AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

5 Ways to Get Out of Your Job Search Rut

Image: job search rut

Consider this scenario: Jim has been unemployed for a couple of months now, and he feels like he isn't getting anywhere with his job search. Every day, he wakes up and heads to the computer to look for a job on the same five websites he's been using for the past two months. He applies for some positions online, but never hears back from any employers. Does this sound like you? If so, you might be in a job search rut! Here are five strategies to use in your search to help you stay motivated and ultimately land your next position.

1. Looking Online: This has become the most common way to look for a job because you can search online at any time of day or night from any computer that has Internet access. Here's a tip: Avoid ONLY searching common job search sites because they will have the most traffic and therefore more applicants. Remember to search both industry-specific and individual company websites as well. Professional organizations often have a job finder section on their website, so if you are a member of one, take advantage of this service. Finally, if you are an AIU student or graduate, don't forget about AIU's Employer Network site!

2. Networking: While looking online is fast and convenient, the bottom line is that many positions companies are looking to fill are NOT advertised. Discuss your career goals with your friends, family, and mentors – you never know who will know someone else who can help you get your foot in the door of your dream company! Using LinkedIn can also be a great way to connect with potential employers and other industry professionals to help you tap into the "hidden" job market.

3. Cold Calling: Do you have a specific company in mind that you would like to work for? Try giving them a call to inquire about current and future job opportunities. This can be especially helpful with smaller companies, as they tend to not always have their own websites, or update them with job postings as often. Even if they are not hiring at the time of your inquiry, ask if you can send in or drop off your resume anyway. Let them know you would like to be considered for a future position - you never know what can happen if your resume gets into the right person's hands.

4. Employment Agencies: Employment agencies can be especially helpful if you are looking for temporary or contract work. Do a Google search to find agencies in your area, and see if there are any that are specific to your field or industry. Also remember that sometimes temporary assignments can lead to permanent positions!

5. Looking in the Newspaper: Some may consider this the "old-fashioned way" of job searching, but looking in the classified section of your local newspaper can help you identify companies with openings in your area. Smaller businesses especially will be more likely to advertise locally. Don't just limit yourself to the classified section though – take a look at the business section to discover what new companies may be coming to your area as well.

This is just a sampling of the many strategies you can use while job hunting. If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at for more ideas and assistance.

Interested in more posts on job search-related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.