Written by Dorcas Solomon
A research conducted by Workopolis shows that Job searches can last anywhere from two days to over a year.  And on average only 2% of applicants actually gets interviews. 
Looking for a job is one of the most daunting, and most draining things to do. When faced with multiple rejections, it’s easy to hit rock bottom fast.
So, I thought I’d share 5 things I learned from my job application process, that I hope will make your application process beneficial, and hey, maybe even enriching.
1) Know what you want
Knowing what you want will save time. Ask yourself: What industry am I most passionate about? What are my strengths? What do I value in a workplace? What work culture do I want to be a part of? What culture do I excel in? Really drill down and identify every aspect of what your goal is.
Never pursue a vague idea: “I just want a good job in my field”, it’s exhausting, time-consuming, and can you make you feel like nothing is good is coming your way. Define your prize. Specify what it is that you really want, because when you don’t, it makes amazing opportunities harder to identify.
It’s all about quality. Learning to zero-in on one thing at a time is gold. Don’t send out 10 average resumes in 1 day. Instead, send out 1 or 2 amazing resumes every week! If it takes you a few extra days to make 1 resume excellent, it’s definitely worth it.
We are all used to hearing “The more the better,” –but this statement is only true if the quality of your work remains unscathed by all the coffee you drank to pump out resumes by the dozens. Easier said than done, I know, but just remember: the first to finish a mediocre work may be celebrated, but quality over time is always reverenced. You can only hope for the best when you give your best.
3) Don’t succumb to pressure
When looking for a job everyone will have an opinion on what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Despite their good intentions, learn how to cut out the noise and stick to your track. This is not to say that you shouldn’t seek advice, but a reminder to not run a race trying to act on everything, and to choose the advice you take carefully. When job seeking, pressure from family, friends, your environment, your circumstance, can bring about a sense of hopelessness. Just remember to stay positive, be focus and apply for positions with full clarity and patience.
4) It is never personal
Recruiters are really busy people. They can get anywhere from just a few, to hundreds of resumes a week. So when you get a rejection letter, never take it personal because it almost never is. This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn: to have the motivation to keep going after being rejected multiple times.
Organizations always have a guideline of specific qualities and qualifications that they look for when choosing a candidate. A lot of money is spent on the process, so you can imagine they are very thorough. Getting a rejection may simply mean you are not a good fit for that specific role, there is someone else who is more experienced than you or honestly, they have gotten to know another applicant more deeply than you– possibly through networking events. But never take whatever reason you’ve come up with to heart, because at the end of the day, thinking negatively about what greatness you have to offer will only cloud your aura. Rarely ever is it a case of the employer disliking you. So again, don’t take it personally, because the employer is not thinking about you, her mind is only on getting the best fit for the job.
5) Research, Research, Research
A while ago I was interviewing candidates for a position for Walk of Promise. I received an application I thought was impressive and scheduled an interview with the applicant, only to find that the candidate hadn’t even read a single article on the Walk of Promise website. You can imagine my confusion and frustration. No one is entitled to anything, whatever we want we must work for. Yes, thoroughly researching a company can take up time and energy, but it is something you must do to separate yourself from the pack.
If you’d like to be taken seriously, and get that job –that 1,000 other people are applying for– do your homework. It’s simple. There is nothing worse than applying to a company, and then walking into the interview without been adequately prepared. It is vital to gain a thorough understanding (to the best of your ability) of everything there is to know about that company, the industry, culture, service and/or product. This makes you stand out, as there are few far and between who are willing to put in that extra work.
If you really want it, put in the hard work, go above and beyond, and research, research, research the company. Just remember, it’s hard to ignore those who can provide a solution to the problem you’re trying to solve, and so prove how you will be an asset to your potential employer.
Please share with us what helped you in your job search, and share some tips with those who are going through the process.