Why You Haven’t Got A Reply From Your Dream Company – It’s Not Just About You
“Just follow your passion, you’ll find what you want to do.”
“Don’t know what you want to do? Just do this ____ personality test, it can give you clues!”
Have you heard these types of advice before? Pretty sure you have. They’re not wrong. Just incomplete.
Designing your career requires a constant toggle between external realities and internal drives, being inside-out and outside-in. Yes, you have discovered yourself and story, but… is there a demand for your skills and knowledge?
If you’re looking for a job the first time, you may just be wondering how the world of work operates. Wantedly gets questions like these:
“I’ve sent out x number of resumes and have clicked “Want to Visit” on Wantedly’s platform countless times for the company I really want to join. Why am I not getting a reply?”
“How do we stand out when companies use bots to screen candidates?”
“What if I didn’t like what I study and I want to work in a different field? Isn’t it wasted if I didn’t work in the field of my studies?”
We hear you. One of the most frustrating parts of looking for a job is the “black box” – you send in your resume and you don’t get a response. Time to adult. The short answer is this: no HR person sits there and waits just for your resumes. They often have multiple projects ongoing and you’re not the only one who sends in your resume.
While waiting for a response, your brain goes into overdrive. In the absence of concrete information, your brain makes up a story, one that gives you a reason for what is happening. Often times, it is turned inward as you have little information and self-doubt may just creep in. “What if I’m not good enough?” “Is there something wrong with my resume?”
Take heart. It is not always about you. It’s them too.
Yes, we need to do our best in our job search. Why not take time to understand the world of work so you can optimise your search better? Here are the external factors that noob job seekers ignore:
1. Discover Your Situation
In our previous article, “If Career Planning’s Insanity, These 2 Steps Will Give You Internal Clarity”, we shared two action steps you can take to gain internal clarity about your career.
Finding a job is not just about yourself and story. It is about industry trends and the economy. It is also about what the company wants and needs, and the number of people applying to this job/company. It is about getting noticed amidst all that.
Some questions to ask / information to research on:
- How does the Human Resources function work? Tip: here is a great article on HR ghosting
- What are your financial needs? Do you need to support your family?
- With your knowledge and skills, what roles (business development, marketing, HR) and industries (banking, tourism, medical etc) would you like to go into?
- What are the hottest skills and knowledge in demand now?
- What are employers looking for?
- What is the salary range?
- What are the keywords that HR bots are searching for?
- If you have a gap between your current skill set and what is asked for, how might you narrow that? (e.g., volunteering, interning, learning, e-publishing)
- Are you actively seeking out mentors, meeting people in the companies/industries you want to work at?
- You want to make a difference: What is the difference you want to make?
- What trade-offs are you willing to make?
If you’re expecting replies to every job application you’ve sent, or that the job search process is always easy, it is time to calibrate your expectations. Sometimes it’s really fast, sometimes it can take weeks and even months.
Quick tip: Referrals make up 40% of new hires. If you think that you need to work harder in your job search by applying for more jobs online, think again. Networking may just be your answer.
2. Discover Your Strategy
If you haven’t noticed, you’re living in a time where careers are going through a revolution. It can feel scary, but at the same time, it is a time where possibilities are endless. Previous generations dream of what you have access to, can do and will be doing. Catch on to these 5 Career Trends you’ll need to know.
Many people tell us “I don’t know what to do.” That’s perfectly fine. My follow up question is this – what are you doing about it?
We need data. We need to stop being stuck at the level of "I don't know what I want. I don't know what I want to do." and move to create career hypotheses, running mini-experiments and validating the data.
We often ask – What is your Working Title? What is your X (what), Y (why) and Z (so-what)? If you want to save lives medically because you care about health as you want people to live happily, why fixate only on being a doctor? Why not a telemedicine journalist, or a medical technologist? Generating a working title will open you up to more options.
If you think you’re good at communication and may do well as a business development role in a pharmaceutical start-up – that’s a hypothesis. What mini-experiments can you do to test it? What does the data say from the experiment?
Here are some things you can do today:
- Generate possibilities with working titles
- Start mini-experiments
- Take action – go consult your school’s career coaches, attend a meet-up in the industry you’re interested in, seek out mentors, or click here for more career resources in Singapore
We hope you’re tapping on the Wantedly platform, events, networking sessions to get closer to your dream. Many universities, education institutions also provide career services, even to Alumni. Give them a ring, drop them an email to make an appointment – they’ve got wisdom, connections and information, that may just get you where you want to be. Alternatively, if you have more questions, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t stop believing. Don’t give up – take the long view.
Design and drive your career. You’ll survive, thrive and be more fulfilled.
This article is written by Jael Chng, Co-Founder of My Working Title, a company and movement whose vision is to empower people to be the boss of their careers. They advocate playing, planning and prototyping. “Discover Self, Story, Situation and Strategy” is part of their Career Discovery™ Model.
They’ve got a quiz – you can find out which type of career driver you are!