The job hunting process is arguably one of the hardest that you’ll ever have to go through – okay, so it’s not having a baby or moving house, but you know what we mean. It’s arduous, exhausting and will prick almost every emotion you possess – yet it needn’t be if you can exhibit a few specific traits.
Here are five characteristics you need to survive the job hunting process:
Gone are the days where you can mail out speculative CVs and expect an invitation to interview in return; with so many people applying for a finite number of roles, you need to be far more proactive. That means taking some action: register with an agency, sign up for email job alerts, update your LinkedIn profile, do some work experience, keep up to date with industry events and follow your preferred employers on Twitter. By doing so, you will vastly increase your exposure to new job vacancies while also increasing your value to a recruiting manager.
You need to have the confidence to take any networking opportunity that presents itself, as you never know who might know someone who might know someone. Be brave and interact with useful people on social media, participate in group discussions and make connections. It’s even more effective if you can attend business events, shows and conferences to meet influential individuals in person. Your local Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start. This might be a daunting prospect for many, but can really boost your chances of stumbling across that dream job.
There’s no denying that there will be moments when you feel utterly despondent. It’s a fact that you won’t hear back from every single employer – sometimes not even an acknowledgement – which is disappointing after you’ve spent so long on an application. Unfortunately, that is symptomatic of the job hunting process and as such, you need to develop a thick skin. Resilience is essential. It’s all too easy to let your disappointment put a spanner in your job hunting plans, but don’t let it. Keep that chin up and keep going, which leads neatly on to…
This is a key characteristic – don’t let rejections get you down; get straight back on that horse and apply for an even better job. Your persistence will pay off, really. Persistence also covers following-up on applications. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t politely enquire as to the status of your application, especially if you put your heart and soul into it. Recruitment agents should keep you up to date, but if you’ve applied direct, don’t be afraid to call or email. Just make sure you know the difference between persistence and annoyance; if you hound employers too much, you could damage your chances. Patience, therefore, is also key.
If you don’t believe in yourself, then why should a prospective employer? You know you’re good at what you do, so make sure that this self-assurance – not arrogance, mind – is conveyed through your CV, application form and interview. In order to differentiate yourself from the rest, you need to sell your skills, experience and achievements. To do that, you need to believe in your skills and experience. Any good recruitment consultant should be able to give you some pointers, if you need some help. Self-belief can really get you a long way.
Use these five characteristics and you should find that you can negotiate the job hunting rollercoaster ride with far more ease. You may even discover that you have access to more opportunities, leading you eventually to the role you always dreamed about. Good luck!