Job hunting is not something most people enjoy. Most people would prefer to just start a new job without all the hassle. Job hunting takes a lot of effort to do well and success is not guaranteed. You might get rejected multiple times before finally being successful. It can be hard to stay motivated when you are job hunting. Unfortunately job hunting is not something you can do on auto-pilot. How can you stay motivated to keep putting in the effort necessary to optimize each job application?
ACCEPT THAT JOB HUNTING CAN BE INCOMPREHENSIBLE
There is no formula that will guarantee success when you are applying for a job. Many aspects of the job application process are hidden from the candidates. Even being a perfect match with the job description does not guarantee that you will be invited for a job interview. Unknown circumstances can make your job application efforts futile. Business politics, preferred candidates, personal issues or even changing world wide economy can ruin your chances without you knowing about it. This is frustrating, especially because a job application takes a lot of effort and time to do well. Don’t get discouraged by these unknown factors, accept them as part of the process, instead focus on your own efforts to be successful.
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL
No one like rejections. When you apply for a job you share a lot of personal information, you present all the things you are capable of. After sharing all this information it is hard not to take a rejection personal. But keep in mind that for recruiters and hiring managers assessing candidates is day-to-day business. They have processes to evaluate all the candidates and they often use checklists to quickly select and eliminate candidates. This may sound harsh considering all the work you have put in your job application. Keep in mind that this is equal for all candidates. For every candidate that gets hired there is a (big) group of candidates that get rejected. The tips below will also help you to get over the rejection and to move on to the next job opportunity.
TAKE A BUSINESS APPROACH
A good way to stop taking rejections personal is by taking a business approach to your job application. Consider yourself being a business. You have to sell yourself to companies and recruiters, they are your customers. Do research about your customers and their needs. A lot of this information is given in the job post itself, but the company website and news articles about the company can also be valuable sources of information. Create your own personal business plan with a strategy to differentiate yourself from other candidates and to sell yourself in the best possible way. Take time to make an analysis of your strengths and your weaknesses. Find ways to emphasize your strengths and to resolve you weaknesses.
LEARN AND ADAPT
Taking the business approach also means that you should try to learn from a rejection. If things are not working out, go back to the drawing board and adapt your plan. Try to learn something from each job application. Contact the company or the recruiter and ask for more information about their decision to turn you down as a candidate. They will not always give you this information, and when they do it may not be very pleasant to hear why you got reject. However this information can be very valuable for you next job application.
You also have to adapt and customize your resume and cover letter for each job application, but likewise you have to adapt your “business plan” regularly. It is a lot like this famous quote from Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
Motivation is great, it makes you eager and productive. Motivation is a boost of will-power. Unfortunately motivation is also temporarily, it can easily fade away. When you are job hunting you cannot just rely on motivation to kick in. To stay productive you have to create habits. A habit means you have to be disciplined and structured. Making a habit out of your job hunting will force you to be productive and book progress even when you have no motivation.
Besides these five tips there are plenty of small things you can do to keep you motivated. It is important to do something completely different from time to time to clear your mind and stay positive. Listening to music, cooking, going hiking, friend and family or sports are some great ways to give you new energy and confidence. Being motivated and positive will not directly make the job hunting easier, but it will enable you to put in the extra effort necessary to make your job hunting a success.