Before we delve into the today’s topic, I think it’s worth emphasizing that if you’ve been actively searching for a job for six months and above and have no offers, you’re definitely not alone in. (Irrespective of what your friends and family say, you’re not being “too picky.”) We’ve all been there.
While I ended up with a job I love, I also realized along the way that if I had changed a few things, I could’ve shortened the whole process. So, if you’ve been at this for awhile and you’re not really making progress, check out these three questions.
See also: Communication Blunders Job Seekers Make
1. Are Your Values Clear?
I’m just going to ask these questions: are you the kind of person who really loves hearing the sound of his own voice? Are you one of those who really love being asked to talk about himself in interviews? Are you one of the few who finds answering questions so easy and can talk for days? Have you considered if you have been talking without making it clear that you would bring any value to the company, other than maybe adding a new voice to lunchtime conversation?
Ok, maybe that’s not your problem—in fact, maybe you hate talking about yourself. So, instead, you mumble your answers. Or, maybe you don’t mumble, but you somehow get off topic talking about one industry trend or another or something you watched recently—rather than your qualifications. Even if interviews aren’t your forte (and honestly, nobody’s perfect at interviewing, I mean who loves to be in the hot seat?), you need to make sure all your answers are telling the recruiter what value(s) you’d bring to the company.
2. Would My Cover Letter Excite Me?
Ok, so I am just going to come out and say this: considering that I’m a full-time writer, this is kind of embarrassing to admit. But, for a long time, my cover letters were really, really boring. Now when a writer tells you a piece of writing is boring, don’t doubt it. Of course I knew that cover letters are important. And considering that there are a lot of cover letter templates flying all around the internet, one would think I shouldn’t have had a problem with it. But, the truth is, without just a little bit of my personality, they were pretty much identical to every other cover letter that had been written based on my template of choice.
Now, take a minute and re-read your cover letter. If you can’t make it through the entire thing without trying to stifle a yawn, then, that’s a good sign that employers aren’t super intrigued by it either. While it is important not to cross the line between professional and casual chatter, feel free to let your personality shine though. In my case, I added a few lines about how embarrassed I was by previous versions of it, but that I spent some time rewriting it because I really wanted the job. While that might seem risky, I have a really cool gig now—so the proof is in the pudding.
3. Do I Really Want Any of These Jobs?
This question is important for two reasons. First, the offers might not be coming to you because it’s in everyone’s best interest to go in a different direction (trust me; recruiters have a knack for knowing when someone would be unhappy in a role). And if that’s the case, your act about desperately wanting the job might not be A-list.
Looking back, I can see how I might not have been super friendly or enthusiastic in interviews for jobs that involved zero creativity (That doesn’t mean that they were not amazing jobs; they were not just amazing for me). And because of that, I didn’t get any of those jobs. I can just imagine the conversations I made those hiring people have. “He’s qualified,” they probably said, “But gosh, would he be bored by this work or what? And his attitude might rub off on other employees.”
Second, it gives you an opportunity to face reality. There’s really nothing wrong with coming to the realization that you don’t fit into the mold. It’s a great reason to take some time to think about what you actually want to be doing for a living.
Searching for a job’s not easy. And sometimes, it’s really frustrating, especially when it’s been a long time and you still have no offers. But, I know you’re resilient enough to ask yourself some tough questions. You might not like the answers (I know I didn’t), but you’ll learn a lot. And when you see what recruiters might be seeing in you, you’ll often find that the fixes aren’t as bad as you originally thought. So, be bold and be honest with yourself. But don’t beat yourself up. Always remember, you’re definitely not alone.
Check out amazing companies hiring now on Ngcareers, you’ll be glad you did3 Crucial Factors to Consider if You Haven't Been Offered a Job by Stellamaris Obomanu