Arrgh Being a Job Seeker: What if There was a Solution for All the Madness? | Job Seeker Selfies
Written by Sandrine Bukeyeneza
Being a job seeker is by far the most challenging role I have ever taken on; it is extremely time consuming and often does not produce the desired results and not to mention frustrating at times.
I got my first job when I finished high school and because I had never had a job before, I did not know how to put together a resume in a way to that would help me stand out from other applicants. These are not skills that we are taught in high school so you can imagine how difficult it would have been to navigate through this new territory. Going to university I thought I would be better prepared to find a job in my field of study. But as graduation draws near, the thought of having to search for a job in my field of study is daunting. Where to start? — is the question that often plays in my mind on a constant loop as I try to understand how I am going to launch my professional career.
Go to university, they said it will increase your chances of getting a great job.
Although that may be true, they leave out one important fact- graduate jobs are very competitive and for you to land one of these positions you need to stand out from all the other applicants.
If you would like to find out some of the challenges I have encountered and what I did to overcome them as a job seeker, keep reading.
A limited professional network
It seems like these days getting a job is not about what you know but rather who you know. You have higher chance of getting in or being considered for a position if you know someone that works in the company that you are applying to. Having a limited professional network can be disadvantageous especially as you move towards establishing a professional career.
Unfortunately, the importance and or the benefits of having a professional network are not stressed enough or even at all in universities. Completing an internship enables you to establish crucial networking connections.
Networking, for some students can be a stepping-stone to various opportunities within the organisation, including full-time work. The more people that you connect with in the professional space that share the same interests as you, will increase your chances of building a professional network. It is also encouraged that you engage with people from diverse backgrounds and different skills from your own, this will help you understand how to work with diverse people in various work environments.
It is undeniable that most recruiters are seeking to hire applicants that have experience. However, that experience can often be hard to obtain as a university student. So, making the time to complete an internship, can be extremely beneficial. Not only will you gain real life experience, apply your theory, and get a feel for the work environment. Internships allow you to learn more about yourself. Every industry has its pros and cons, by working in real-world environment will help determine whether your chosen career is one that you would like to pursue in the future. An internship will also help you learn about your various strengths and weaknesses as well as your capabilities because you will constantly be pushed out of your comfort zone.
Confusing job application process
Every job has a specific recruitment process that each job seeker must undergo. Even if you are applying for jobs within the same sector the application process often varies from each organisation, which can be extremely confusing and time consuming because it means that you must spend more time tailoring your resume to a specific job ad.
This can leave job seekers feeling burnt out, which often leads to them applying with a generic a resume for each job ad. I experienced this when I was applying for jobs, before landing my current job. I spent months applying to various jobs. In the early stages I was tailoring my resume to the specific job ad, but after one-too-many rejections, being ghosted by recruiters and not hearing back from them for weeks on end, I was burnt out and resulted to applying with a generic resume.
One way to combat this challenge is to invest in a job seeker course, I would highly recommend the Job Search Secretes course by UseVerb. It is a very insightful course that takes the confusion out of applying for jobs. Through this course I have learnt that finding your ‘why’ for a job is very important and could be the difference between landing a job that you love or a job that you hate. It is a worthwhile course that I would recommend to all job seekers, it will help to set you up for success. This course provides valuable information, not to mention practical tools that can be applied at every stage of the recruitment process. So, by investing in this course will not only help stand out but it will also give you a leg up in the often over saturated job market.
Job Search Secretes course link: https://useverb.com/course/jobsearchsecretscourse
No feedback from recruiters
How nice would it be if recruiters provided feedback, particularly when you get rejected.
No one likes rejections, but we can all agree that being told what we did wrong or better yet how we can improve, makes the rejection less painful.
For all the times that I was rejected from a job I would have appreciated if the recruiter took some time to provide some feedback, it would have saved me a lot of time and stress. It can really be frustrating not knowing how you can improve so that you do not continue to make the same mistakes. So, instead of waiting for them to reach out to you. Be proactive- reach out to them by either email or phone, this demonstrates a willingness to learn and improve. This simply act might lead to different job opportunities within the same organisation.