Recently I had someone tell me how frustrated she was with trying to find a job. This person had applied for over 150 jobs this year and was pretty much rejected for every one of them. I thought I would share some of the advice that I gave her:
Stop applying for jobs you are not suitable for.
What I mean by this is don’t apply for jobs where you have no demonstrable experience in your resume. If the employer is looking for someone to prepare monthly financial accounts using SAP, and your resume doesn't show that you have done this, your application will be rejected.
Your application will be one of many. Remember that.
Whilst you have absolutely taken time and made an effort to apply for a job, and this should be respected by anyone reviewing your application, you must remember that your application is one of many. Your resume will be compared against the criteria for the job AND against other applicants.
Remember not every peg can fit a hole.
Even if you have the right skills and experience, you still may not be the right person for a particular role. Employers look at a broad range of factors when considering people: can I see this person fitting in with my team? Are their communication skills right for the role? Can I see them doing this role long term? Can I offer this person the right kind of challenge or career development opportunities? All of these considerations (and more) are taken into account when making the decision to employ.
Make an effort.
With online job boards, company website job boards and online social tools, you can apply for jobs using your smart phone on the train on the way home. And you should! But follow through on your application. Call the consultant or employer and ask for feedback. Be prepared when you call – have some pertinent questions ready that prove that you are genuinely interested in the role. That first communication can often fast track your application through to the "let’s progress this applicant to interview" stage.
Every communication matters. Regardless of how frustrated or disheartened you are, never, ever lose the plot and be rude. Smile when you are talking to someone on the phone — they can't see you, but they can hear that smile. Be positive and professional. Thank people for taking the time to speak/communicate with you. If you ask for feedback, be prepared to listen and don’t argue. Be respectful at all times. Remember the saying: don’t burn your bridges.