I Applied To 100 Jobs Over 2 Months, Here’s What I Learned
“You should be grateful you even have a job!” my aunt scolded, “these are tough times, why look for a new one?”
What my aunt didn’t know was that tough times bring clarity. This year showed me that I needed change. And it had nothing to do with ingratitude.
I needed a new job.
There were a few things I’d compromised on for far too long, like structure, collaboration and communication. My work place was sorely lacking in these areas. And things weren’t getting better.
So, I searched for better.
No workplace is perfect, but I needed functionality. I knew exactly where to start. Quite a few of my friends work for the big boys, you know, like Facebook, Google and the like.
I thought breaking into these circles might be a good start. Boy was a wrong!
I was desperate to learn the secret. How did their skills differ from the hundreds who’d applied? What landed them that coveted role?
I soon learned some shocking news. As I questioned and queried and studied their answers I discovered that none of them knew why they’d been hired.
This was the running thread among all these friends, who also boasted that they were frequently contacted by recruiters on LinkedIn.
They gave generic advice on running my resume through an ATS system to make sure it matched up with the job description. I made sure my resume was standard and had no flowery additions. I followed up with recruiters. I applied for jobs I was qualified for or had enviable transferable skills.
Another thing all my friends had in common was that they were painfully unaware that they weren’t hired because they were special.
They were hired because they were likable.
They barely networked. But they stumbled on someone in the company who thought their personality would make a great addition to the team so long as they could churn out what was required.
I couldn’t judge. I was looking for a work environment with likeable personalities as well and not the mortuary I’d been working in for the past couple years. I wanted to work in a culturally-diverse and progressive environment. So why wouldn’t companies look at personality first and resume later?
You can always teach a skill, but you can’t teach character.
And I get it.
Resumes aren’t the only key. I wish I knew this before because updating resumes aren’t easy. Researching each company is draining. If you land the job, it’s totally worth it. If you don’t, you sit on the edge of your bed contemplating all the ways you went wrong.
I just want to let fellow job-seekers know that it’s not you.
You are qualified! Your resume is perfect. But companies are looking for a perfect fit in all regards.
Somewhere your perfect fit exists.
To find it, think outside the box. Apply for companies that aren’t on anyone’s raider. Think of relatively small brands that you look at from purely a consumer stand point. What about your personality and activities run parallel to the company’s goals and vision? Who can you “run into” that would be impressed with your in-person resume? How can you “chance" a meeting?
Finally, just because my friends were lucky doesn’t mean we can’t create our own luck. They got their jobs by accident, with chance meetings and by making airport friends.
We have to be prepared to impress someone with our in-person resume. Someone who’s willing enough to test their luck and hire us.