Job Searching is a painfully long and slow process that everyone has to go through at least once in their lives. There are many things that can be annoying about the process and it varies for everyone, but three points remain consistent. These points are the hard work that has to be put in, the slow process and rejection. In this article, we share more about these three challenges and how to overcome them.
For those job searching while still hired, it can be a test on determination. Imagine the exhaustion of having to work all day, come home and still find the time to send out cheerful networking emails and texts to all one’s former bosses and colleagues. Some job seekers spend long hours polishing their resumes and yet get no responses in return. This is because they do not take the Trilemma into consideration. The Trilemma is made up of three points: The ease of getting the job, the nature of the job itself and the expected compensation. What people fail to realise is that almost no job will have all three points, most bordering two points at most. A job that is easy to find is likely to have little compensation and a high probability of being unpleasant. An easy career would require advanced degrees yet have only mediocre compensation. Lastly, a job that pays incredibly well will require a graduate degree and long work hours.
Overcoming the Hard Work
Stop giving your 110% to your current job and start giving more to your future. While it may sound terrible, it genuinely does help. Instead of taking on new projects and extra shifts in your current job, use those off days that have been piling up to work on your resume and go to networking events. When working on your resume, remember to highlight your main selling points. Hiring managers prefer seeing what you can do for them and how you can add value to their company rather than what you expect from their company.
Always have a strategic job search plan before you start sourcing for opportunities. This is a simple plan designed to help you decide what you want.
Firstly, carry out a SWOT (Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat) analysis on yourself to understand your strengths and weaknesses as well as what you can improve on. Combine your internal and external factors with your desired purpose and job field.
Think about yourself; your needs, wants and what others may want from you. What are the practical aspects that your values and preferences may raise in the job hunt. Think about what matters to you and pay close attention to them when searching for opportunities.
The last way to beat the stress is to consistently document your employment history. Create and maintain a detailed record of every job you have ever had, including all the critical elements and the achievements you had. This will not serve as a resume that you give out to others but a personal one for you to refer to when job searching.
If you were hoping to quit your job today and have the perfect career opportunity waiting outside your doorstep, I’m very sorry to disappoint. It is highly unlikely. It is common for job seekers to send out their resumes out many companies and hear nothing in return. This is probably because businesses are now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen all resumes and only select the top 25%. Applicants now have to learn to adapt to this new obstacle. Lastly, playing the waiting game. One rushes to complete an application and submit a resume only to wait weeks for a response. The classic game of hurry up and wait.
Overcoming the Slow Process
Keep in mind that you may have updated your resume and perfected your application but that doesn’t mean companies will be piling into your inbox instantly. Rather than rushing, take your time and don’t stress over getting everything done immediately. Before you start applying for job opportunities, assess exactly what you want to do next and determine how you will achieve it. This reduces frustrations and wasted time. Regarding the ATS system, ensure that your resume contains keywords that are most likely to be approved by the system and sent to the desk of a human. Do not rely solely on one job opportunity. Dedicate your time to at least 3-4 opportunities.
You did everything that you thought you might need. Perhaps you even made a list and checked each point off twice over and yet, there have been no responses. You have not gotten a phone interview or worse, you went through the interview process and finished the project they asked you to do before getting the automated rejection letter. Note that there might be equal or more pressure on the person hiring. If a CEO or Hiring Manager makes a bad hire, it will cost a lot of money, time and their reputation. This means that there are incentives for hiring managers to only hire someone they are absolutely sure to get the job done well.
Make connections. Spend as much time, if not more, networking as you would job searching. The more connections you have, the higher the chance of skipping the robotic process and get your resume into the right hands. When you go for interviews, ask questions.
“What parts of this job do you think are most important that I must excel at in order to get the job done efficiently and effectively?”
This is asking the interviewer – how can I make your life easier if you hire me?
“What kind of person have you seen perform best in this kind of role?”
This is essentially asking – what characteristics do you like or are more likely to be biased towards based on previous experiences?
By doing this, this ensures that as an applicant, you are making sure that you are one of the most compelling candidate without triggering alarm that might make the HR Manager more unsure about you.