Before I finished my recent temp job, I asked another temp employee how her job search was going. Her response, “No one is hiring right now. What can you do?” She had a degree in economics from a highly ranked Canadian university.
It always boggles my mind when I talk to a twentysomething who still thinks that their job search is lacking because no one is hiring. Yes, competition is fierce. Yes, everyone and their cat has a university degree. But, no (!) you aren’t getting any call backs because ‘no one is hiring.’
If you fall into one of the following 5 categories, I encourage you to take a job search hiatus and focus on networking, building online presence and gaining a few skills before you submit another resume. It might take you a few months, but it beats another few months of sending out fruitless resumes.
1. Monster and Workopolis are you best friends.
It is time to call it quits. It is very unlikely that you will get called back based on an online job posting alone. If you resume does get looked at, it is very likely that 50, even 100 other people applied for the job. It’s almost guaranteed that a few applicants are internal and a few more already have a personal connection to the company/recruiter. A few more were probably referred by other employees. See where I’m going with this?
2. Your resume is not amazing.
With so many free resources, there is no excuse not to have a perfect resume targeted to each position you apply to. Make sure you have your contact information correct. Ask your mom to make sure you have your contact information correct. I didn’t include my phone number in a resume once. It’s a true story. I even told the recruiter they must have missed it when they emailed me. I didn’t get the job.
3. You aren’t online.
Unless you live in a cave, you must know that social media and online presence are as essential as ice-cold freezies on a hot summer day. At the very least, get LinkedIn and a YellowBrickRoad online resume. Do it now! I’ll have a freezie while I wait.
If you want a job at all related to media, writing, recruiting or marketing, you need to have Twitter, an appropriate Facebook page and a rockin’ LinkedIn account. Aside from creating an online presence, you can check out the profiles of people who are doing what you want to do. Read up on their past work experiences, take note of their skills and strengths and begin to learn what will make you more employable.
4. You don’t have any skills.
Believe it or not, that $30,000 arts or science degree you got at university doesn’t leave you with many tangible skills. Great writing, reading, frog dissecting, report writing, presentation and organization skills can only get you so far. If you didn’t have a co-op or internship component to your degree, you are batting zero. The good news is that you can brush up on essential skills in your free time.
Instead of applying for every job you kinda, sorta think you could do, read the requirements and make of list of the things you need to learn.
5. You don’t have a clue what you want to do.
The post-grad, “I don’t have a clue what I am doing, I will apply to every job in sight,” job search is tiring and kills your self-esteem. Take a breather, look at where you strengths lie, what you like in a job and what type of work-like balance you want. As I mentioned earlier, taking a few weeks or months to gain new skills and present the best version of yourself possible will pay back in self-esteem and hopefully, a paycheck.