The Job Search Doesn't Have to Be Hard. Here are 2 things you can do to make it easier

Career advice Career change Cover letter Job change Job searching

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I hear it all the time, “Why is the job search so darn hard?”

When we start the process of looking for a job, we really think it will be quick and easy. Before we know it, we’ve been reaching out to prospective employers and not hearing back for months. This can feel incredibly frustrating, defeating, and disappointing. 

Let's look at the job search and, not just why it’s so hard - but also what you can do to make it easier.

Want to skip the read? Watch this video.


 

Here are 2 reasons the job search feels so hard and what you can do to make it easier:

1. The job search is hard because no one teaches us how to navigate it.

Think about it. When you are finishing school, whether it's high school or college, there's guidance around the job search. However, if you are later in your career, no one is teaching you the proper way to search for a job.

When it comes to starting a job search mid-career, you have to seek out all of the information.  

What’s interesting to me is that for every other major life change, there is guidance. Think about it, if you’re having a baby, you have a doctor, a midwife, and/or a doula. When you move, you use a real estate agent, and maybe you have a moving company. If you need a divorce, you have a lawyer. 

In every major life transition, you have access to a professional. Yet when we decide to make a career change, which is another major life transition, we don't use a professional.

It doesn't make sense. And it’s partially why the job search is so difficult. No one is teaching us the proper way to do it. We're just trying to figure it out on our own. 

The job search is a complicated process. 

There are career change and job search gurus out there, but they're all saying different things. It can be difficult to know who to trust or where to turn.

So, how can we make this easier? 

You need a professional in your corner, whether that's hiring a career coach, joining a group coaching program with other job seekers, or just finding free resources online from someone that you trust and can relate to.

Make it easy on yourself by committing and doing the research to find a couple of career change professionals. When I say a couple, I mean find two career change professionals to follow, because if you're following too many, then you're getting too many opinions and this is where it can get confusing and frustrating.

If you don't know what direction to turn, ask a few close friends who have recently gone through a career change. Ask them where they got help and who they followed. Make sure, whoever you're following, you really resonate with their style, their mission, their beliefs, and their way of doing things.

2. The job search is hard because it's become a big game.

I find this so disappointing.

So many people who are jumping into the job search right now during this great reshuffle are saying, “What have I gotten myself into?” They were not expecting to walk into this huge game. 

Here's why the job search process has become such a game. 

There's something called an applicant tracking system or an ATS. Within the last decade or so, many employers began using this system to sift through the hundreds of applications that they get for a job. The system then filters out the ones that are a fit and the ones that are not a fit based on keywords, experience, and other similar indicators.

This system is working for employers, but it's not beneficial to employees and job seekers. 

Here's why. You now have to be an expert in how to hack an ATS system to even get noticed in the job search. Most of us, when we're searching for a job, don't have time to become an expert in how to hack an ATS system. We're trying to become an expert in the field in which we want to be hired. Or we’re trying to be more well-informed in our field. Or, we’re trying to become better at what we do. We’re not interested in becoming experts in the job search process itself.

This is what makes the job search feel like a game. If you can't get past the ATS, then you can't win the game. And that’s incredibly, incredibly frustrating. 

So, how can we make this easier? 

You can make this process easier by having a master resume that you use and then tailoring that resume to each job that you apply for.

When you're doing that, you want to find the keywords that appear in that job description the most and make sure that those keywords are in your tailored resume.

There is a really cool tool I want to share with you that will help you to find those most used keywords from the job description. It’s called worditout.com and it's a completely free tool. It's a web-based word tool, and it allows you to copy and paste the meat of the job description into their platform and it creates for you a visual representation of the main keywords used throughout the job description. You can then go and pepper those keywords throughout your resume for that particular job. 

You can use that information to tailor each resume that you send out to the job description using their own keywords. That'll help you get past that ATS system and ultimately (hopefully) win the game.

You could also simply email the hiring manager or recruiter for the job posting directly. If you are not sure how you could even go about doing that, click below!

Want to build your own Master Cover Letter? Create your master version once and modify it in just three minutes to personalize your outreach for each position! Download the Magic Cover Letter Template, right here!

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