100 applications. Not a single call. What more could I do? My resume was filled with academic and professional achievements. I couldn’t imagine a single way to improve as a candidate. That’s when it hit me: maybe the problem has nothing to do with my qualifications. Maybe my process was broken.
For many of us, the number 1 reason we went to college was to launch our dream career. In many cases, a degree will help to do that. But it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to land that job. Even with all of the right skills and qualifications, you’ve got to land an interview to get the process started. That’s what this post is all about.
It’s Never Been Harder to Get an Interview
Online application systems make it easy for companies to consider huge numbers of candidates. I read recently that you can assume any job posting online has received 10,000 applications. Ten thousand!
The result is that this system has created a permanent buyer’s market: companies have a virtually unlimited pool of candidates to choose from.
It’s easy in this climate to feel as though you’re begging for a job. After all, you’ve applied over and over again and not had success. The truth is that you’re viewing the process from the wrong angle: you’re highly qualified for something. There is a position out there for you that only you can fill. Which brings me to the 3 Attitude Adjustments you need to make to guarantee an interview.
Attitude Adjustment 1: Stop Begging For Jobs!
You shouldn’t be hunting for A job, you should be hunting for THE job. This starts with doing some research on the different types of jobs out there in your field of interest. Let me give you an example:
With a PhD in mechanical engineering I could: go work in R&D for a major company, go work R&D for a small startup, go to work at a national lab, go to work at NASA or military research centers, be a professor who balances teaching and research, open a consulting firm, or even serve as an expert witness in legal cases.
The range of work environments and functions is wide. Where do I come alive?
So the first big change I made was that I stopped trying to convince job postings that I was a good fit. Instead, I did a little homework (2-3 days) and found places where I ACTUALLY WAS a good fit. I found 50 and whittled it down to my favorite 25. This process shifted me from beggar to chooser. I already said “no” to 25 jobs.
Attitude Adjustment 2: Adopt a Servant’s Mentality
Be careful here, I did NOT say a subservient mentality. Subservient people are doormats who get walked on by everyone around them. People with the heart of a servant are constantly on the lookout for a need they can meet. When they see one, they find fulfillment and fun in actually meeting the need.
When you’re hunting for a job, you’re going to be focused on YOU. Your dream. Your goals. Where YOU want to be in five years (hey, that’s even a typical interview question). The problem is that your future employer isn’t in the business of making your dream come true. They’re in the business of achieving THEIR dreams. THEIR goals. Where THEY want to be in five years.
So now it’s time to do a little research. Yesterday I told you find places that you actually are a fit, rather than trying to alter yourself to fit their need. Now that you have a few places in mind, figure out what they’re trying to achieve. Spend some time figuring out how you can help them achieve it. Figure out reasons that you’re the ONLY person who can help them achieve their goals.
Attitude Adjustment 3: Not All Self-Promotion Is Shameful
Have you ever heard the phrase “shameless self promoter”? It implies that there are forms of self-promotion that aren’t shameful. Otherwise we wouldn’t need to tag it with the word “shameless.”
Here’s my point: we’ve heard it as shameful for so long that we think all forms of self promotion are reprehensible. Which makes it very hard to land a job interview.
Today, I want to help you change your mindset to see the inherent nobility in your job search. If you made Adjustments 1 and 2, then you believe that you are the best person in the world for this position. If you believe that you are the best person in the world for this position, then you are morally obligated to help them realize it and hire you.
You’re not a taker, you’re a world changer. If you truly believe that you can make a difference, and you don’t do everything you can to land that position, then you’re robbing the company and the world of your contribution.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves when we are looking for a job. After all, our futures are at stake. I have discovered that you can never have enough money, or enough status, or enough possessions to make yourself happy. But when you adopt these three attitudes, you will find a place for yourself that maximizes your joy as you make the biggest possible difference in our world. Interestingly enough, the people who find this sweet spot are also the people who are most successful.
If you’d like to learn more, you should join the Intentional Academy as a Founding Member, which will give you free access to the resources I am creating. I’ll be launching a course soon that shows students and young professionals like you how to manage your time, get control of your money, and launch your career. Fill out the form at the top of the page to Join for free today!