I get it. I really, really do.
A majority of you out there are either looking for jobs, worried about losing your jobs, or sick of your jobs – through no fault of your own! COVID-19 completely changed everyone’s outlook on what it means to have stable employment. And I am going to give a solid 5 second of empathy, compassion, and sympathy because I truly understand. I was not consistently working for ELEVEN (11) months, and for someone who based their entire identity on having a job (Enneagram 3 over here), there was nothing more difficult or degrading than being unemployed.
We already know how my story ends, I launched a business, but maybe that isn’t an option and maybe you are deep in the trenches of the job hunt and nothing has worked out and you are ready to just quit everything altogether.
Here’s some tips on why you should keep going, BUT keep going differently.
Job searching. is. exhausting. Applying for 10-15 jobs per day is too much, applying for 5-8 jobs per day is too much. The magic number? 2-3 MAX
Applying for too many jobs will leave you feeling burnt out, all those resume changes and cover letters? No thanks. Not more than 2-3 per day. This ensures that you are applying as your best self by focusing on those 2-3 jobs, making sure the resumes match the job description, the cover letter is well-written, and you’re confidently applying.
Pace yourself, in this environment, job hunting is a marathon – not a sprint (and I hate this saying, but it’s true!)
Apply With Intention
Take it from someone who applied for 100+ positions, apply with intention. Job managers and hiring recruiters and places of employment can sense desperation (don’t ask me, I don’t know why/how). Also, if you do hear back from the jobs you applied to just to apply, you won’t be as excited, you won’t be interested, and you’ll probably not do as well in the interview or next steps.
Really think about what job you want, why you’re looking, and why you’re applying for a particular position. The obvious answer might be “to make money, DUH” but the not-so-obvious answer is to really find those positions that semi-interest you that will be good for you. Things might be stressful now, but being stuck in a long-term position that you applied for because you were desperate makes things worse in the long run.
Also, when you’re limiting yourself to applying for 2-3 jobs / day make sure they’re good, worthwhile jobs!
This also applies for the jobs that you may not necessarily want but need. I worked retail and a part-time job at a financial firm and a part-time job at a law firm (at once) until I made a decision on the position I really liked (and to help finish school). There is nothing wrong with working retail or working for your local grocery store or being a waiter/waitress, bartender, WHATEVER. But make sure whatever it is you’re applying for, you are putting your best self foward and applying with intention.
Take Risks (in a good way)
Your resume and experience does not need to 100% match the job description. For example, my general title is ‘Executive Assistant’ but that never prevented me from applying for positions that said ‘Personal Assistant’, ‘Office Assistant’, ‘Team Assistant’, ‘Project Coordinator’, ‘Receptionist.’ Widen your scope of choice, like think about what it is you do, and search for those key words, not the title. You might find the perfect job has been right there just for you – but just under a different name.
Also, trust in your background and experience and don’t be afraid to ‘transfer’ your skills. Take risks in applying for jobs that may be a reach – because they might not be. Focus on terms in your resume like ‘quick learner’ ‘transferrable skills’ ‘similar background’ etc. these are all gateways to stretching yourself to fit a job description.
It’s all about taking risks (in a good way) and getting a different perspective each day (which is why you only apply for 2-3/day)
Work with Recruiters & Update Your Resume Often
Coming from a recruiter background (thought it be but brief, this was one of my favourite positions): don’t hesitate to reach out to the recruiters in your area! Most of the time, they work with big name companies or have clients that don’t even list their available jobs because that’s what the recruiter does.
Recruiters can also provide super great knowledge and background on current job market trends, places that might be hiring, refer you to other recruiters, and, if it is a temp-like agency, pull you into jobs at a minute’s notice. I worked for a recruiting agency and worked with 11 recruiting agencies when I relocated to Australia. They kept me up-to-date on new jobs, I had really solid temp work with good references, and they were super encouraging and uplifting and provided great advice and feedback.
I cannot recommend this enough: work with recruiters!
Also, something that recruiters mention all the time: update your resume often! There are so many great resources out there now for resume-building, there is not reason why your resume shouldn’t stand out from the many applications:
Microsoft Word even has good templates
Tik Tok (people talk about how to make your resume stand out and quick tips)
Last and not least, be patient.
You will not find a job overnight! Even if you apply you still have to interview, maybe second round interview, background check, training, finally you’re hired! It will take time, it won’t happen overnight, but having perseverance and patience will take you so far.
I’m pretty sure the secret to job hunting is being patient and not taking it personally.
There ya go, just some quick, solid tips to help you or someone you know on your job hunt.
I KNOW it’s hard, but I believe in you.
I hope this helps, and I hope you find your dream job (or any job).