Nothing prepares you for job search. On the contrary, during your school career, it is likely that you have never had a job search course. And when you do, you get advice from people who have never looked for work after the 2000s. That’s why you’re looking for a job in the worst possible way. In the end, it is the reason that pushed me to create this blog. That’s what I would have said to my younger self.
1. Recruiters hate the long unemployment gap in your resume.
They will deny it. They do not even know it. It’s human: long-term unemployment is unconsciously disturbing, suspicious even. When someone has been unemployed for a long time, we say that there must be a good reason. We tend to think that someone who is already operational on the job is a necessarily safer choice.
When you stay in a situation of unemployment for a long time, you tend to despair and lose confidence in yourself, which is what you feel. We must either avoid being in a situation of inactivity too long or break the circle of the loss of self-confidence. We will come back to it.
2. No one will come looking for you
I know: you know someone who knows someone who has been approached by a headhunter directly on LinkedIn. In fact, schools often tell you anecdotes where someone was hired before leaving school. Forget once for all these stories. It’s the equivalent of learning to play poker while watching James Bond play.
Assume that no one will come to save you. Creating a LinkedIn account hoping that recruiters come to pick you up is like buying a lottery ticket. Yes, it can happen but in the meantime, you have to take things in hand.
3. You do not know how to make a resume
You will find as many CV tips than advisers. What to find a little lost. In the end, there are more things that fall under personal preferences than true absolute rules.
Worse still, nobody explains to you how to use a CV or what it serves. At one point we often see the resume as a biography when it must be the answer to a job offer, where the buyer is the person who recruits you.
4. Applying for job ads is not a big deal:
It’s not just ads in life, far from it. Yet when we imagine a job search, we imagine someone who responds to ads. It is a distorted and counter productive vision. Especially when you know the success rate of the process.
When I tried fencing at age 7, I did like all children who start fencing: during my first training I tried to hit the blade of my opponent as much as possible.
Because when we see Zorro on TV (or even a fencing match) what we remember is the sound of blades clashing. To the point that we forget that if fencers make this noise, this is not their goal. Their goal is to touch the other.
In the same way, your goal is not to apply for as many advertisements as possible but to be recruited. I see so many researchers boasting or complaining about sending hundreds of unanswered CVs. While it is the equivalent of boasting or complaining of having hit the opponent’s sword a hundred times without touching it. If the method does not work, it must be changed.
5. The passion reflects on the screen, its absence also:
This is probably the most ruthless law of all. If you get passionate about a business or a trade you will take a shortcut so effective that it’s almost cheating.
Unfortunately this is both the most effective weapon but the most pointless point to read for you in this article. Either you are passionate or you are not. I have not yet found a solution to arouse passion. And it’s not for lack of trying!
The only thing you can concretely apply is that refusing an interview is sometimes a great idea. If you are in a situation comfortable enough to say no, do not go to interviews if you are sure that nothing interests you in the company or position.
6. The less we need it, the easier it is and vice versa
Probably the biggest secret of all. The less you are in the position of applicant, the easier your search will be. The less you will be searching and the more you will find.
Of course, you can not control being in need or not. But you can still learn how to cultivate your network in times when you do not need anything. It is when you are at your peak that you have to know how to give to others without expecting anything in return.
What if you are in the situation where it is too late? Well, you can simulate the state of mind of someone who is not in need. I know it’s counter intuitive but do not spend all your time searching! Play sports, free time, take classes online. Do not force things. The more you force, the more difficult it will become.
That’s why I love Mathieu Ménet’s book so much: Fuck unemployment. Because it’s the only one I’ve read that addresses this dimension. Besides, it’s been an eternity that I have to make an article to summarize the book.
Being able to simulate this state of mind also depends on your character and your way of seeing recruitment. Remember that you are doing a service to the recruiter first and foremost. When you give your time for an interview, you are not paid for that time. The recruiter is paid during this time. Never forget: a good candidate is a gift for a recruiter. It’s up to you to become a good candidate!