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Why does job search take so much work?

The Hiring Process The Local Job Market Job Search Inspiration

Question:

Job search is such a hassle. I have to write the perfect resume, upload it to websites, and wait and wait and wait for an employer to get back to me. I have good skills and a degree. Why does it take so much work just to get a job?

Answer:

They say looking for work is a full-time job in itself. It seems to be truer all the time.

There are a lot of things you do (or should) in the beginning of a job search that make you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. They include, as you noted, crafting a resume that matches the job lead; researching companies to find a good place for you; working on your LinkedIn profile and maybe other social media; networking (talking to people about jobs, companies, and whatever they’re interested in) and expanding your network; the list goes on and on. Meanwhile, your funds are shrinking, your friends and family keep saying, “How’s the job search going?” and you feel like you’re spinning your wheels. 

Here’s the thing: all that stuff is important. Customizing your resume to the job lead makes it far more likely that the Applicant Tracking System will pick you out of the (possibly) hundreds of applicants, and pass you on to the HR person. Researching companies will give you information on what may or may not be a good place to spend most of your waking hours for the next several years. It will also give you confidence when you get to the interview stage. It’s said that over 90% of employers use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool; having a good, keyword-heavy profile will bring you to their attention. Networking (social and otherwise) is the most important tool of all, because employers want to hire someone they know. The next best thing is hiring someone a business associate recommends.

So take the time. Do the work. Believe it or not, at some point it will pay off. You’ll get a call for an interview for a job that will be right for you. Doing the tedious stuff at the beginning will make that possible. Keep that in mind when you find yourself questioning the process. 

About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.