Taking Control of Your Job Search
Last month, Scismic hosted an event on maintaining resilience during your job search. We discussed some of the major stressors job seekers like you face, including
- Not receiving clear feedback from an unsuccessful job prospect/interview and how it affects your self-esteem
- Having difficulty structuring your schedule to support job seeking while maintaining time for yourself
- Lack of control over flexibility for job requirements that you don't meet
We shared strategies to make your job search more effective and give you more self-confidence in your search. In case you missed the event, here are key takeaways from what we covered.
- Unclear Feedback: A lot of companies do not provide feedback to candidates who are not moved forward through their applicant pipeline. This can make it feel like you have no guidance to improve your next application and leave you lost on how to improve your chances of getting an elusive interview. You can, and should, still ask for feedback, but if you do not receive feedback, you can use a data-driven approach to improve your outcomes.
Strategy: Use an application outcome sheet. Create a spreadsheet to track every role for which you get invited for a phone screen or more. Record the skills and fields they are seeking, what products they are working on and even company size/type.
Why: Use this to find what types of roles and companies are showing the most interest when you submit your resume. You can use this to plan which openings you want to spend the most time applying to, based on which are most likely to respond.
- Lack of Structure: A job search can feel like it is taking over all your time and preventing you from enjoying your hobbies. In order to maintain your self-esteem and confidence, it helps to build time for the job search and time to do other activities that either build your skills or make you feel accomplished.
Strategy: Set concrete goals using a goal tracker for what you would like to accomplish in time frames that make sense for the goals and your priorities. Make sure to include job search related goals as well as non-job search related goals.
Why: Keep yourself accountable to meeting both to progress your job search while still making time for other parts of your life that bring you joy.
- Missing qualifications outside your control: Some jobs are seeking qualifications that you do not meet. Work authorization, particular “must-have” skills, and prior industry experience are examples of requirements that must be a good fit for a candidate to be moved forward. Remember that you do not need to meet every qualification. You only need to meet enough of the hard criteria to bring value to the job right away. If you do not meet enough requirements, then it’s time to focus your time and energy applying elsewhere.
While there may be times when it feels like every role you are interested in has too many requirements that you do not meet, there are other roles out there that are a good match for your experience level and circumstances.
Strategy: Complete a skills analysis chart to know and defend your skills and experience. You have experience, even without prior industry work, that can be applied to current positions. Being able to clearly state your qualifications will greatly help you stand out to hiring managers. List your prior experiences, and note all the technical and non-technical skills for those roles that are also relevant to the new roles you are interested in (get this info by comparing multiple job descriptions you are interested in).
Why: Use this to prepare for interviews. When a skill is sought by a role, practice describing the circumstances of the experience and the positive outcomes of using that skill. Download a template here.
If you’ve been looking for a job for months and haven’t found one yet, you might feel alone, but don’t worry, most job searches take 3-6 months. You can use the strategies covered here to refine your search and get more interviews out of the hours you are devoting to your search. In addition to the three strategies we covered, you can read this Forbes article about the habits of successful job seekers here.
Additionally, we are happy to meet with you to support your job search and connect you to openings looking for your skills and experience. You can book a call here to talk to us.
Scismic helps scientists and engineers find jobs where they can make the most impact. Our specialized algorithm accurately matches you to jobs that fit your skill set. If you are a scientist looking for industry jobs, start your free profile here.