As a job seeker, one of the key challenges is to remain motivated particularly given how challenging the job search process can be. More and more employers and recruiters seem to have dropped the ball when it comes to providing a professional and respectful service to job seekers. For all the talk of employer branding over the last few years – one of the key areas that seems to be ignored is the experience prospective employees receive when they connect with an employer brand.
If employer branding is as important as companies say, you would expect employers to acknowledge applications and/or indicate if an application is unsuccessful. It is not uncommon to have an interview and never hear back. It can be disappointing for job seekers. However, it is also a good way to rule out organisations as prospective employers as it could be indicative of their approach to people in general!
Unfortunately the recruitment process is becoming increasingly automated with the onus on the job seeker to spend more time applying, thus saving the person hiring time and money engaging with prospective talent. This is evidence by all the online application processes and the growing trend to use video recording interview software in the early stages of interviews.
This week an online service site I use has merged with another company and has been renamed. A real person emailed me to provide a phone and email address if I needed any help. Wow I thought! When job seeking, you rarely get the phone number or email of an actual person to call regarding a job ad. You simply send your application into the ether or spend hours filling out useless online application forms that a system screens for key word searches and then it has only slim chance of being seen by a human. How little regard is shown to prospective employees’. Crazy stuff really. Yet an online service can provide such an amazing level of service and make me feel like a valued client.
Given the impersonal nature of job seeking, it can be tough to remain positive and focused. My recommendation however is to always take a professional approach – even if you are not experiencing one at the other end. By having a well written, relevant resume and cover letter and by applying for jobs that are within your scope, you are doing all the right things. You will likely not hear back from many of the people and companies you apply to but some will engage with you – the right ones!
Know that you are not alone. Job seekers at all levels, from graduates to the C suite are all experiencing this poor service and it is not helping their confidence or motivation levels. Again, revisit your career goals and strategy and stay focussed. Ideally you should not rely too heavily on job sites. Find recruiters through referrals who are professional in their approach. Where possible, network, which can appear as a more time-consuming approach but ultimately will be more effective.
If you are inclined to follow-up on applications sent (which I recommend where possible), I encourage you to read the article ‘5 Follow-up Emails That Scare Hiring Managers (and What to Write Instead)’
While job seeking can seem a challenging process, and one that can easily get people down, it can also be an empowering process if you approach it with the right mindset. Remind yourself of the realities of how the job search process works, which can hopefully keep it all in perspective.