The Hardest Part of Job Search

posted by Brian Krueger under job search #job search #mistakes #networking #resume

Rejected job seeker lying on couch
Rejected job seeker lying on couch

Many job searches get stuck in the mud, unable to move forward. Lots of activity, but no real results.


It’s often due to the hardest part of job search. What is it? Most people are afraid of rejection. And job search is all about rejection. Even a highly successful job search will have more rejections than successes. Even if someone receives 3 or 5 or 10 offers, they have at least that many (and probably many more) rejections along the way. Yet a successful job search is not measured by 3 or 5 or 10 offers. It is measured by one offer. One good offer. Yet to get to that offer, you must endure the hardest part of job search—rejection.

So let’s turn the rejection thing on its ear for a moment. When you are rejected, it is not you personally who is being rejected. What is being rejected is the fit. Your fit with the job, the role, the department, the employer. So stop taking it personally. If you truly are not a fit for the role, finding that out now is not a bad thing. Better to know now than after months or years of toiling in a job that doesn’t work for you or for them. Life’s too short.

Yet fear of rejection may cause you to not be considered for jobs where you actually are a fit. How? By following the post-and-pray methodology. Candidates often think that by sending out 10, 20 or 100 resumes, they are conducting an effective job search. The reality of effective job search is that it’s about building connections. Just sending out your resume does not necessarily build a connection. You have to work your network to build the connections which give your resume relevance. Your resume submitted as part of an internal employee referral program is 10x more likely to be considered. And a resume submitted blindly has only 10% the chance of a resume submitted followed by a phone call.

We live in an electronic world where it’s too easy to push a button to apply. Yet the electronic rejection (or inaction) seems easier to take than the spoken rejection. But if you want to find a job, you have to sell who you are to the potential employer. Do you want to rely on the piece of paper? Or do you want to rely on you? You are the best salesperson of you.

Get out there and start selling yourself. Take a multi-targeted approach. And accept each rejection along the way as one step closer to your end goal of making the connection that will result in the offer.

Search for jobs:

← 6 Ways to Effectively Use Online Job Sites Dads and Grads – What to Do After Graduation →