Frustration is a feeling near and dear to all job seekers. Whether you were laid off, you just graduated, you’re changing careers, or you just hate your current job, looking for employment is seriously not fun. Here are three common irritations of the job search, and three ways to make them a little less troublesome.
1) Recruiters are slow to get back to you, or never get back to you at all.
When you send your resumé out into the cold world, with it go your hopes for a better job. How depressing is it, then, when you never hear back from anyone? The truth is that recruiters are inundated with thousands of resumés each day, and simply lack the resources to sift through each one and craft a response. Fortunately some companies have created auto-responses that assure you your resumé was actually received. Not all recruiters have caught on to this practice however, and many job seekers are left wondering. The best thing to do if you have not heard back from a recruiter is to send a follow-up e-mail a few days after your original letter. Wait a few more days, and if you have still not heard back, call the recruiter. Remind them who you are, and what kind of job you’re looking for. Offer to come in for a face-to-face meeting. The point is to get your resume out of the stack of thousands and into the hands of a real person.
2) You don’t know how to find recruiters in your industry.
It’s a big challenge to find recruiters working in your industry, either because you’re entry level, you haven’t used a recruiter in years, you’re in an unfamiliar city, or because all the recruiters you used to know have since moved on. The challenge is even greater if you live in a small city with limited opportunities. The best way to find recruiters is through word-of-mouth. When you meet people at networking events or at informational interviews, ask them if they know of any industry recruiters. Their contacts may be old or obsolete, but they can at least point you in the direction of the appropriate firm. You can also search social networking sites, job boards, or conduct an internet search for local industry recruiters. The goal is to get a name and an e-mail. In your e-mail, say who referred you. Be brief and direct – recruiters are very short on time. And remember to emphasize how YOU can help THEM.
3) You’re having a hard time keeping your job search organized.
A job search in today’s economy could easily span over 6 months, and require hundreds of applications and e-mails. It’s a full-time job just to stay on top of the paper trail. But it’s essential to keep a record of which jobs you’ve applied to, who you’ve contacted at each job, and what steps you’re taking next. How embarrassing (and damaging!) would it be if a recruiter called you about a job and you had no idea which position she was talking about? A record management system will make all the difference between making you seem organized and competent, or sloppy and unprepared. Keeping on top of your job search will also save you time (since you won’t be applying to the same jobs twice) and headaches (since you won’t have to spend hours sorting through e-mails in your Sent folder trying to find the one relevant to your interview tomorrow).