Job searching as most people will tell you can be a frustrating experience. So much of it after all seems beyond your own ability to control. However, instead of worrying about things you can’t control, let’s look at basic things you can control and the negative impact they can have on your success if you don’t get a handle on things.
For starters, let’s talk about your phone. These days job seekers have a tremendous advantage over those looking for work in years’ past. You can take your phone everywhere these days, no longer having to hang around the apartment or house just in case someone might call and offer you an interview. That’s huge; but it also pointless to have a phone and then not be able to receive or make calls on it.
Make sure you put enough money into your plan so that you can actually receive and make outgoing calls. Nothing is more frustrating to an employer than receiving your resume, deciding you are indeed worth an interview and then calling you up only to find that they can’t leave a message. If they do leave a message and you never receive it due to issues with your provider, employers won’t know that. They’ll only surmise that you haven’t got the good grace and respect to call them back
Your resume might be another major issue. If you are still photocopying your resume and sending it to multiple employers, you’re stuck in the early 1990’s. Your competition? They’re adjusting their resumes to meet each and every posting they apply to and that means on paper, they will always come across as better qualified and a good match. If you are too lazy or disinterested in your own job applications to target your resumes, companies won’t want you working for them.
Next get yourself connected on social media platforms and do more than just post pictures of yourself and your friends. You’ve got this extraordinarily powerful tool at your disposal where you can connect with people, share ideas, ask for support, tap into job leads and reasons for job openings. What a shame if you are complaining that job searching is all about who you know not what you know, and you don’t know anybody. Create a profile for yourself and fill it out in detail, research companies you are interested in working with and who works there; these are the people you can make connections with.
Another problem many people make is only going about their job search using technology. Sooner or later you have to get out of the home office or off the couch and meet people. Your interpersonal skills; your ability to talk with people, engage in conversations and listen all need practice to stay developed or to improve. So many people can chat up a storm when it’s a keyboard they have in front of them, but when it comes to meeting people all those communication skills fail them.
So get out of your house and go see a local sports team in action. Head out to the library, the zoo, take a stroll on a well-used walkway, join a recreational organization – in short do anything that will give you opportunities to connect with people. If you fear your communication skills are really poor, just keeping your head up as you pass someone on a footpath and saying hello while making eye contact is a good start. Will that get you a job interview? Absolutely not and it’s silly to think it might. Could it be a huge first step for someone with social anxiety and as a result poor communication skills and low self-esteem? Absolutely yes!
Here’s another idea that you probably will agree philosophically would be time well spent, but for other people and not you: get some help with your interview skills. Told you that you wouldn’t like. You need practice my friends; those interview skills are probably rusty, and if you aren’t getting past the interviews you are currently getting, the answer could be in how you interview. If you aren’t even getting too many interviews in the first place, all the more reason to get help so you do well when the interview does come.
A good Job Coach, Advisor or Employment Counsellor will help you strategize ways to deal with: awkward questions, work on your body language, appearance, the tone of your voice, things you could phrase better, things you shouldn’t share, draw out your accomplishments and strengths, how to minimize the possible damage of exposing your weaknesses.
However the number one thing you should avoid at all costs is the very thing that some people ultimately do, which is to become so bitter and angry that they allow their lack of success to change who they are. Don’t let the stress of unemployment change your optimism, your positive outlook. You’re still a good person worthy of living a life full of all the good things you want in it. Don’t turn off your friends, alienate your spouse and family, and think the world owes you.
No, you owe it to yourself to work hard at this job search. Hold yourself accountable, not all the other people in your life. Take personal responsibility for your successes and your failure and most importantly for learning from your failures.
Set yourself up to win in your job search!