When it comes to job hunting, there’s often a misconception that the job search will be easy. The sobering reality, however, is that the job hunt can be discouraging and downright exhausting. Even if a job seeker has great skills and solid professional references, the job search is often met with unexpected surprises and disappointments. Here, we’ve outlined five truths that you as a job seeker may be unaware of in order to better prepare you for the process.
1. You will need patience and persistence.
Sure, you have a great resume and a good track record with all your previous employers. This means you’ll be able to apply for the perfect position at a great employer, who will, of course, contact you immediately for an interview. Right? Sadly, this is not the case. One of the biggest frustrations job seekers report is the lack of response from employers once they apply. Because of this, your patience to search for new opportunities and your persistence through rejection will determine your success. This part of the job search will require all your effort, energy, and organizational skills to stay focused on your goals and progress.
2. Reaching out to your network is a crucial part of the process.
A critical step in your job search is to reach out to everyone you know. That means everyone. You may be surprised to find the people you expected to help you won’t, and the people you least expected to help will. These contacts will tap into their own networks, which will help keep the ball rolling in your job search. Don’t neglect this important step.
3. Your mindset can either help or hinder you.
The job search can feel as though you are putting in a lot of effort applying for jobs (you are!) with very little return. Often times, there will be no indication that the employer has ever seen or reviewed your resume. If you are fortunate enough to be granted an interview, you run the risk of disappointment if the employer decides to “go in a different direction.” It’s common to feel dejected, wondering why a particular company is not interested in you. However, it’s a waste of time to focus on should-have-beens. A positive mindset is key, so don’t take rejection to heart. While you may be wallowing in a lost opportunity, you’re missing out on the next one down the pike.
4. Limiting the scope of your search will limit your opportunities.
The best way to ensure success in your job search is to keep your options open. If you pigeon-hole yourself into one industry or narrow your focus to a specific job title, you may be stunting your career growth. Instead, review your skills to see how they can translate to other industries and positions. By diversifying your search, you are opening yourself up to a greater number of possibilities.
5. “Winging it” is not an option.
Just because you were an over-performer in your last job, does not mean you can take it easy during the interview process for a new opportunity. Can you clearly articulate your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs)? Do you know how they can benefit the employer? Can you succinctly answer the question of why the employer should hire you? Remember, you are a brand, a product for sale in a competitive market so you need to convince the interviewer you are the best of all the potential candidates.
While these facts may make the job search appear grim, the intent to ensure you are informed so you can set realistic expectations for your job search. Now that you are armed with this knowledge, you can brace yourself for the process and maintain a positive outlook. We wish you the best in your job search!