When you receive yet another rejection notice (or worse, deafening silence) in response to your submissions, it’s helpful to take a big picture view of your search. Sure, the market is tight, and there are sometimes hundreds of applicants for each position, but why aren’t you getting attention?
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If you’re ready to explore what’s really going on in your search, step up and take on these questions:
Do you really want the jobs that you’re seeking?
If you don’t, that’s probably seeping out around the edges in your marketing materials (resume and LinkedIn), your interviews, and even in your casual conversations. It’s affecting how people engage with you. If you’re lukewarm, so are they. You don’t have to be inauthentic and paste a smile on your face where there isn’t one, but find something that you want from the job (even it’s a steady income), and tap into that desire so that you convey enthusiasm and positive energy for the competitions you’re pursuing. Because the truth is, you’re going up against people who are chomping at the bit for the jobs that you’re seeking, and if you’re not mustering at least a little enthusiasm, you’re likely not rising to the top of the candidate pool.
Where are you falling short?
If you can get some candid feedback, even if it’s hard to hear, you can integrate that information and address it proactively. Even if no one will tell you exactly what’s wrong, you’re probably getting inklings or you have suspicions. Get them out on the table so you can deal with them. Is it your age? Your tech skills? Your mannerisms (perhaps you dominate the conversation, never pausing for a breath or to give someone else a turn, or maybe you’re at the other end of the spectrum, and you don’t say much, forcing others to fill the void). Whatever it is, you can steer clear of it and find a way around it, but you’ve got to know what it is before you can plan a fix.
How hard are you trying?
How many hours are you spending on your job search? How many of those are in front of the computer vs. in-person? If the scope of your job search isn’t broad enough (I have a formula on my web site under free resources that helps you recognize whether your focus is too narrow), and you’re not out there advocating for yourself and advancing your goals and connecting with people, you’re putting your efforts into a bucket with holes. No wonder you’re frustrated!
Confronting these tough questions takes courage, and you may not like the answers, but once you get clarity about what’s really going on, you can address your trouble spots. None of the issues here are insurmountable. You can land a job, and you can direct your efforts so that you’re getting results instead of spinning your wheels. Seize this opportunity to change your game and your results.
Maggie Graham | Coach
Career coach Maggie Graham banishes Credential Gremlins in her forthcoming book Skip the Next Degree: Career Change without Debt and Despair. She points mid-career professionals in the direction of their next steps and defines a road map to take them there. Job seekers will find an ally when they seek support for landing their next positions.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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