As a senior focused on finding a job post graduation, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to remain positive and balanced during the process. In the best of circumstances, job hunting is a source of stress. Add in a pandemic and a shaky economy, and the process becomes even more anxiety inducing. Despite this, there are still ways to remain positive and proactive during the process. Read on for my tips on how to win the mindset battle during the job hunt.
1. Set goals and quotas for yourself.
Set a weekly quota for how many job applications you will send out, or designate a number of hours per week to dedicate to job hunting. The exact numbers are up to you and your schedule, but establishing clear goals will help alleviate the “I should be looking for a job right now” guilt that pops up. Any time you feel that you aren’t doing enough, you can look back at your goals. If you’re meeting your goals, you can remind yourself that you are doing your part, that you’ve done enough, and that with time you will see results.
You can’t control the outcome of applications you submit, but you can control whether or not you apply. Taking control over what’s in your sphere of influence can provide a sense of relief when you start to stress. Setting clear goals makes getting started feel easier and less overwhelming.
2. Remember, rejections do NOT diminish your skills
No matter how many “no’s” you receive (and we will all receive no’s), remember that you are the exact same person you were before you got the rejection. You have the same skills, the same qualifications, the same abilities, and the same potential as before. Just because one recruiter (or maybe one computer) doesn’t see you as a fit doesn’t diminish the hard work you’ve done. Don’t condition yourself to expect rejection.
3. Seek out additional training and resume builders
Look into taking courses that are relevant to the job you’re seeking. Even if this additional learning doesn’t go on your resume, it provides talking points in interviews. It also shows recruiters that you are proactive. Maybe you couldn’t intern or work because of the pandemic, but doing additional learning shows that when times become challenging you dig in, learn more, and work hard to be prepared for the next available opportunity.
Harvard Edx, and LinkedIn Learning are great resources to seek out additional training at low to no cost.
4. Network so resumes aren’t getting sent into the “void”
Follow every job application with a message to a recruiter or employee at the company. If you can’t find the recruiter on LinkedIn, search for people currently at the company who you have a natural connection with. Maybe they worked somewhere that you worked at or interned at in the past, or maybe they went to your school. These similarities can provide a natural point of connection. Shoot them a brief message. These messages don’t always yield results. For every 10 you send you might get 1 or 2 back. But hey, what is there to lose?
5. Use your resources
Many colleges have connections with organizations like the NRF. The NRF hosts recruiter chats, career fairs, and all sorts of networking events. After recruiter chats, I always like to connect with the recruiters to say thank you and keep the conversation going. Even if they’re recruiting for internships and not full time positions, it never hurts to connect, and they’d at least know who to pass your information on to for full time roles. Also use your college’s career resources and see if they are hosting career fairs or information sessions.
It’s stressful out there and our generation is up against some big challenges on a macro level, especially due to the pandemic. However, with consistent effort and time, we all will find the right role if we actively look for it. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t discount yourself and what you have to offer the industry.