job-search-torture

In today’s job market, switching jobs is often necessary to develop and nurture your career. However, if you’ve been searching for the next position on your career ladder, you know that pouring your heart and soul into an application only to hear silence from the employer can be a painful endeavor.

You can’t control every outcome of your job search, but you can avoid self-inflicted torture traps like:

Calling the employer incessantly to check on the status of your application. You’re dying to know if the employer has received your resume, if they’ve looked over your resume, and if you’ve made the cut or not. However, because of the mass amount of resumes employers receive each day, most are likely to stick to the “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” credo.

While you may be focused on the status of your application every second of the day, the recruiter or hiring manager is juggling a full plate. Excessive calls and voicemails from applicants can catch them off guard and feel a bit intrusive at this stage in the game.

Try This Instead → Connect with recruiters and hiring managers on social channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media is an excellent way to connect with the employer without being disruptive. If you’ve reached out once or twice, and don’t hear back within a week or two, it’s time to mentally move on with your search.

Calling to inquire about your status post-interview. Perhaps even more nerve-wracking than the post-application waiting period is waiting to hear back from the employer post-interview. You’ve invested face-time with one or more decision-makers, and just want to know where you stand. However, with so many moving parts during the interview process, your contact may not have enough information to provide the details of your status right away.

Try this Instead → Ask for a timeline of next steps. In an US News article, Alison Green, a management and HR consultant, suggests asking for a timeline as an alternative to asking about your specific status.  Green advises:

The best thing you can do is to end your interview by asking what the employer’s timeline is for next steps. If you do that and that time passes, then you have a perfect opening to follow up with a quick email, explaining that you remain very interested in the job and asking if they have an updated timeline.

But if you didn’t remember to ask that at the end of your interview, then within a week or two of your last contact, it’s fine to send a short email asking when they’re likely to move forward with next steps.

Compulsively checking your email and voicemail. A good portion of the job search is a waiting game, and you can drive yourself crazy hitting refresh on your email inbox to make sure an interview request hasn’t escaped your notice. However, staring at your smartphone is unproductive.

Try This Instead → Keep the heat on your job search, and focus on the next opportunity. Research other companies, let people in your network know that you are searching for a position, and put the best application together that you can for another desirable position.

Relying on job boards alone. Job boards are a great place to start your job search. You can get a feel for the job climate in your industry, gauge the skills that are in demand, and see which companies are hiring. But if you use job boards exclusively during your job search, you can miss out on those high-caliber opportunities that have not even been advertised yet.

Try This Instead → Don’t wait for your dream job to pop up on Indeed or CareerBuilder. Let the people in your network know that you’re looking for a new opportunity. Chances are, they are connected to someone with insider information about upcoming openings at places you’d love to work.

Comparing your life to others via social media. Social media augments our personal and business relationships, but it can also produce an unhealthy blow to our self-esteem when we’re going through a rough-patch. When your job has lost its luster and your search is in a rut, it’s easy to wallow in self-pity while making empty comparisons to other people online.

Try This Instead → Spend less time stalking your casual acquaintances, and more time following hot companies on social media. Use technology to investigate how you are connected to new opportunities through the people in your social media and in-person networks.

Looking for a better opportunities is often necessary to get ahead in your field. However, the job search can be a bit excruciating at times. What are the biggest pain points you’ve encountered during the job search? What strategies do you use to overcome them?