You have been plodding around the job space, poking and prodding to see if there is any worthwhile job that you could take up. Your job search yields no suitable prospects and you begin to wonder if your bank account can still remain afloat, whether re-possessors will come knocking on the door, why your days just seem longer than usual, or why that slight worrisome look on your parents faces is now starting to get a little more serious than a month ago.
It’s not like you didn’t look around. Efforts were taken right? Well…sometimes it’s not that there are no jobs available – the simplest of problems could just lie with you.
First problem – Not getting the word out there!
Sending just one resume and expecting a return call is like waiting for the lottery to strike. Sending 10 resumes and hoping for answers may improve the chances, but still try and gun for more.
It takes time for employers to sift through the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of resumes that they receive for a particular position, and for them to finally reach yours it may be already too late. Time is of the essence!
Personalising your resume according to the kind of job position that you are applying will also help bump it up a couple of ranks and stand out a little more. Making your resume and your cover letter personalised for that particular job position speaks volumes instead of a generic resume sent out in a cluster bomb shotgun manner.
Ah great tip! But before any of that can happen, employers will first need to receive your resume! So send out as many as you can (to the jobs you want of course, not just any Tom, Dick, Ah Chee, Ah Kow).
Net-work it baby!
Aside from all the resumes that you have sent, you should also really start networking a little more than usual. And I mean get out there, have a few cuppas of coffee and talk to people!
A good amount of jobs found are usually referrals through a contact of a friend of a friend. Meet people, talk to them; let them know of your situation and that you are currently scouting around for opportunities. You may never know who could lead you to an opening.
Also, let them know the scope of work you’re looking for and your expectations to give them a more accurate picture of you. They would be the ones giving the sales pitch about you after all.
Plug into the net
We live in a reality where it’s perfectly fine for people to sit next to each other and send emoticons on ‘Whatsapp’ to reply one another. We are so used to communication across digital mediums that without the Interwebs, a good portion of society will cease to function. Knowing this, it is a good idea to ensure that you have a solid online presence.
Just about everyone is on Facebook right? A LinkedIn account would also be a great asset. Create an online portfolio that says all about who you are, what you do, what you’re good at, and who you are connected with.
Refurbish your social network profiles. Make it look pleasing and interesting. Showcase yourself. Think of your social networking profiles as your own personal advertisement. You wouldn’t want to advertise terrible things about yourself right?
Besides focusing on the personal side of things, you should also find up all the companies you’re interested to work for, and subscribe to their websites, follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This helps you keep informed about what these companies are doing and planning. Do a little digging, and then engage with them online. You never know where that could lead to.
Second problem – Expectations and looking in the wrong places
In some job applications, there is a small column that requests for an expected salary to be filled. As tantalising as it may be to put a large sum, but you know it would probably not justify the experience that you currently possess right now. Hoping to grab on that number in the event of being hired, you do it anyway!
Nothing comes back. Your fault.
This is also the same as you overestimating yourself; expecting to take on a job scope that’s pretty much crystal clear that you are unqualified for. It can also be on the flip side as well; you apply for a job where you are definitely over qualified to do the work. The company will find it very hard to justify hiring someone like you, and paying you to do a job that someone lower than your experience level could do the same.
So yes, expect too much and you would already know what the answer would be. People can smell it when someone overestimates themselves. Pinch out jobs below your calibre and you will get a, “sorry man I don’t think we can afford you.”
Not that lowering your expectations entirely would be a good thing either because you need to know what you want and what is best for yourself. But most importantly, you must know what you can do and what can you achieve first.
The times they are a-changin’
Your qualification says that you are great at socialising and work well in teams, but you apply for a job that expects you to sift through documents for the whole working day. You apply for jobs that are currently in a market downturn and it yields a void. Well that’s because all the hiring has been frozen for that position (let it go, let it go…).
Yeap, that’s right. You may perhaps just be looking in the wrong places or probably, just an out-dated one.
Times change and what you know or expect of certain jobs may have evolved. Know the job positions and poke around the market looking for the current trends. This will help you with two things:
A). Not to be stuck thinking that a particular kind of job is the only thing you can do. There are many options available, just possibly unknown to you. If you do your research or get acquainted with people of slightly difference scopes and ask questions, you may find out that those kinds of jobs could be something you are able to branch out to as well.
B). Manage expectations of what a job might expect out of you. In some cases, the net salary of certain jobs may change as years go by or altered by external factors. So you can’t expect a certain level of pay in that job anymore. Or sometimes, a particular job may be replaced by a different kind of job description. It may be essentially the same job function, but with added extra responsibilities or a minor tweak in role. A chance to take on new challenges that you never knew existed? Why not?
Third problem – Indecisive
Candy shops are great places. They have so many mouth-watering sweets and snacks of all colours, screaming and popping out at you to take them home. You spend about 15 minutes looking through the rows and rows of rainbow galore.
30 minutes have passed and you still can’t make a decision what to buy because they all look good. What if this one is too sweet? This one looks tastier than the other one from row 6. What if this one turns out not as nice as the other one? So you settle for the same old same kind of candy you always buy.
Job hunting can be something like that.
You’ll be dogged by questions of uncertainty and doubt. You can’t seem to outweigh one place from another because this is a big decision. What you choose now may affect and impact your life for the next coming months or years.
You have gone for the interviews, but take an eternity to get back to any one of them in fear of making the wrong decision. So you either go back to another job that’s almost exactly like your old one, or just wing it and jump the cliff into any one of the others in the bunch.
Lady luck could be there for you, but sometimes it might be a preheated frying pan. Or you could just end up with nothing again because you took too long and they have hired someone else.
So think about the points put forward here. Make the necessary changes and thought processes geared towards grabbing that future you envision. Make an educated decision. Do your research and sometimes, it is ok to follow your gut feeling.
There is no set formula to land a perfect job and there is no such thing as a perfect job either. It’s a little like Russian roulette; a little like the stock exchange; a whole lot of digging, exploration, and inquiry; and a dash of lucky miracle unicorn powder.
So get on WOBB, look around, and send ‘em resumes now!