I tried but…

I tried but…

I tried but…

I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.

Last week, I wrote a post about staying at a job because no one’s hiring so you don’t even try. This week, the slant is a bit different but in the same vein. Perhaps you’ve applied to many jobs, but have no takers. Maybe you’ve been on a number of interviews at various companies, but no one has extended an offer. You try, but you can’t get hired anywhere. Now what?

Many of us need to change our mindset and approach when it comes to looking for a job. Only then can we take the power out of the company’s hands and return at least some of it to our own.

Typically when people apply for a job, they do so online. Then they’re surprised when they get those curt, automatically-generated emails saying that they won’t be considered for the position. Here’s a suggestion: don’t apply online. Get in touch with a human being. Don’t let that human be an HR person, though (unless you’re applying for an HR position). No offense to HR people, but they’re not going to know the job better than the hiring manager. The hiring manager is the one with the problem, not the HR person. For small and medium-sized companies, it’s actually rather easy to get the hiring manager’s email address. It’s usually firstinitiallastname@companyname.com or firstname.lastname@companyname.com. For really small companies, it can even be firstname@companyname.com. Email the hiring manager directly. It’s true that hiring managers (or any corporate employee) are inundated with emails. What makes me think that he or she will read your email? There’s a better chance of the hiring manager reading your email than of him receiving your online application, because the latter doesn’t go to him directly. It passes through HR first. Why not cut out the middleman? I guarantee you that you will be more successful in getting interviews if you appeal to a human being instead of an online portal.

Now you got an interview, maybe several interviews at various companies, but you can’t seem to land a job. Your problem may be that you care about the outcome too much. This may seem counterintuitive to some. After all, don’t companies want people who REALLY want to work for them? If you go out on a date with someone, and that person acts a little too eager, isn’t that a turnoff? The same applies for interviewing. When you go into an interview, you have to be OK with the results no matter what they are. You got the job? Great. You didn’t get the job. Great. In fact, if you get the job, you then have to decide whether you even want it! I quit a job a couple of years ago, and I was unemployed for 8 months after that. I interviewed at various companies within those months, but nothing panned out. I truly believe I didn’t get those jobs because I was so anxious to prove that I could do the job. I was too worried about giving the “right” answers to the interviewers’ questions. I let the companies dictate my worth, and that strategy proved to be unsuccessful. Going back to the dating analogy, if you go out on a first date with someone and you don’t mesh with that person, you can rest assured that you will meet someone else. Why don’t we think the same way when it comes to interviewing? There will be another job to interview for. Always.

Feel like you can’t get hired anywhere? Consider changing your approach. Contact the hiring manager directly and don’t worry so much about the outcome. People smell desperation a mile away! And besides, you have no reason to be desperate. You’re great. A company would be lucky to have you.

Another excuse meets its maker. Next week, another one is on deck. Stay tuned!

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