Searching for a job can feel really demoralising if you’re not instantly snapped up after the first application. Maybe you’re not getting past the application process or are struggling at the interview stage and feel there’s no hope left. Or perhaps you feel like anyone who turns you down is losing out because you’re the best candidate out there. Arrogance can be just as detrimental to your job search as despondency and despair, so perhaps it’s time to check your attitude and get the right focus back.
There’s nothing more off-putting to hiring managers than a sense of entitlement. Whoever you are, and whatever your skills and experience, you need to prove that you are right for the job. So if you’re writing things like, ‘I did a degree in social work, so I think I deserve this opportunity’ or ‘Hiring me is a no-brainer given my sales record’, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
It’s great that you’ve got the degree and proven your knack for sales, but present this information slightly differently, for example, ‘My degree taught me to work independently and complete detailed research’ or ‘In my current role, I have brought a number of new clients on board and coached other members of staff on raising their sales’. Explain how your degree or experience, or whatever else you feel entitles you, sets you apart from the thousands of other potential applicants.
You may be applying for your first job or looking for a complete career change, but one thing that’s sure to put employers off is a lack of focus. If you’re saying things like, ‘I’m happy to try out a new opportunity in any given field’ or ‘I believe this role will help me make up my mind about what I want to do long term’, you’re most likely harming your job search.
You may be prepared to give anything a go, but don’t tell the hiring manager that. Explain why you want this specific job and use good examples from your previous roles or experience to back this up. For example, ‘I am passionate about design and have built up a portfolio in my spare time with the hope of taking on a permanent role in this field’. Show that you are ambitious and proactive, even if you’re still making up your mind.
You may feel as though the world is against you and employers just won’t give you a chance. It’s really hard when you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. But sitting around feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to get you a job. Look at your CV from an employer’s point of view. Would you employ someone like you based on the information presented? If not, do what you can to rectify it.
It may also be worth reaching out to the HR department of companies you’ve applied to in the past. Ask why you weren’t offered an interview, or how you could improve your interview technique. If you keep getting the same answers as to why you’re not making headway, you’ll know which areas you need to focus on to sharpen up your job search technique. Ask your friends and family for help and support, and pray for help and guidance.
Employers are looking for people who are committed, hardworking, skilled and positive, but the positive element is easy to overlook. Use positive language on your application, in your interviews and even beyond your job search attempts. This will help to lift you out of a mindset of despondency and help you in the hunt for your next role.
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