Some people are lucky enough to get THE job they wanted straight out of school, others will simply start their own business, and others (less frequent) won’t have to work a single day in their life because a small fortune is currently waiting for them at the bank (thanks mom, thanks dad). However for the rest of us, whether we are looking for a first job or in need of a change, the job hunt is one of these steps in life that we cross… with more or less grace depending.
Your resume is freshly updated, you have 1.5000 tabs open on internet, an Excel file to track your applications… You’re all in, and I’m sure you’ll do wonders. But for now, let’s face it, you’re not quite far from despair. After sending hundreds of applications, and receiving 3 ridiculous denial replies, you’re starting to wonder if the answer wouldn’t be to pack you stuff and go raise some goats, far far away.
Cheer up soldier! Your dream job is out there, somewhere, and all it takes is for you to find it. To earn you some time in this Holy Graal quest, here’s a list of 8 habits you should lose when looking for a job:
That, my dear, is called a spam. It’s exhausting for you, for the recruiter, for everyone actually! And it doesn’t pay with many results. To be honest, you will probably end up applying to things that don’t even match your description of the perfect job. Spend a bit more time studying on job offers, to make sure that each application you send is going to an offer that you actually want to apply to.
Now that’s a good one! Kindly note that a recruiter receives many, many emails. Thinking that he read yours simply because you clicked “send” is a big mistake. Don’t hesitate to follow up if the person hasn’t answered you after a couple weeks. There’s a great tool that can help you track if your emails have been read. It’s called Mixmax, it’s free and it almost saves lives.
Your network is far greater than you can imagine, and it would be a shame not to use your contacts to raise awareness about the fact that you’re currently job hunting. Why? Well because your mate from school might work in your dream company. Because you cousin might know someone who is currently looking for someone like you to build an amazing project. Because your old teacher… You got the point. Don’t limit yourself to the first people that come to your mind, because anyone in your network could potentially put you in touch with THE person that will change your life. Update your LinkedIn status, post a little message on your groups, let the people know!
You are amazing, and that’s a fact. But after several long weeks of looking for a job that seems to never come, your moral is probably a bit lower than usual. You might even want to lower your salary expectations, just to find a job faster, or worse, accept a job that sucks just to have something… You’d come to realize a few months later that you are not at all thriving at work, and it would be back to square one. Devaluate yourself, and you will waste time and energy applying to jobs that you’re overqualified for: should you really need the money, this option is obviously a good one for short term. But if you already have a job and want a new one, now would be the time to step up and have some faith in the future. Start by giving the higher end of your salary expectations when asked, even if you have to lower them slightly later.
Being open to any function / industry and applying to basically any job that you are remotely qualified for will make you look like you have no clue of what you’re doing (and even though it’s probably true, no one must know). Especially during an interview, please avoid trying to please everyone, and don’t hesitate to say out loud what you like and what you don’t (by remaining well mannered of course).
On the opposite, only applying for your dream job will guarantee you a few extra months at your parents’ place. You got the point, it’s all about balance. Don’t forget that behind every job offer, there is a company with unique values, set of mind, people, and that you might have the time of your life in any one of them!
The job market is extremely competitive, and some job offers receive hundreds of applications. If after going through a few interviews, you receive the dreaded phone call (or email) explaining that the job was given to someone else, stay professional and ask for a feedback on your interview. This way you’ll know if you made a massive mistake on D-Day, or if the person they picked is simply slightly more qualified than you. Most of the companies keep records of their applications, so being polite is your best strategy. Take five minutes to feel sorry for yourself, but then lift up your head (maybe listen to “The Eye of the Tiger”?) and remember that no interview is a wasted time if you use their feedback to get better for the next one!
Take your spirit out of the job hunt, do some sports, apply to online courses… do not let this “job seeker” status become all of you. Why? Because someone who looks desperate is a lot less attractive than someone who knows how to keep busy in a healthy and constructive way.
I wish you bon courage and every success!