommends being aware of chronic stressors in your life and finding ways to change them. “Consider some of the things that regularly create stress in your life,” he writes. “Map out how you can avoid these situations in the first place, or at least minimize the daily stress they cause. Rarely, if ever, is putting up with intense stress worth the consequences for your health and well-being.”

Recognize sources of secondhand stress. If you think about some of the most anxiety-producing situations in your life right now, many of them probably involve other people. Rath refers to this as “secondhand stress” and notes in his book that you can easily “inherit” other people’s stress. “Play defense against inherited stress throughout the day,” he writes. “You have enough emotional stressors to deal with on your own, let alone if you assume the stressors of your colleagues, neighbors and social networks.”

Banish toxic thoughts. Navy SEALs exemplify exceptional resilience under unusually stressful circumstances. In the book “Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed,” author George S. Everly Jr. and his co-authors drew on decades of research and interviews with Navy SEALs and other highly resilient people and discovered that many of them shared the trait of “active optimism.” This quality of confidence, which allows you to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed and reach your goals, helps overcome toxic thoughts to maintain a positive attitude, even when faced with difficult circumstances.

“Our findings also suggest that a person’s attitude on the job, and possibly in life in general, are as important or more important than the working or living environment itself,” Everly writes. Take these findings to heart, and work on quashing a mindset of repetitive worry and negativity, which the research in “Stronger” found linked to burnout, job dissatisfaction, poor job performance and quitting your job.