In a job search, it is easy to become overly-focused upon job search techniques, crafting the 'perfect' resume, or polishing interview skills. While these are all important activities and skills, there is an underlying foundation that requires attention.
That foundation is persistence. I believe that this is one of the most difficult times to job search in the last 50 years. Beyond the economy, today's job seeker receives very little feedback. Previously, a job seeker would commonly go to a business, request a paper application, and turn it back in to a human being. They could get commentary and opinion about their job prospects by asking, or by looking at subtle cues like body language and tone of voice. Today, applications are submitted online, and the only responses are automatic emails. The job seeker is often stranded in an electronic desert.
This situation only enhances the need to be persistent in a job search. To do that, begin with the end in mind. Set a goal, and write it down. Take your larger goal, and break it into manageable parts. Commit to making steady, consistent progress, and don't forget to take (small) breaks along the way. Reward yourself when you complete a step.
Another important part of maintaining a persistent attitude is getting support from others. Let the appropriate people in your life know what your goals and plans are. Not only can they offer encouragement, they also provide accountability.
Now, everything will not always be smooth. Be prepared to be flexible, and remember that flexibility and stubbornness are two different things. Learn to adapt, and when you get knocked down, pick yourself up and start again. Analyze the problem, and adapt accordingly.
In conclusion, I suppose that my message is to set goals, work toward them consistently, and keep going. Winston Churchill was a rather determined an persistent person:
“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender...”