Thinking of Giving Up Your Job Search? Try These 5 Steps First

By Biron Clark


Misc Tips

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

If you’re thinking of giving up your job search or feeling frustrated by a lack of results, this article is for you.

I’m going to give you a few practical steps you should try before you give up on job hunting.

My goal in this article is to (hopefully) convince you NOT to give up, and to provide you with new ideas and strategies you can use to land a job over the next few weeks or months.

5 Steps Before Giving Up Your Job Search:

1. Take a Short Break (With a Deadline)

Sometimes you just need a break.

Job searching is stressful.

The ups and downs. The waiting. The rejection.

So if you feel like every little thing is overwhelming you right now, and the thought of starting to apply for more jobs is incredibly stressful, take a break. That’s a lot better than giving up your job hunt.

Take a few days, a full week, or even slightly more if you need it.

But decide how long your break is going to be, and stick to it! Mark your calendar, and know what day you’re going to return to your job search.

And then do it! Attack your job search (with the tips I’m going to share in the rest of this article) on your first day back.

This is not the same as giving up your job search. You’re taking a strategic break to recharge. Which I highly recommend if you’ve been job hunting for more than three months and haven’t been able to find a job.

2. When You’re Ready to Continue, Make BIG Changes

Clearly, something isn’t working if you’re at the point of wanting to give up on your job search.

So don’t come back and repeat what wasn’t effective.

Make huge changes.

A different resume style. A different type of message in your cover letter. Or a different industry where you might be able to find similar work.

If you’re sending out your resume and not getting callbacks, change the whole thing around.

Move entire sections. Re-write key parts. Delete pieces that you feel aren’t relevant to the specific jobs you’re applying for.

Add way more facts, details, and metrics, especially into your resume bullet points.

And if you’re using a resume objective, get rid of it.

Everyone knows your objective is to find a position in your field/industry.

What should you put instead? Try writing a resume summary section – one or two sentences summarizing your career and accomplishments.

After that brief summary section, your resume should dive into your recent work experience in the first half of the first page. The only exception is if you have no work experience.

Forget a functional resume, forget listing a bunch of skills and certifications near the top.

You need to list your most recent experience and you “tailor” it to match the job descriptions of the positions you’re applying for.

So the order of sections I recommend for the top of the first page of your resume is:

  1. Your name/contact info
  2. A brief resume summary (go here for resume summary examples)
  3. Your work experience, starting with the most recent

Now, the same goes for cover letters. If you’re sending cover letters and nobody’s interviewing you, make huge changes.

Let’s say you have a gap in employment you’re trying to explain. And nobody’s responding.

Explain it differently. Try a new angle.

If you’re stuck on this, ask a few friends for their opinions too.

I’d highly recommend checking out this article on the reasons you can’t find a job, because it breaks down some of the possible issues you’re facing depending on where you’re struggling (not getting interviews, getting rejected in interviews, etc.)

3. Stop Applying to Random Jobs and Start Networking More

I wrote this article about why networking is the fastest way to get a job. I still feel strongly that this is true.

If you’ve been sending out your resume to random job postings on job boards, or applying on LinkedIn or other large job sites, take a break and start networking.

Ask everyone in your network if they know of any companies hiring in your field.

People cannot help you in your job search if they don’t know you’re looking. So make sure people know.

Also expand your network by building genuine connections with new people (this does NOT mean asking people if their company is hiring, or attaching your resume to a LinkedIn message)

Here’s a script you can use to connect with someone new on LinkedIn:

“Hi <Name>,

I noticed you’re involved in <Job Function/Team Name> over at <Company>.

I’m job searching and it’s one of the top companies I was considering applying to. Have you enjoyed the company culture and work environment over there?

I always find it better to ask someone in the company, rather than read reviews online. Anything you’re willing to share would be great!


<Your Name>

What the script would look like filled in/completed: 

“Hi Sandra,

I noticed you’re involved in finance over at IBM.

I’m job searching and it’s one of the top companies I was considering applying to. Have you enjoyed the company culture and work environment over there?

I always find it better to ask someone in the company, rather than read reviews online. Anything you’re willing to share would be great!



You can adapt this and make it fit your tone and personality, but that should give you a general idea of how to start networking to find a job.

And this will actually do better than directly asking for a big favor upfront. In fact, that will get you ignored almost every time.

After this, thank them and ask a follow-up question.

Keep the conversation going. Eventually, you’ll have a new friend, and they may offer to introduce you to the hiring manager of their group (or you can ask very casually if not, but do not ask on the first day).

4. Improve Your Interview Skills

Your resume has one mission: to get you the interview.

Once you’re in the interview, it comes down to your interview skills.

So if you got a few interviews (even phone interviews), but they didn’t turn into job offers, it’s a sign your interviews are going badly.

As a former Executive Recruiter, I am 100% sure of this.

So here are some interview resources to help you build up this skill. It will pay off now and in every job search, so I’d encourage you to take a week and just focus on this. Think of it as an investment in your future.

5. Consider Part-Time or Temporary Work

If you’re thinking of giving up your job search, consider taking a part-time job or a temporary position while you continue to look for full-time work.

It’s usually easier to find a job when you have a job (because of your mental state/confidence, and because employers are more attracted to someone who’s currently working).

And this will also take some of the financial pressure off.

When employers see that you’re working part-time, they’ll know you’re motivated and committed to keeping your skills current, and they’ll be more likely to hire you.

If you’re wondering whether it’s time to give up your job search but haven’t considered this option, it’s worth thinking about. It’s a lot better than giving up completely.

Try All 5 Steps Above Before Deciding to Quit or Give Up Your Job Search

If you’re nearing the point of thinking whether it’s time to give up your job search, the tips above can help turn your job search around.

It’s okay to take a break, but don’t quit. And when you’re ready to keep trying, make big changes and use the tips above to get better results from your job applications and interviews.


Biron Clark

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