You’re screwing yourself over. The job search is hard, and you’re making it harder. I’m going to tell you why. Then I have some tips on how to kick your fear of failure in the ass and make it work for you. You’re welcome.
You’re Underestimating Your Skills
There is one aspect of the job search that gets in my head every time — the laundry list of qualifications. I’m intimidated by the never ending bullet-points telling me what I need to be. Sometimes I find myself skipping the application altogether because every description starts looking like this.
Buck up my friends because I’m about to drop a truth-bomb on you. You are good enough and those bullet-points matter less than you think they do. Do not underestimate yourself because it’s going to show through your application.
Everyone tells you to be confident in an interview, but you need to show your confidence through your writing first.
You have the skills so don’t question them, own them. Everyone tells you to be confident in an interview, but you need to show your confidence through your writing first. “Hey boss, I’m going to make your company at least 213% better, and here’s how.” Maybe don’t word it that way, but you get the idea.
Every time you’re afraid that you’re not qualified, you’re robbing yourself of that confidence. Stop selling yourself short and start ignoring the criteria that you think disqualifies you.
You’re Letting The Fear Of Failure Get To You
So let’s get back to failure – that ugly, evil word that rears its head all too often and reminds us just how vulnerable we are. The hard truth? You’re going to get rejections, and you need to accept that.
I anxiously opened it only to find that discouraging sentence staring back at me, “You have not been selected at this time…”
When the first response email to a job application arrived in my inbox, I anxiously opened it only to find that discouraging sentence staring back at me, “You have not been selected at this time…”
After a brief pity-party, I sent out more applications. A couple of days later, I got a message from LinkedIn telling me that a hiring manager had viewed my application, but I never heard anything after that. I had failed again, and it smacked of that feeling you get when someone leaves their read-receipts on and doesn’t answer your text: I know you read it and chose not to respond.
But believe it or not, that’s a good sign. It doesn’t feel like it at first, of course, but here’s why: you know they read it. Instead of using your application for kindling or to mop up a spill, someone actually took the time to decide that you were worth their consideration.
Sure, I failed at getting that job, but I succeeded in getting someone’s attention and that’s step in the right direction.
You’re Not Evolving
You need to be a chameleon. I’m not saying you should go around coordinating your clothes with the wall you’re standing in front of (that would be super weird), but you should be changing your resume to match every job description you’re applying for. Contrary to what you might have been told, a resume isn’t a one-size-fits all document.
If you’re not getting responses or you just feel like you’re not been noticed, you should focus on changing your approach.
If you’re not getting responses or you just feel like you’re not been noticed, you should focus on changing your approach. Things like resume scanners could be standing in the way of your application’s pilgrimage to the hiring manager’s desk.
But also ask yourself, what are you doing in addition to sending out your resume? Do you have an online portfolio? Are you meeting and networking with people in your industry? You need to grow as you adapt, and if you find that what you’re doing isn’t enough, then (and here’s the real no brainer) you need to do more. Stop thinking of it like a job search and start thinking of it as “career building”.
It’s important to keep in mind that failure isn’t a bad thing if you learn from it. The more rejections you get, the more information you have on what isn’t working. Keep changing, keep adapting. Failure can be your friend.
One of the best leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for once told me that “ideas are like spaghetti being thrown at a wall. Throw enough and eventually something will stick.” Don’t think of failure as something to be avoided. It’s just a way of eliminating the things that don’t work.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.