Unemployment is a very stressful state of being, no one can argue against that. But letting your job search fall into desperation will not only impact the quality of the jobs you interview for and are offered, but will also negatively impact how employers view you as a potential candidate. This article will provide advice for job seekers on how to present themselves well to prospective employers, and how not to brand themselves as desperate.
Be strategic in your job search
Don’t let yourself be tempted to reduce the quality of your resume and cover letter in order to apply to as many jobs as possible, hoping that quantity will be enough to make a difference. Template resumes and vague cover letters are a dead giveaway that an applicant is more interested in working for whoever will hire them, rather than the company they have applied to directly. Desperation in a job candidate makes them seem like a less-than-ideal employee, otherwise why would they still be unemployed? The trick here is to be strategic.
If you can, focus your job search efforts on leads within your professional network. If you have a recommendation from within the company, you are far more likely to get the job you want. Take unemployment as an opportunity to build your professional network. Learn more about other companies, their employees, and their hiring practices. Then, when the right job comes along, you will be prepared to offer your custom-tailored resume for consideration.
Be thoughtful in your presentation
Desperation in an interview comes off badly in person, as well as on paper. Consider an interview to be like a date with a future employer. While it’s good to seem interested and eager to join the company, you also want to come across as having other opportunities and being generally in demand. Don’t undersell your value to appease a prospective employer. Know your worth, and know what the company stands to gain by hiring you. Remain engaged in the conversation. If an interviewer is presenting some unrealistic expectations or responsibilities that are outside of your expectations, don’t agree just for the sake of being agreeable. Employers are more likely to respect you for sticking to your guns than settling for whatever is handed to you.
Be wary of these desperation giveaways
A template cover letter may be an initial sign of job seeker desperation, but here are a few other giveaways that may sneak past your guard if you are not careful. Statements like “I’m willing to take any job” tell an employer that their applicant is more interested in getting any job they can, rather than specifically the one they are applying for. Once you reach the follow-up stage in your application, be thoughtful and personable in your inquiry – but avoid sounding pushy or nagging. Act as though you want the job because it is a great fit, not because it’s available now.