Job hunting is so much more than crisp suits, smiles, and polite, easy conversations with your interviewers. It’s also not a time for you to be imaginatively hopeful.
Let’s get real.
You’re on the prowl night and day. You’re rigorously looking for a job and gaining momentum. Despite being a pretty awesome candidate, you keep getting rejected. What makes unemployment worse is that your Indeed monthly reports show the positions you’ve applied to have had 2,000 other people apply to them, too. Yikes! You’re competing against a whole lotta’ fish in the sea. So, yes—looking for a job stinks and can suck the life out of you!
Job hunting is difficult and time consuming. Being unemployed also does not primarily have to do with your ability, talent, or years of experience.
It’s a game and if you learn how to play the game, you’ll get yourself to the right place.
If you play nice, you may win some allies along the way. If you can push your resume to the next level in the infamous ATS resume video game, you’ll get to the next level. You see…
Job hunting wasn’t like this before. You could walk into mostly any company you aspired to be at, directly ask to speak to a manager in-house, shake their hand, nod, and give them a copy of your resume.
You could say things like, “Hi there! My name is_____, I’m interested in working here and wanted to drop off my resume for your consideration. Thank you for your time!”
But, no. It’s not remotely as easy to get in front of a person now and be considered for a job opening.
In this digital job era, here are five things nobody will tell you about job hunting and being unemployed (but we will):
1. ATS Will Reject You
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is an electronic resume reading software that screens out applicants in a way to select initial candidates for the first line of interviews. Companies get hundreds, sometimes thousands, of responses to one job post, so this makes things easier for them.
So, you’re out of luck if your resume is not compatible with standard ATS software. You need a resume with strong keywords and the right format to prevent rejection. If you’re looking for a job and not beating ATS, you might as well stop looking.
2. Your Cover Letter Isn’t Being Read
The person who is going to read your cover letter is in a rush. They don’t care about why you think you’re such a perfect fit. The saddest of all is that they don’t feel bad that you are unemployed and really need this job. They also don’t have time to read lengthy, creative stories about your whole life.
What they do have time for is a disruptive cover letter that proves why you’d be an asset to their team. So, if you’re under the impression that nobody actually reads cover letters anymore, we are about to shatter your world.
Recruiters do, in fact, read cover letters—at least the good ones. They also love to hear specifics about their company that made you want to apply in the first place. A company wants to hear their praise. Their hiring managers will also want to hear how you can fit into their company culture if they hire you.
Leave the cheesy stories behind and any other creative clutter you’re thinking of putting in your cover letter. We promise you’ll get this person’s attention much more quickly if you write your cover letter the right way.
3. You Won’t Get A Job In One Week
You’re hustling. You’ve beaten ATS with your new resume, written a few disruptive cover letters, and have been feverishly applying to jobs online. But when are you actually going to get a job?
Statistics from a college grad survey at Monster reveal that although “more than half (59%) of respondents expected it to take less than 1–2 months to find a job. Of those, more than a quarter (28%) expect it to take less than one month.”
But, the truth is, it can take months to get a job. The average job search spans five months.
So, ask yourself: Are you ready to quit your current job and be unemployed for a few months? Can you even survive, i.e. do you have the funds/savings to do so? Or, will you have to apply for jobs while you’re in your current job?