Job searching can be incredibly frustrating. You can apply for 50+ jobs and receive almost no feedback for the majority of them; other than some sketchy reasons, which explain that you don’t meet the requirements of the position.
Except you think you do.
So, why did you really get rejected?
Sometimes you wish someone would just pull back the curtain, show you the mistakes you’re making, and point you in the right direction. When you look online or speak to recruiters, they’ll tell you this:
· Tweak your resume and cover letter
· Apply for jobs online
· If you don’t hear back, apply for more jobs! Work harder!
So, then you apply for another 50 jobs. And guess what. This doesn’t work either.
Here’s what you should really do:
Forget “Networking.” Build relationships instead
The word – networking. It’s enough to strike fear into the heart of most of us.
It’s also a waste of time.
Going to career fairs, meetup groups, networking events. Showing up to these with nothing but an elevator pitch and a set of business cards is not going to land you a job. You want to get laser-focused on a select few people who can influence your career. Next, get in touch and provide as much value as you possibly can.
The truth is that relationships will land you the job you want, but not if you go about it in the traditional sense. Instead of networking, you need to be building relationships.
Applying for jobs online doesn't pay
On average, an open role at a company gets 250 applications. One of those people gets hired. That’s a 0.4% chance you’ll be successful.
Stop spending hours applying for 100s of jobs. Your dream job doesn't exist in every company. And your skills aren't going to be suitable for every position. Be patient. Shortlist all the companies you want to work for and do EVERYTHING you can to get the job you want at the company you want.
If you want to take control of the job search process and land a job you love, you need a different approach.
Find one or two highly influential people at your dream company, and use the strategies in this blog to begin building relationships with them. Learn about their career path, get interested in their role, become a potential resource for them.
Once the relationship is established, tell them you’re in the market for opportunities and ask them if they know anything that might be a good fit.
Do the job you love, whether you get paid or not
This is a classic example of a skills-based dilemma:
“I want to break into a new industry, but I don’t have enough experience — I’m not qualified.”
“Every job I want requires X years of experience, but nobody will hire me to get that experience in the first place!”
If you can't get paid for the job you want. Do it anyway by freelancing in your spare time. Or volunteering at a more junior level. By understanding what your dream job entails, what skills you need and how much you'll get paid, you'll know exactly what you need to do to achieve what you want.
Outside of building experience, freelancing also provides financial security. The greatest fear for anyone working a 9–5 job is getting fired or laid off. What would we do? How would we pay the bills?
Freelancing can allow us to enjoy new experiences and save while times are good, and they can help us bridge the gap if things don’t go our way.
There are 16 hours in every day that you're awake. To be paid upwards of £50k, you need to be very skilled - or work VERY hard. Watching hours of Netflix at night or going down the pub won't help you get paid to do what you love.
Does that mean you’re never allowed to play video games, see your friends, or watch Game of Thrones (if those things are important to you)? No! Absolutely not.
You have to pick and choose your battles. Understand what is most important to you and prioritise that.
Stop analysing, just pick something that sounds remotely interesting and inundate yourself for 60 days. You could absolutely love it! Or you could absolutely hate it. Either way, you’ve learned something about yourself. Each time you do this, you’ll become a little bit more clear on what you want and how to fulfil your career dream.