IT Employment

Avoid self-inflicted job hunting woes

Career blogger Toni Bowers offers a couple of job-hunting behaviors you can avoid in order to keep your spirits up.

Anyone who has been unemployed for a while knows that it can be a struggle just to keep your spirits up. There is little you can do about the dismal employment rate or the people you're competing with, but there are a couple of behaviors you can change to keep despair at bay.

Set your goals lower

Don't set your goals too high. Although you want to get yourself motivated in a big way, it's a mistake to tell yourself that you have to land a job by a certain date. There are too many external factors over which you have no control -- what you can control is your own behavior, so set your goals with that in mind. Tell yourself that you will send out X amount of resumes this week, or you will contact five people in your network.

Those are manageable tasks and, by completing them, you will give yourself a little boost by checking one more thing off your list.

Don't apply for every job

You may think that applying for a hundred jobs will increase the odds of you getting one of them, but that's not true, especially if you're applying for jobs that you're only remotely qualified for. In this case, the quantity of applications will only increase the quantity of rejections you get. And, let's face it, being rejected by a company you were only "settling for" will make you feel worse.

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About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

42 comments
enduremasaraure
enduremasaraure

i think a follow up will ease your woes than pinning your hopes on something that never materialize.the given tips are great!!!

ProfT
ProfT

Here is one idea that really needs to be considered. The candidate identifies salary history. Wow, he was making $65 an hour. So maybe that takes him out of the running. But after some research you realize the candidate was a temp at PeoplePowerPlacement. His contract lasted 3 months. But the candidate looks at what he made those three months and times it to come up with a 12 salary. In all honestly he really made 29 an hour and the rest was a "per diem" as he had to be out of state, live in a motel, and eat out. The problem is two headed - the potential employer looks at the 65 an hour and thinks they can not afford this employee. The candidate inflates the real salary by posting what was paid to him. A realistic view of salary is important.

highlander718
highlander718

it also has a weird logic to it: "the quantity of applications will only increase the quantity of rejections you get" (duh?) right, of course, but it will also increase the quantity of iterviews you are called to, don't you think ?

mpayne31
mpayne31

I suffered to layoffs in the past 4 years; each job lasted 2 years. The first one left me unemployed for 3 months; the second for 6 weeks. Both times, it was social networking (and having a good skills, a good resume and practicede interview skills) that got me the job. The second time I socialized a lot more; I believe that's what did the trick. Don't underestimate the value of letting people know your situation but keep it upbeat!

wiscogirl
wiscogirl

Don't forget to keep a good, easily accessible database of every resume you've sent out listing when it was sent, where, the specific job and referencing the exact resume version and cover letter. This is especially important when you're sending out a lot each week. If you do get a call back, you'll need to be able to quickly find the information on the specific job and what you sent them. This helps you look focused (nothing worse than having to ask someone what job they're calling about). Keep the information updated to show where you've been contacted back by the prospective employer, and also to track what heppened. In addition to tracking the employer, be sure to enter every follow-up phone call & email you've had. At the end of a job search (hopefully a good end)a database like this is good record of what you went through.

saqman2060
saqman2060

Good tip. Lets face it, you most likely not going to get the perfect job your want. When you don't, you need to stay positive. Failure in these touch times it too promising and that will add a boost to anxiety. However, because we know that hardly we will get the perfect job, and the longer it takes to find work the more hard things will get, why not apply to a good number of jobs? Competition is high, and you will have to do extra to quote "Sell yourself". You can apply to the jobs you know you are qualified for, lessening to the amount of resumes to send. Remember you are competing against others who maybe more qualified than you applying for job below their qualifications. It would be safe to apply to any job you are qualified for that offers room for growth.

Professor8
Professor8

"Open your net" but "don't apply for every job" for which you are capable and enthusiastic? To excell you should "Work with Passion", "Find Your Calling", "Target the Top", "Climb Your Own Ladder", "Do What You Love", "Get What You Really Want", "Create the Work You Love", and "Earn What You Deserve"... but now we're not supposed to aim high, not do good work, not produce great products? Time for the Stossel line: Give Me a BREAK!

imshah82
imshah82

I agree with you and ofcourse it is the fact that consecutive rejection may lead to the unexpected disappointment that spoil once .... and impact on very badly.

pasivemanagement
pasivemanagement

It is true. I agree with all above. Janis P.S Despite of my personal mistakes done in my job search.

