You just graduated, congratulations! But you are unemployed and you realized that after four (or more) years of independence you've become a burden at your parents' home. You love them but you are ready to start your life. At least that's how you felt three months ago when you started your job search. Now the positivity has gone down the drain and your face is breaking out due to stress and anxiety. You swear you've applied to over 50 jobs but have only gotten two replies and the rest? Cold and horrible silence.
I'm with you. And just like I have to remind myself to stop re-watching Netflix's Orange is the New Black, I'm going to tell you to put the Doritos down and get back to the hunt. I know it's not fun to get excited when you find out one of your dream companies is hiring, that you match every single qualification and then never hear back. But you can learn a lot from rejections. In these two months of serious job search I've learned not only a lot about myself but have narrowed down what I want and don't want from a future employers. Here are seven things I've learned while job hunting and how you can use it to help you in your search.
1.Cover letters are a pain to make but creativity is allowed.
I am not a fan of cover letters. In fact, I hate writing them and I know a lot of people are with me on this. In this online world we don't know if the two hours spent perfecting a cover letter and resume will even be worth it. It is easy to create a 'safe' and 'generic' cover letter and resume but that is also a sure way to get ignored. I'm going to give this anti-resume thing a try. Heck this guy made Google a video and apparently got hired.
2. Follow your intuition.
Follow your intuition, on everything. If your gut is telling you to add some yellow to your resume, reflect on it, then do it! If at some point it tells you it's too much yellow, listen. Getting advice from other people is great but your decisions should not depend on what other people think you should do. Whenever I'm really unsure about something I just tune into my intuition and the answer is usually there.
3. Unemployment news can become a distraction.
We are constantly told that either we are screwed given that the unemployment rate for recent grads is the highest ever or that recent college grads are actually doing okay in the job market. Reading the news is great but don't let the negative of unemployment news distract you from the task at hand because while you mope at percentages someone just submitted an application to your dream job. I am not saying stop reading just read something you can use such as resume advice.
4. Put the phone down.
I cannot control my social media addiction if my phone is nearby so I just give it to someone to put it away for me. If that doesn't make a difference then there are some great applications for your computer such as SelfControl, that block websites while you work.
5. Keep records of everywhere you've applied.
Create an Excel sheet of every job you've applied to and use it to follow up with employers. I look at my long list as an accomplishment itself and a reminder that rejections are okay.
6. Do something for yourself.
My job is to get a job. With that being said I don't feel like a freeloader doing nothing with my life after spending six hours applying for jobs. It is exhausting, therefore whether it's going to the movies or simply taking a walk it is important to do something for yourself in order to stay sane. I also realized that I have a lot of time on my hands which I can spend doing things that will benefit me. This is the time to start an early exercise routine (the earlier the better for when you land that job), watch what you eat, read a book or pick up a hobby you've always wanted to try.
7. Don't give in to envy.
It is likely that some of your college friends landed a job even before graduation or your Facebook timeline is suddenly flooded with "Just accepted my first big girl job!" No, it's not you but jealousy is worthless in this situation. Think about it this way, if your friends are getting hired, things aren't that bad and you are next! Your friends can also help you network and can give you tips for you to use.