It’s a smart idea to keep your job search private. Very private. After all, what would happen if word got back to your company, or even worse, your boss?
Because we keep our efforts a secret, we rarely have the opportunity to talk about our frustrations. And often, those frustrations feel incredibly personal.
Below are common job search frustrations and what you can do to cope-
- You submit your resume online and never hear back: In today’s modern age, there’s an expectation that you should apply online. And, if you listen to a company’s HR department, they’ll tell you that’s all you need to do. Not so. In addition to applying online, look for ways to get your resume directly in front of the hiring manager. The “applicant tracking system” used online often weeds out so many resumes, the hiring manager may never even see yours.
- You show your resume to friends and everyone has conflicting advice: Resume writing is tricky because there’s no one way to write a resume. So like many things in life, everyone has an opinion. If you notice a trend in the feedback you receive, listen. But, if one person is giving feedback that doesn’t align to any other comments, take it for what it’s worth.
- You have an interview and then never hear back: Most companies won’t tell you if you weren’t selected until they have found their hire and the person has accepted. In many cases, they won’t tell you at all. Keep in mind that this is the norm. It’s not you. Companies are sorting through hundreds of applications, so the thought of providing feedback to everyone can be difficult. In addition, they don’t want to turn you off from their company until they’re 100% sure they have someone.
- Job searching takes so much time: One of the most frustrating things job seekers face is the amount of time they must devote to the process. After all, finding a job is a job. This can be especially difficult when you’re interviewing with a company that forces you to come in for many rounds of interviews over multiple days. Just know that this is part of their process, and it’s not specific to you. Do your best to ride the interviews out as long as you can.
- During the interview, the interviewer asks you about all your flaws: When this happens, you may feel that the company dislikes you. You wonder why they even brought you in for an interview in the first place. Keep in mind – the company would not interview you if they thought you weren’t capable of the work. They ask you tough questions to get to know you. And, sometimes they want to push your buttons to see how you react under pressure. Just because you have this experience does not mean you won’t get the job.
- The company is super slow in getting back to you with an offer or next steps: On more than one occasion, a job seeker has said to me, “They keep asking me back for interviews. But, they’re so slow! What’s the deal? Do they not really want me?” In a lot of ways, job seeking is like dating. But, in terms of timing, this is less true. Often, organizations have internal rules and steps they are required to follow that draw out the process. This is especially true of non-profits and government organizations. So, if your interview is stretching out – judge your success based on the fact that it’s still going on rather than the exact timing.
Whatever happens, just know you’re not alone in this experience. All your friends and colleagues are secretly dealing with the same frustrations too. Hang in there and remember to keep your frustrations and your job search to yourself.
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