Keep from getting down during a job search

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 - career change, career transition, credit crunch, CV Help, economics, job hunting, job search, job seeking

Getting down during a job search

giant stack of resumes
Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks

Jerry, an entry level chemical engineer, asks: I’ve been searching for a job since the beginning of January since I was laid off. I’m not sure if it is my lack of engineering experience or if my resume is lacking. I’ve updated my resume and the outplacement service my previous employer signed me up with gave me thumbs up on my updated version. But the only response I have received from my applications and resume submissions, when I receive a response, has been rejection after rejection. The biggest bummer is that I have only submitted my resume to positions that I qualify for and not some lofty dream job (3 years experience or more). So, how do you keep your spirits up and to stop beating yourself up for not finding a job?

In answer:


I’m sorry to hear about your situation, and the effects it is having on your feelings. But, this is a common question at present in this economy, and the answer is – even without the economy – most job seekers get down at some early point in their job search. I have experienced as a Recruiter and Professional CV Writer many candidates getting down about their Job Search, even before this present economy. It is an unspoken issue of job seeking, and I feel for anyone going through this. This presently results in more candidates asking similar questions to yourself Jerry about the “how” of coping with it.

Getting down is not unusual in job seeking, but getting it under control is essential to successfully finding a job. Employers don’t want to engage those who are not positive about themselves.

How do you do this? You need to make more human connections. Job seeking is a one person job, and it is at odds with most working situations, which is within a team environment. So get out with your family and friends and recognise why you are happy with life. Honestly, its not about the work, which most suddenly find – at last – is a secondary at best issue to life’s main enjoyments. I would also encourage you to get out within your professional network, and improve your knowledge of what is going on in your industry. These people as your closest associates are those most likely to advise you of opportunities or advise others seeking employees of opportunities.

To make a success of job seeking, you need to be measuring your application and interview statistics. If your application to interview statistics are below 1 in 10 – even in this economy – then something is either wrong in the jobs you are applying for or your CV/resume. To improve this ratio:

  1. Set up a job search measuring system. Most of the people I write CV’s for I encourage to use a spreadsheet, but a piece of paper s as effective – you just need to measure!
  2. If you find jobs, make sure you only apply for those you are qualified for. Take a highlighter pen, and after reading the advert three times highlight the skills/competencies required in your CV/resume. can’t find them, don’t apply!
  3. If you find you have the skills for a particular job, do some research on the company. Do some financial research using NASDAQ data, have a look at Hoovers, use Google; and most importantly, read their own website. Is this a company you would want to work for, where are they going?
  4. Comfortable with the company, before clicking to apply pick up the phone. People are advertising these jobs NOT computers, so make a human connection. Ask some simple about the job/where is the company going questions. Finish out with asking the person you talk to about why they work for the company
  5. When you do apply, include a Cover Letter addressed or at least copied to the person you spoke to, mentioning that you are following up on the phone call
  6. If you get rejected before interview stage for any job, always call to ask for feed back; same if rejected after interview stage. Why were you rejected, what did the others candidates have, how could you improve your application next time? Thank them for their time – plus you will often find that candidates who ask for feedback are those employers call first when suitable jobs appear

I have also seen recently many recruiters and CV/resume writers try to justify their current statistics, telling job seekers that 1 interview in 20 applications is great. In my experience, and backed by present national and international employment statistics, it is not. Effectively, for every job out there at present, there are between 2 and 3 job seekers – in the UK it is 1 to 1.5 presently. Hence the average application to interview ratio should be around 1 in 3. If you are measuring your job search, then a ratio of less than 1 in 10 is telling you that either:

  • You are in the wrong industry
  • The wrong geography
  • Have something wrong in your CV/resume
  • Applying for the wrong jobs

The former are an indication that you are trying to swim against the current tide; the later an issue of tactics that any professional can help with.

Once you are aware of the situation from information around you, taking and applying feedback – and most importantly know you have the support and love of your friends and family; you will never feel down in a job search ever again Jerry.

If you think I or anyone in my network here could help you, please – just ask.

Good Luck!

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One Response to “Keep from getting down during a job search”

  1. Getting down during a job search « Job Search Techniques Says:

    […] V­ie­w o­r­igin­al­ h­e­r­e­: Ge­ttin­g do­wn­ durin­g a j­o­b­ s­e­arch­ […]

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