We have all been there…at some point we are all looking for work, and it is tough. Working is an integral part of our self-worth and contributes directly to our happiness. We know what it is we want to do and what we are capable of, and there are jobs out there that would be an amazing fit.
You apply to hundreds of positions and may even get in for an interview and …nothing happens. Resumes go into a black hole, you get no response and frustration sets in. “Why won’t they just call me, I know I can convince them I will be a great employee?”
Searching for a job is emotional. Period.
The problem is, this is not an emotional transaction. You are a product, and a future employer is the customer. If you want to break through the barrier you have to start thinking of your job search as a sales transaction and what would you, if you were the customer, be looking for?
1) Employers don’t know you
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when searching for a job. There is a natural assumption that when you send a resume to a job posting, the employer will somehow know that because you can do task A, that means you must be able to do task B. We all do it….but to successfully find a job you need to break out of the cycle.
Companies can get hundreds of resumes per job, they are not going to have time to call every single candidate that applied and ask “why are you good for my job?” Think about what you would do if you were a hiring manager? Would you have time to interview 100 people that may or may not have any skillset for the position you are looking for? I wouldn’t, and I am sure you would not either. Employers are going to sort the resumes to the top 5 or 10 people they think look closest to the job, and call them first. Everyone else goes in the maybe file. The trick is to focus your resume as much as possible on the position and tailor every resume you send out for the particular position. Keywords, buzzwords, industry and product experience are all key. What is the company really looking for? What do they do …and have I done that before?
2) Get ready for a long process
Finding a job is a long, hard process. You may have to send out multiple rounds of resumes, you may interview 3-4 times over an extended period and then may not get the job. Even if you finish 2nd out of 40 candidates, unfortunately you still don’t get the job.
Don’t get frustrated. I know it is easier said than done, but it is a numbers game. The more resumes you send out, the more people you speak to, the better chance you have of landing something concrete. Good candidates will get hung up on one particular role and will put all their eggs in that one basket waiting for an offer. When it doesn’t come it is devastating and you have now wasted a lot of time not sending our resumes to other companies. Remember it is not personal. Employers are looking for the best possible fit and are willing to wait for the right person. Keep going, keep working…the right position will come but it is a process and will not happen overnight.
3) Know your limitations
Look at your experience objectively and realistically and ask yourself…If I was looking to hire someone, would my experience fit? Would you make yourself an offer or even interview you?
What industries or products have you worked in? Start there and work your way out. What are comparable industries? Are you working with products that are used in other industries?
What are the chances of getting a job that is so far off your experience they would have to train you from scratch? Realistically if a company was going to do that, they would simply hire a recent graduate and train them from the ground up. This sounds harsh, but it is reality.
The more you can understand where you may or may not fit the more you can try and focus your search and not frustrate yourself applying to jobs that are not really relevant.
Taking the emotion out of your job search will help you operate more effectively and hopefully will land you a position you may never have thought possible.