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For most people, switching jobs is not something they plan out in much detail. For the majority of job seekers, they have a personal connection to the job opening. The process is fairly straightforward and relatively painless. Most people tend to assume that’s what job seeking is like. This all changes when a job seeker is forced to proactively find a new job with no connections. Ask anyone who has landed a job completely on their own, and they will very likely have a harrowing story to share.

When a job seeker is searching on their own, the process can easily take anywhere from two to six months. This length of time is normal. It is not a reflection on the person’s abilities or worth. But, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. The issue is that the search process is completely different than when you know someone.

There are examples of difficult job searches shared every day on LinkedIn. Recently, a job seeker applied to 600 jobs. These applications led to 30 interviews. The 30 interviews ultimately led to one job offer. This job seeker had many years of experience and multiple advanced degrees. The entire process took three months.

And, a job search can often become elongated. The reason is that 570 rejections is emotionally exhausting. On top of this, friends and family judge the job seeker at how “difficult” their search is. It leaves the job seeker feeling worthless, and wondering if they’re even in the right career field.

Dear job seeker, please remember: it’s not you. The application process is broken. You are competing against hundreds of online applicants. You are also competing with the friends of the hiring manager. And, you are contending with less than ideal economic conditions.

But, you are prepared for this. The key is to not lose hope. It’s to realize that the system is broken; not you. You are the same talented, hardworking professional that you were before you started this search. You will find your path back.

Set goals for yourself. Keep doing your best to meet the goals, even when things feel difficult. In the example above, the job seeker applied to approximately 200 jobs per month, or 50 per week, or 10 per business day. This process is a lot of work, but it will result in success.

In addition to applications, sit down and write a list of all of the great things about your background. Perhaps you have fifteen years of experience in project management. You are great at organizing teams. You have advanced knowledge in specific topics. Once you have your list compiled, keep it handy. Each morning, read the list. Remind yourself of who you are.

You are valued. You are needed. You are the same person that you were before the economy started to turn. Outside factors changed, but you have not. You remain the same person you always have been.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


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