You spend hours crafting the perfect job application.
You read through the specifications in the ad, then make sure you have mentioned the pertinent points in your cover letter. You have spellchecked until you can spell-check no more. Your company research is perfect and you have tailored your resumé to them specifically. You cross your fingers, send it off and… nothing.
Once upon a time, you might have received a notification that you had been unsuccessful. As unwelcome as that news might have been, it would at least have given you the chance to move on and look for other opportunities. Nowadays, that’s far less common, and you will mostly have to spend a few weeks flinching every time you get an email before eventually putting the idea to rest.
If you do make the interview stage, then you have to go through the grueling gauntlet of questions – and you still might not get the job. If that happens once, well, you can chalk it up to experience. But if it keeps happening, then it’s not long until the shadow of rejection begins to walk beside you.
You’re Not A Failure
It might be difficult to believe but, a lot of the time, the problem isn’t necessarily you. It’s now easier than ever to apply for jobs and we’re all more accustomed to the idea of having to move for work, so the applicant pool is wider than it has ever been. Job hunting in the modern world is simpler in some ways – such as sending an application with a single click – but it’s also tougher. Sometimes it’s just bad luck, and all you can do is improve the statistics and keep applying until you break through.
What If It Is You?
It’s not a comfortable thought, but if you have been struggling to find the job that you want for more than six months… then maybe the problem isn’t the market. Maybe it is you. It’s a tough thing to admit, because we all have an inbuilt desire to see the best of ourselves. However, a little critical self-assessment can make a big difference.
Are You Applying For Jobs You’re Not Qualified For?
We all have a tendency to overreach when it comes to job applications. We look at the job specs and think: “I could do that”. Chances are, you probably could as well! But that doesn’t mean you have the requisite skills and experience to be able to prove that – and no company is going to take a risk on an unknown quantity.
Try and apply within the realm of your qualifications. If your desire for new work doesn’t fit with your qualifications, then there’s nothing you can do but try and improve your qualifications. The field of post-college education is growing all the time, and taking the leap to further education can lead to the likes of MPA degree careers or more specialized opportunities in the technology industry.
So don’t be hubristic. You might feel you know how to do a job, but you have to be able to back it up. If you don’t have relevant experience to cite, then you have to go down the qualification route to prove your ability. Is it fair? Probably not. Is it a necessity to further your career? Absolutely.
Are Your Interview Skills Good?
Secondly, if it’s the interview stage you’re falling at, then you might need to brush up on your interview skills. This is a relatively easy fix – especially if you ask a friend to quiz you in preparation.
Just Keep Trying
If none of the above apply, then just keep trying. Play the odds and wait it out; eventually, the cards are going to fall in your favor.