Are you pursuing the right job opportunities for you?

Laid off and getting nowhere in your job search? Between the rejections, the unanswered phone calls and limited opportunities, it’s far too easy take it personally, give up altogether, and even worse, assume that you’ll be unemployed forever. Instead of beating your head against the wall and quit now, take a hard look at your job search efforts. Here are a few tips:

• Go with your super strengths. What is your super strength? Think of it as the one thing (or two or three things) that you feel that you can do better than most people. From now on, resolve to only apply to jobs that cater to your real talents, and forget the rest.

• Don’t let desperation make you waste your time. It’s easy to panic in a recession and start applying to any job with a heartbeat. But, when you cast a wide net, you take your time and energy from going for what you really want – plus, you’re competing with people who are more qualified than you, anyway. Your new mantra: Less is more. Repeat this when you feel the panic starting to set in.

• Take stock and reassess. If you have a sneaking suspicion that you aren’t playing to your super strengths, take a deep breath and assess your actions over the past weeks or months. Have you been pursuing opportunities that are so competitive that anyone besides Bill Gates wouldn’t stand a chance?

• If you’re stuck, get help. Ask a friend, “When you think of me and my strengths, what are the top two things that come to mind?” Sometimes, we’re so immersed in our own worlds that we can’t see the forest for the trees, so get the outside perspective to remind you what you probably already know about yourself anyway.

Author's Bio: 

Elizabeth Freedman is an expert in career and workplace issues. She is the author of Work 101: Learning the Ropes of the Workplace without Hanging Yourself and The MBA Student’s Job-Seeking Bible, and was a 2005 finalist for College Speaker of the Year, awarded by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. Elizabeth runs a Boston-based career-development and coaching firm; clients include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Reuters and The Gillette Company. To bring Elizabeth to your next association event or workplace meeting, please visit