The most difficult aspect of my job search so far has been trying to justify finding time to actually commence the search without falling behind on work. I’m one of those work on the weekends people, so it’s hard to find time that I don’t think I could be accomplishing something for the positions I already have.
But when I do focus on my job search, I make sure to pay attention to every detail of my resume, cover letter, emails, phone calls… all communication involving potential employers is checked (or rehearsed) 400 times before it is sent.
Recently, I conducted interviews to find a much needed assistant for my boss. Before the interviews, I obviously had to sift through tons of resumes, cover letters, and emails, and I was shocked at what I received. The candidates didn’t seem like they spent more than ten minutes on each document – no more than a few of them did anything to personalize or make themselves stand out.
People are constantly complaining about not having work – the unemployment rate is rising, they say. No one understands what it’s like out there. There’s too much competition. Well, DUH there’s too much competition! That means you do not let one typo or spelling error get through on your resume/cover letter – I immediately dismissed candidates with MBAs and ten years of experience because they couldn’t bother to even turn on spell check.
The interviews were also difficult to get through – I didn’t know anyone would even imagine not preparing questions to ask the interviewer, or not follow up with a thank you email after it is done.
Conducting these interviews certainly changed my perspective on the job search. I will take extra care to make myself stand out, to put more time into each resume & cover letter, and to follow up more than I ever did before.
Do people think they are simply entitled to jobs? Just because you sent me an email saying, “Please review my information” I should hire you?