billad
billad

I was out of work for almost 5 months. I've never been without work for more than 30 days, and this experience almost floored me. But I kept on, each day I got up, showered, dressed for work, and went into my home office to "work". My job? Browsing the web for jobs, networking with former colleagues and associates, and responding to requests for more information from recruiters. I don't know that I agree with this author's choice of terms when she says "set your goals lower". I understand what she is saying, and agree that one should never set a firm timeline for when you will have a job. That only leads to disappointment. But one should never deliberately lower their expectations for a good position that they are qualified for. I encountered many "recruiters" who used this economy as an opportunity to lower rates. Jobs that used to pay $50 an hour on the low end are now being offered for $25 or $30 an hour, and jobs generally paying $70 per hour are offered for $45 an hour. I refused some of these positions, knowing that I would have to explain why I dropped my salary from $145,000 per year to $80,000 or $90,000. These things WILL come back to haunt you. In the same way, one must be very cautious in the type of position you go after. A manager will be curious as to why you moved from a management position to a hands-on technical position. With the hundreds of resumes on their desk, they likely won't take the time to research the answer to that question. If you must take a position to pay the bills, then by all means do so, but be prepared not to list that on your resume, and continue your targeted search while working. When asked about my current situation, I told interviewers that I had taken some private contracts, but was waiting for the right position. This told them that I felt that THEIR position was the right one, and they took me more seriously. This also told them that I wouldn't accept just anything, but was keeping my career path in mind. Above all, do not give up. Keep trying, even when you receive rejections (or no response at all). The right position is out there, the market is turning upwards, and you will find the right job. I did, and for all of the angst I went through for the past few months, I am a stronger person for it.

dba88
dba88

I think you might want to write a couple more articles: 1. On nasty practices by recruiting firms and recruiters in general. For example; posting URGENT on every job requirement when it's not, resume collectors, not returning calls, and I think you know what some of the others are. 2. On the continued torture and displacement of Americans looking for IT positions that have been replaced by H1B and L1 visa holders. 3. The number of recruiting firms out there today! How many are American firms, how many are Indian firms, etc., and... how do you know which ones to trust and which ones are for real!! These are a few of the things people want to know. No more soul soothing! I know people that have simply stopped looking and a couple that have lost their homes!! Without getting into a "globalization" discussion, why is offshoring still being allowed in this economic climate?! Don't mean to be cynical, but there really isn't a whole heck of a lot to be grateful for this holiday season from an employment perspective is there??

gksmith2002
gksmith2002

Especially if you have been out of work for a while ? Don?t just be looking for a job. This is the time to fill your time with something productive. This is a chance to volunteer or update certifications. These are positive things to tell an interviewer instead of just ?job searching.? Do not isolate yourself. Step away from the computer and network and get help to practice interviewing. It is better to blow a practice interview and learn from it then blow a real interview. Get with people who are not afraid to hurt your feelings to help interview and review your resume. Someone telling you ?that was good? is not helpful. Telling you ?you need to sit up straighter or change this in your resume because it sounds better? is productive feedback.

carl.stovall
carl.stovall

Be mindful in prayer for those that are seeking a job. Stress kills!

glenstorm_98
glenstorm_98

Don't fall into the trap of feeling like you're unemployable, or that no one wants what you have to offer. I've been in the searching-for-work game many times (having been a consultant for nearly 30 years), and believe me, it's a temptation to feel that way, but totally untrue and self-defeating. Just persevere! It may take time, but you *will* find something if you keep at it.

kjohnson
kjohnson

Can you explain why applying for a larger number of jobs does not increase your prospect of getting one? Employers receive huge numbers of applications, thanks to the way jobs are advertised and applied for on the Net. This means that it's impossible to read all the applications, and therefore the chance of success is about the same as if the employer chose an applicant at random. In such circumstances, sending more applications increases your chance of getting a job. I happen to think this is a mistake: applicants should be encouraged not to apply for jobs they don't want, and benefits should not be made contingent upon sending applications, but rather applicants who do not want a job should be quietly allowed not to have one.

arthurborges
arthurborges

Cheap shot at boosting Alexa hits for this most reputable and valuable website.

cyberdocks
cyberdocks

I try to tell these same things to most upcoming job employees. There is nothing wrong with starting small and being functionally employed to start with. sardius from smsdam

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