For my own job search I tried my best to track everything and to be as detailed oriented as possible. During the course of my job search I applied to 187 positions. I know some will say that this is too many submissions. But I did use a targeted approach. I targeted HR Director/Manager positions in the Seattle, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio areas. I did submit for some positions outside of those areas. But the focus of my job search was mainly focused in those areas.
Some of these I was able to apply for using my LinkedIn profile. But for 167 of them, I had to submit a resume and/or cover letter. So for each position I used a targeted resume. Which took up a lot of time to accomplish. I also went through 25 master resumes. I was constantly updating these based on recommendations from others or when I would review the master resume and found a change I wanted to make.
Through the course of my job search I had about 30 people look at my resume and make recommended changes. Some changes I made and some I did not make. One thing I learned is that everyone has an opinion on what information should be included on your resume. But the only opinion that counts is the person doing the recruiting and hiring for the position you applied for at that time. You of course have no way of know what the recruiter and hiring manager is looking for when they look at your resume and/or application.
The job search process itself was very frustrating. I learned that most companies do not care about the user experience of people applying to work for them. For example, I don’t know how many times I had to submit a resume and then still fill out an application with the exact same information found on my resume. There were quite a few times when I did not apply for positions because I was so frustrated that I still had to do an application when the information was on my resume. There was even one application that asked for my high school information.
I often wondered if these companies treated their customers like they treat their job candidates, how long would they remain in business. I would sometimes ask myself if companies purposely made applying with them so hard and frustrating on purpose so they would not have to actually hire anyone.
Of the 187 positions I applied for only about 30 sent back any kind of feedback. So for the vast majority I did not even receive an automated email saying they had received my application. So this was very frustrating and nerve racking. To me it showed a lack of professionalism and courtesy from these companies. For most positions there was not even a person listed that I could contact to follow up on the status of my submission. I learned that the infamous black hole we all heard about, does in fact exist.
Another frustration were position requirements that automatically took me out of contention for a position. I was going to apply for a HR Director position with a hotel. Until I noticed the job description stated that only people with hotel HR experience needed to apply. I wanted to know why a company would eliminate all those possible qualified candidates for no reason. Another position stated you had to have experience with a certain HR system. When I answered that I did not have experience with this HR system, the applicant tracking system kicked me out and would not let me apply again.
Looking for a job is a full time job and one you must be mentally prepared for as you go along. You will need to find a routine that works for you while conducting your job search. You also have to be prepared for not receiving any sort of feedback and for all the negative experiences involved with looking for a job. But just remember that you only have to here one yes for your job search to be a success.
On the next blog I will cover how I came to a yes on my job search.
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