Looking for a new job is hard. It's as simple as that, and it’s easy to forget these top 5 things to remember when you're searching. You may be working long hours at a day job while searching for the career of your dreams, or you may have left a job only to spend countless hours searching for a new position. Whatever situation you may be in, you’re not alone.
Searching for a job can be a long and tedious process, and it's easy to feel dejected, however it is important to keep your spirits up and remember that everything always works itself out. It doesn't make it any easier at the time, but often when you look back upon a time you were struggling, you'll see how far you've progressed. To make it a little easier on you, I've rounded up the top 5 things to remember when you're searching for a job:
DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY, AND TRY TO LOOK AT THINGS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
You may have applied to hundreds or thousands of jobs, and it's easy to get down on yourself, but it's always important to look at things from a different perspective. You have no idea who's on the other end, sifting through applications. Sometimes jobs are only posted for legal reasons, even when the company has a candidate in mind. Don't take it personally if you don't hear from an online job application. Chances are that it has nothing to do with you!
REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE LIKELY ONE OF HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS OF APPLICANTS
Because we have such easy access to job postings through online job sites such as LinkedIn, it is very common to be one of hundreds or thousands of applicants. The problem is that even if you’re completely qualified and would be a great candidate for the position, you may get passed over due to the sheer volume of candidates applying. Often there are so many applicants that determining which candidates should move forward is like finding a needle in a haystack. Be patient, make your application great, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re the only person to apply.
"Be patient, make your application great, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re the only person to apply."
DON’T APPLY TO EVERY JOB UNDER THE SUN
Recruiters call this tactic “spray and pray,” and it’s not a tactic that anyone in the hiring industry would recommend. Contrary to popular belief, applying to more jobs is not better. The quality of each application you submit is much more important than the quantity. It’s much better to apply to a few jobs that you really want, and focus on customizing your resume and cover letter to each position than to cast wide net and apply to a lot of jobs with the same resume and cover letter.
When you use the same general resume and cover letter to apply to a plethora of jobs, recruiters and hiring managers can tell. By using terms such as “your company” instead of actually writing out the company name, or not referencing specific aspects of the company and/or job description, it becomes transparent that you’re using that resume and cover letter to apply everywhere.
What’s wrong with that? It gives off the notion that you’re too lazy to customize your documents, and that you don’t care about the company which you’re applying for. Make sure you show the hiring manager and/or recruiter who you really are and pour your soul into each application. It may be a pain at the time, but your effort will show through and benefit you.
YOU HAVE TO WANT IT, AND SHOW OTHERS THAT YOU WANT IT
I often see people who are applying for jobs they aren’t super excited about, and it is always very apparent in their applications. When on a job search, you have to be determined and know what you want. If you want something bad enough and work hard enough to get there, it will show through in your resume, cover letter, interview, and overall actions. Companies want to hire people who know what they want and will work their butt off to get there. If you’re neck in neck with another candidate, a company will almost always choose the candidate who wants it more. If you’re passionate, you’ll work harder, and that’s what kind of employees companies want to hire. If you can show how much you want the position in your application, you’ll always have good results.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE YOUR CONNECTIONS
This is one of the biggest mistakes people make. A lot of people seem to be afraid of using their connections because they don’t want it to appear as though they got the position because of who they know. It’s not ideal to be handed a job just because you know someone with authority, but reaching out to people you know in a similar field or work in a company you want to work for is always a good idea.
There may be a job opportunity coming up that you would only hear about through an internal source. You’ll still need to submit a resume and go through the application process, but reaching out to a contact could present you with a new opportunity that you had no idea existed. Remember that if you won’t reach out and use your connections, there are plenty of people who will, and they will be the ones to hear about new opportunities before anyone else. Chances are that you will never regret reaching out to a connection to let them know you’re looking for a job.
It can be hard to keep your spirits up during a job search, but remember that countless people are facing the same struggles as you, and at some point or another, every single person has been there. Take advantage of free time if you have it, and become the best version of yourself. Take a class, do some volunteer work, and polish your application package. No one will look down upon you for taking time to improve yourself. Regardless of how you’re handling your job search, don’t forget about these top 5 things to remember when you're searching for a job.
A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of writestylesonline.com. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.
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