Searching for a new job is nobody’s idea of a good time. I am regularly being entrusted with the hopes, fears, and anxieties of job seekers, so I can safely say that it is a universally uncomfortable process for people. However, many of things that make searching for a job painful are completely avoidable.
Here are 5 common “pain points” that you can stop doing, and 5 things you can do to make the process more effective and maybe, even, a little enjoyable.
- Stop Being Unrealistic – You applied for your dream job as a data scientist for a non-profit that pays people to play with puppies. It’s PERFECT. The only problem is that it’s extremely competitive, it's in a different city, and your experience is in Geology. Start putting the bulk of your energy into positions that align with your qualifications, even if they are aspirational.
- Stop Being Impatient – You sent your resume to your dream job over a week ago and you are freaking out that you have not heard back. Take a breath. There are many likely reasons why you’ve not been contacted: HR departments are understaffed, corporate bureaucracy is stifling, the job posting hasn’t closed, and – oh yeah – it’s only been a week! Start channeling your energy into healthier pastimes and remember that filling a new position requires the efforts of multiple people and quite a bit of time.
- Stop Sending Untargeted Documents – You applied for 100 jobs in 4 hours and haven’t heard a thing since. That’s because the “spray and pray” job search method doesn’t work because readers can tell that you just want any job, but they want to hire someone who wants their specific job. Start taking the time to research each position and target your documents toward each specific position and organization.
- Stop Not Actually Applying – You updated LinkedIn and put your new resume on Indeed and are wondering why you haven’t gotten any offers. Unless you have a set of especially desirable and competitive skills, a passive job search is not going to work. Start sourcing positions and organizations that you are specifically interested in and actively apply.
- Stop Focusing on the Wrong Things – You crafted a beautiful, high design resume that is truly a work of art. The problem is that you didn’t pay attention to making it readable or bother to include any actual accomplishments. Worse, you are applying for a corporate accounting role, not a graphic design position. Start focusing on building a resume that is exceptionally easy to read, laser focused on achievements and impact, and is aligned with expectations of readers in your field.