4 Things to Keep in Mind During Your Job Search

man office job search

Hey, do you know what’s not fun?

Job searches.

I’m sure there’s a small percentage of people out there who enjoy it. I mean, perusing job ads for new challenges and exciting opportunities is fun. The real reason most people hate looking for a new position is because they are forced too. Depending on the circumstances, many take jobs that they know they will absolutely detest. Just to pay the bills.

For those of us with substantial savings and/or lucky enough to live in a country with decent social security (thanks, Germany!), the day-in, day-out process of applying and getting rejected gets tedious. Really tedious. It’s discouraging. Of course, the same can be said for those who need to find a job now or starve. Except, of course, with added existential terror.

I’m currently at my wit’s end. Last month, I applied to over a 100 companies.

Over 100 companies.

Let that sink in. Now, let me tell you how many positive responses (i.e., interviews) I got.

Just under ten.

I got plenty of rejections. A significant number of firms didn’t even bother to do that. Automated emails aside, that’s not only discouraging. It’s plain rude.

man with flowers
Flowers don’t work either… Not that some companies even deserve them.
“I’m clearly doing something wrong,” I thought. “Maybe my cover letters sounded too braggy. Maybe they weren’t bragging enough! Perhaps I should’ve included my entire job history – not just that relevant to digital marketing. Perhaps employers scoffed at the fact I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree – or maybe (in the case of German companies) my German was just too “foreign”.”

Maybe, I’m just not good enough.

The above musings are nonsense. I did everything right. If you’re applying for jobs in a professional manner, you’re doing everything right as well!

We’re taking all the right steps yet we get very little in return. It just doesn’t seem very fruitful.

lots of fruit
Neither does fruit…

The thing is, this is totally normal in a job search. Things may seem bleak while you’re in the thick of it, throwing CVs left, right and center. Despite that, you’ve got to remember that it also seems worse because you want a job. I’ve found that interviews come in waves: I’ll hear nothing for a week or two and then suddenly I’ll have an interview every single day.

All the while, just keep the job search running. And remember…

…you’re doing fine!

That’s why I threw the following points together. For anyone who needs a bit of encouragement and perspective, read on!

Job Search Tips: Rejections are normal, if not standard

Go into your job search fully expecting to be rejected. Companies received hundreds of applications daily. I’ve been on the other side, watching the poor HR person weep sorry tears at the amount they had to sift through. Okay, they weren’t full-on weeping, but the sheer volume of responses meant that most applications were not even properly read. And someone ended up traumatized.

UPDATE: No, forget the “poor” HR person. Their department put out an ad, they have a responsibility to get back to you. So what if it’s loads of applications? Get over it and do your damn job. Companies that ghost you or ignore candidates are disrespectful and unprofessional.

So remember: rejections are normal. They don’t mean you suck.

Job Search Tips: Auto-responses suck, but they’re better than nothing

Even if it takes months, a company should eventually follow-up on your application. Even if it’s to reject you. Auto-responses don’t replace that, however receiving a confirmation is a sign that at least you know it landed in their pile. While they certainly suck, they’re better than getting nothing at all.

Which is what a lot of companies do, to a surprising degree. If that’s the case, revaluate why you’d even want to work with that company.

It could take a few months

Keyword here is “could”. If you’re picky about the position you want and have the time to search, this may not be so much of an issue. You will hear of people who get job offers and interviews before things before they’ve even started to properly look. These people are lucky. Remember that: they are lucky and in the minority. Factors that contribute to this are usually their connections, how desperate/entranced by a particular candidate a company is and, again, pure luck.

A normal job search usually takes a month or two, sometimes longer. With the rejections you receive and the time you spend on applications, it may seem as if you’re being personally singled out. Believe me, you are not.

Hiring processes are horrifically outdated

Sadly, this is working against quite a lot of people – not just you. You could have the best profile in the world, an amazing skill set and be a real money-machine like I was for my last company. Yet, if your cover letter/CV combination isn’t laid out just how the HR person likes it, it may be looking at the bin. Most people hate writing cover letters and I am one of them. It feels fake and ingenuine.

Maybe this particular method is useful for some professions. However, for my particular field (digital marketing/copywriting) it is a woeful way of picking candidates. Any digital marketer worth their salt these days will have a website/blog and some kind of online presence. The same, I assume, goes for software engineers, graphic designers and a whole host of other jobs that can be done online. Our portfolios are there to see – a small introductory email should ideally suffice.

Author: TheFinalMonsoon

Liam is a digital strategist and copywriter, passionate about the fast-paced world of digital media and remote working. See his portfolio at liamhennessy.co

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