Let’s face it, 2020 and 2021 have been pretty tough for all of us. And when it comes to job hunting, it is no different. With so many people losing jobs, being furloughed or having their hours cut, the challenge to find a new position and stand out from the crowd feels increasingly demanding. For many of us, it is incredibly hard to deal with the stress and remain positive while job hunting.
It’s easy to lose faith and become overwhelmed with the prospect of finding that dream position, especially when many businesses are tightening their reins and slashing their recruitment budgets. But don’t lose hope, there are plenty of reasons to stay positive as we ease out of lockdowns and businesses are getting back on track. Here is our guide on how to stay positive when job hunting.
You’re in control
No of course it never seems that way when you’re waiting for that offer of an interview to appear in your inbox, but with the deluge of information available to you, there are plenty of things that you can be in control of to make sure you have the best chance of securing that next step:
- There are opportunities out there.
Despite the economic downturn resulting from Covid-19, all is not lost. Yes, it may be all doom and gloom on the news, but certain industries have seen profits rise, and are employing rapidly. Many businesses have now increased their online presence, meaning the need for developers and IT and technical personnel has grown whilst they adapt to the changing market.
- Take the time to think about what your perfect position is.
If you’re moving from one job to another, really consider what it was that wasn’t perfect. Are you looking to move from a large enterprise to an SME? Are you looking for somewhere that has a track record of its employees moving up the ranks, do you want to travel more in your position? Are there certain company values that resonate with you? Create a must have, and like to have list, and assess each position against your criteria. It’s just as important to know what you don’t want, as well as what you do.
- Be proactive.
Is there a company that you’ve always wanted to work for? Find out who to talk to and write to them. Tell them why you love their company, what it means to you and what your skill set is. Explain to them what you can offer, not just your qualifications, but what makes you as a person right for them. No, they may not be recruiting at the moment, or, you may well have just contacted them at just the right time.
- Work on your CV.
Creating your CV to reflect the exact position you are applying for is very important. If you are applying directly, make sure you understand the full description of the job, does your CV tell them why you would be the best candidate? If not, now is the time to change it. You can read more about creating the perfect CV here. If you are working with a recruitment consultant, they should be able to guide you.
- Do your research.
Now more than ever is the time to stand out. We can’t stress enough how important it is to research. Not just about the company, but about the person interviewing you. We have all the tools at our fingertips. You are much more likely to be seen favourably if you know about the product line, or business goals. If you know why they are recruiting and what that role is going to fulfil within the business. This gives you a much better opportunity to tell them how you can help them. Use the company website, use Google, use LinkedIn. When you are prepared you are much more likely to feel positive and come across confidently.
- Don’t leave things to the last minute.
If you have been offered an interview, that’s amazing! Now you need to smash it. (Read our blog on How to prepare for a video interview). Confidence is one of the biggest reasons to fail an interview, of course it’s normal to be nervous, but if you are prepared, then you are much more likely to feel relaxed. Do you know where the interview is going to take place? Do you know where the nearest parking, bus stop, train station is? Do you know what you are going to wear, are you shoes clean? Have you confirmed the time, and who is interviewing you, and most importantly, have you read and re-read the job description and written a list of questions to ask? If you know the answer to all of the above, you have every reason to arrive positive and ready to impress. Final note, breathe. Take a few deep breaths before you walk in, stay calm and talk slowly and clearly. It’s very easy to talk over people or to waffle when you are nervous.
- When the answer is no.
It’s very easy to set your sights on something. You’ve mentally spent the pay rise, you’ve got excited about the prospect of working on X product, you’re worrying less about how you’re going to pay the bills, and you’re confident they loved you. Then you receive the notification that they have given the position to someone else. Disappointment takes over and your self-belief spirals. But don’t be disheartened. Rejection is part of the process. Use it as an opportunity to learn and become a better candidate. Take each interview as experience, if possible, take your time to find out why they felt you were not right for the position, take that feedback and work with it for the next one. It may just be that the person that came in before you had a few more years experience and it’s as easy as that.
- Stay positive.
It’s easier said than done, we know. But job hunting is challenging, which is why people like us are here to help you. Keeping a positive balance in your personal life will be enormously beneficial to your professional life. Take time for you, exercise, eat healthily and look after your mental health. And remember, talk. Share your highs and lows with loved ones and let them support you through your search.