There’s no doubt that a job hunt can be both a rewarding and frustrating thing. On the one hand, you learn a lot about yourself and what you’re looking for from a future employer. On the other hand, it can be a difficult journey full of rejection, ghosting, and, at worst, job scammers. Here’s how to be the hero of your own job hunt story. Learn to spot the good, the bad, and the ugly on your search.
The Good – Building Skills
At the beginning of every job search, you have the opportunity to learn new skills. This can be through active learning or experiences. Train yourself to spot opportunities to learn. Perhaps there’s a short course that would give you an edge on your application. Maybe you have an impactful interview (good or bad) that makes you review your approach to your job hunt. There are opportunities to learn at every step of your journey. By recognising and applying the lessons learned, you can give yourself an edge when applying for the next role.
Some practical examples of how you can build your skills include:
- Applying for an online course
- Attending webinars
- Volunteering in an area you’re passionate about
- Networking with people in a similar field or industry
- Reading blogs specifically about job seeking or your industry
There’s no right or wrong way to build skills. You just need to be open and willing to recognise and develop them when there are opportunities.
The Bad – Rejection
There’s no easy way to cut it – rejection isn’t fun. One of the most frustrating things about looking for work is dealing with so many ‘NO’s. Hearing it over and over again (or worse, not hearing anything back at all) might burn you out on your job hunt. You don’t need to be beaten down by rejection, however. In the same way you take opportunities to build skills, take each rejection and learn from it. Perhaps you gave an absolutely great interview and were still regretted. It might not be your fault.
Analyse your interviews afterwards and try to figure out what the patterns are. There might be something you’re doing that you could adjust. Otherwise, it could be that you’re just not a fit for that company in particular. Put it down on paper and figure out what it might be. This will keep you from feeling as dejected. Either by helping you recognise where you can improve, or by helping you realise that your ideal role is somewhere else.
The Ugly – Job Scammers
Unfortunately for every person genuinely trying to find their next amazing teammate, there are scammers trying to take advantage of people in vulnerable situations. It’s important on your job search to stay aware. Keep an eye out for things that seem suspicious.
Some ways to spot job scams include:
- The offer seems too good to be true – the person offering the job is promising more than you think is realistically possible
- There’s a lack of information provided about the job or company – the person offering the job is purposefully vague or enigmatic about the actual job description or the name of the company even after you’ve provided personal information
- The correspondence is unprofessional – their emails contain a ton of spelling errors or it’s clear that they’re not affiliated with a professional company
- Their emails don’t contain contact info – if there’s no phone number in their signature (or no signature at all) it’s usually a sign that they don’t want you to contact them or research them outside of your email correspondence
- Search results don’t add up – when you google them, you can’t find anything solid about them or the company they claim to work for
- You’re forced to provide confidential info despite not knowing much about the role or company – a good recruiter will only ask for this kind of information once you have clarity about what you’re applying for
- They ask for money or bank account details – ethical recruiters won’t charge you to apply for a role or pay for things like background checks
- Being asked to pay for software, especially if it’s software you’ve never heard of – not only could you be losing money and giving up your bank account details, but you could also be downloading malware that could damage or leave your computer vulnerable to hacking
Always trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem above board, it’s better to miss out on the opportunity than put your security at risk.
There are lessons to be learned on every job hunt. Keep your eyes open for any and all opportunities to grow as a candidate and it won’t be long until you find the job that’s absolutely perfect for you.