10 struggles that all job seekers can relate to

5 minute read

Job hunting can be tough. If you’re in the process of searching for a new job, you already know all about the common issues that candidates face. From constantly tweaking your CV to the endless mountain of job applications, job hunting isn’t always the best experience. You may feel discouraged at times, but remember that with determination the right opportunity will come along.

If you’re at the stage where your job search has become frustrating, we really do understand. So we’ve put together the top ten struggles that our job seekers said that they experience with some advice on how to tackle them and bounce back even stronger…

Need experience to get experience

The oldest conundrum in job seeking history. This issue cropped up with our graduates and experienced job seekers who are trying to shift into the charity sector. Whilst getting the job without having the relevant experience is difficult, it’s not impossible. What you need to do is present yourself in the right way…

Tip: Instead of looking at all of the experience that you need, dress your current skills and experience up. Focus on your transferable skills and how they can contribute to the roles that you’re applying for. Present yourself as an individual that is bringing a fresh, new, perspective to the team.

Waiting for a reply after submitting an application

No one likes to be kept waiting. And when you have put blood, sweat and tears into a job application form, cover letter and CV, the very least you expect is a reply. However, this seems to be something that many recruiters are failing to do. Instead of constantly refreshing your emails in search for that reply, here’s something more productive you can do.

Tip: Make sure that you’re organised. Create a spreadsheet with a list of the applications that you’ve made and add a ‘follow up’ section. After a week, if you haven’t heard anything from a recruiter send them a polite follow up email. Don’t let the frustration thwart the rest of your job search! Keep going, regardless.

Never ending job application forms

So you’ve been working on your cover letter and nailed it. You’ve edited your CV to perfection. And then you see ‘please complete the application form attached’. In a new digital world, this experience can be very alien and painful for job seekers. But that doesn’t make it any less important to complete. Don’t consider application forms as an impossible barrier – here are some ways to work around them…

Tip: Don’t start with the boring monotonous sections. Leave that until the end and start by channeling your energy into questions you’re being asked. Then, take a break and come back to the sections about your job history and personal details.

Unclear or misleading job ads

We’ve all been there. Entry level role that requires 5 years experience or the job title that appears completely different from the job description. Don’t assume that the role isn’t quite right for you (remember that HR managers are human and make mistakes too!). What you need to do is get some clarity…

Tip: If you love the sound of the job but there are still some grey areas, contact the organsiation directly. Most recruiters and hiring managers leave contact details for candidates to make inquiries. So use that to your advantage by calling to get the clarity that you need before making the application. It also demonstrates  just how interested you are in the role and may give you a chance to stand out from other candidates.

Balancing what you know with who you know

Networking is equally as important as applying for jobs in your own time. There is absolutely no shame in speaking to people who may be able help you secure a new role. If you’re feeling a bit tentative and don’t think that this is your strong point, don’t panic. You can ease your way into it…

Tip: Start by reaching out via email before you speak to people face to face or over the phone. This will give you a chance to think carefully and clearly about the way that you present yourself. Then you have the flexibility to ask when they’ll be available to have a chat.


Constantly editing CVs and Cover Letters

I think it’s fair to say that all job seekers get fed up with refining their CV and editing cover letters. But it’s something that can’t be helped when you’re job hunting. All roles have their own requirements and every organisation, their cause, mission and vision will vary. But editing your cover letter and CV also doesn’t have to be a headache.

Tip: Make a list of potential job titles that appeal to you. Then, work on creating CVs specifically for those sectors so that your most relevant experience is being show cased. Don’t try to take on too many cover letters at once! You want to go for quality, not quantity.

Not hearing back from organisations after an interview

After all of the effort that you’ve made to present yourself to a recruiter, you want a response. In fact, we know that you deserve one. Unfortunately not everyone will make the time to get back to you which can be frustrating (especially when you want the feedback). Here’s a proactive way to tackle the issue…

Tip: If you don’t hear from a recruiter in a reasonable amount of time there’s nothing wrong with sending a follow up email. Prove that you’re interested in the role by putting yourself out there. That way, you know that you have done everything in your power and have no regrets.

Having to bounce back from rejection

Rejection is, unfortunately, part of the job seeking process. It doesn’t mean that you are any less worthy or capable of finding a fulfilling career. More often than not, this is a case of whether you’re the right fit for the organisation than explicitly about your skills or experience. Allow yourself the time to feel disappointed without dwelling for too long.

Tip: Spend some time reflecting on the feedback that you’ve been given by the recruiter and use this as an opportunity to prepare for your next application or interview. If you’re finding it particularly difficult to bounce back from a recent job rejection, we have an entire article dedicated to it.

If you’re looking for your dream job, take a look at all of the latest opportunities on CharityJob!

Jade Phillips

Marketing Manager at CharityJob. A true bookworm and social media geek, you'll find me living in pockets of online communities. Unattended snacks might go missing if left around me...

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