MariKathryn E. Arnold
Career Services Advisor
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the monthly unemployment rate fell 0% in September 2015. This is an overall 0.8% improvement from the beginning of the year, but is this significant enough to impact you, as the job searcher? Job searching can be a challenging and frustrating process. With the job market’s conflicting expectations and projections it can be difficult to understand what to believe and what the job market is really like. Many anticipate that more jobs will be available and that the job search will get easier, but are they right?
Minimizing Your Job Search Frustration
Understanding job market trends can minimize some of your job search frustration. Job market trends help to show what you are up against and the size of your competition. On average, 250 or more candidates apply for one position. Not only are you up against a high volume of candidates, but you are in a technological day and age, where personal interaction rarely exists. You may apply to a position and never hear back. You may only receive an automated electronic rejection. In a world that seems to be against you, it can seem overwhelming.
What can you do?
1. Spend time on your resume.
First, build a strong enticing resume! Hiring managers want to easily read how impressive you are. Be sure to build value around why you are the ideal candidate for the position.
2. Include a cover letter.
Many hiring managers view a cover letter as a crucial component to the job search. A cover letter gives you an opportunity to express your interest in the position and the company, as well as highlight your skills. A cover letter separates you from the 250 other applicants.
3. Build your network.
Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know Companies may review candidates referred to the position first, not solely the candidates who meet the qualifications checklist. If you know someone who works in that company, reach out to them for a referral!
4. Follow up.
Follow up with the company. If you have not heard back or even received a rejection email, reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager to see why you were not asked to come in for an interview. This can help you to see what skills you may be lacking and where you can make improvements. Remember, the more aggressive that you are with the job search, the less frustrating you will find it. Persistence is key!
5. Stay positive.
Finally, the job search is not easy, but the payoff is worth it. There will be ups and downs, but it’s important to go into the process with a positive attitude. Rejection is part of the job searching process, but once you land the job you want, you’ll be happy you didn’t waste time agonizing over every rejection letter, because they won’t matter anymore.