Yes. Job Hunting Is Really, Really Hard.

iStockphoto.com |  SIphotography

iStockphoto.com | SIphotography

If there’s one single, most important thing to remember about looking for a job, it’s this:

JOB HUNTING IS REALLY, REALLY HARD.

Many people enter the job search assuming that because they have a resume – even a perfect resume – that employers will beat down their door after clicking “submit” on an online job application.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way. For each and every job posting a company posts on Indeed, hundreds – if not thousands – of applicants send in their resume. If it’s a Fortune 500 company, anticipate an even higher degree of competition.

And so, as employers look to make their recruiters and hiring managers ever more productive, they put in place technology to shield them from the onslaught of resumes in the form of applicant tracking systems (ATS’s). The systems, which do save recruiters time by using algorithms to sort through applicants, put another layer in between the recruiter and the hiring manager. And so, the recruiter ends up reviewing a small fraction of the resumes received and you may end up in the "rejection” pile even though your skills may match the job description down to the final detail. Then you end up with an anonymous, computer-generated letter telling you the company has decided to pursue another candidate.

And this doesn’t even include the interview or offer process.

It’s brutal.

It’s demotivating.

And it’s life as a job applicant today.

So, how do you get a job when you can’t even get noticed?

  1. Prepare yourself – mentally and financially – for the search to take a while. Job hunting is a marathon, not a sprint. Be diligent in checking job postings and in applying to any opportunities that might be a match.

  2. Make sure your toolbox is up to snuff. Is your resume modern, loaded with accomplishments, and ATS-friendly? Have you built an effective LinkedIn profile, so that recruiters searching the system for talent might find you?

  3. Try harder than the next guy. Be aggressive. Apply promptly to all jobs that are of interest. Tailor your resume to job postings. Identify and sell yourself to the hiring manager. If you do the bare minimum – applying occasionally and waiting for the calls to come in –  you’ll likely get minimal results.

  4. Remember, it’s not you. Don’t let a bad process kill your morale. As hard as it may be in practice, it’s important to stay positive. Channel your energy into applying to more jobs, not frustration. The process isn’t fair, but it is conquerable.


Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching services, and outplacement services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercareerstrategies.com.