Dealing with the frustrations of a job search

Q: I held a state position as a Court Administrator for ten years. I have been looking for work since August 2008. I have completed every training course provided by the state and hold many certificates. I have so much experience in what I do and applied to so many positions within the state and all I receive are thank you but no thank you letters. Why? I have gone on one interview where I made it to the second interview, had my references checked, and no call back yet. They seemed like they were really interested so I called human resources and she tells me by next week I should know something. The position has not been filled. It’s almost 2-1/2 weeks since the interview. I’m confused as to what they are looking for and why work experience and certificates don’t even land you an interview…

A: Searching for a job, at any time, is an incredibly frustrating experience. You do all the right things, you have all the right credentials, you interview well, and still there is no job offer. Add in this horrible economic environment and you have an incredibly challenging time to find work.

I can only suggest three things:

First, exercise incredible patience. I know this is not easy. You have been searching since August for work and nothing has materialized as of yet. I know how frustrating this must be! Have faith. Your turn will come, I promise!
Second, make absolutely certain that you are demonstrating excellent job search techniques. As you know, the competition is keen out there. What will separate you from the other job seekers is that your resume is top notch, your interviewing skills are excellent, and your follow-up is superb. This is what we can control – because there is so much that we can’t control. For example, we don’t know if there is an “inside candidate” for this position, but the rules say they must post the job. Or perhaps, with budget cuts looming, they are afraid to add someone until they learn how much they will get from the economic stimulus package. There are so many things that happen behind the scenes that we don’t know about and can’t control.
But what might be well worth your while is to go to one of the One-Stop Career Centers in your community and ask to meet with one of the counselors. Ask her or him to conduct a mock interview with you and to give you feedback about your interviewing skills. Show the counselor your resume and get feedback on it. Talk about what you will do to follow through after you send a resume to a company or after an interview and see if you are doing the right follow-through. Some slight adjustments to your technique might make you a stronger candidate, and that is what you want to be – the strongest candidate that you can possibly be, especially in this environment.
Third, persevere! I know it is very hard to keep sending out those resumes when nothing happens when you do but please keep on sending them. All you need is one good offer and it will come. Sometimes when you least expect it. Good luck to you! Your time will come!

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