Realities of the job hunt: An important tip to get over, in order to be successful in the job hunt!

Realities of the job hunt: An important tip to get over, in order to be successful in the job hunt!

You will “fail” in the job hunt process.  Perhaps over and over again.  And that’s okay!

Let’s get a few realities out of the way:

  • You will apply to many jobs and you will never get an interview for a high percentage of them
  • You will interview with various companies and only some will make you an offer

So in essence, for a good part of your job hunt process you will “fail”.  But guess what?  So does everyone else and the message of this post is to not lose hope and to understand what to do about it.  This post serves as a reality check, in a positive way, so that you don’t lose heart in the anxiety causing job hunt process.

The f-word (“fail” in this case, although I’m sure other f-words are often used when failure happens) is never something that anyone looks forward to.  “Fail” is in quotes as I’d like to change your perspective on what that means to you.  And the advice could also be applied to all walks of life, not just in the job hunt process.  The perspective is embodied in this quote:

“I never fail.  I either win or I learn” 

I am not sure who said this quote as I have not been able to find the source, but finding this perspective part way through my career changed the way I approached challenges.  Early on in my career, the job hunt started by looking for a co-op job placement and I would submit my resume to posting after posting…  failure after failure.  I eventually got a few interviews and, although I thought I did well in all of them, I only got a few offers.  But I was fortunate enough to reflect on what was successful in the times when I got an interview, as well as when I got an offer versus what I did when I “failed” and didn’t get an interview or offer.

After I took a role in recruiting and had the opportunity to talk to hundreds, perhaps thousands of people about their job hunt experience, I came to understand that persistence is an important skill to have, based on the sheer volume of “failures” that people would have on the job hunt journey.  And persistence with learning was very apparent in the most successful job hunters.  So keep trying!

Now “keep trying” does NOT mean sending the same resume over and over again to multiple different postings and application systems.  If that isn’t working, then doing more of what isn’t working will not be helpful.  The learning should be to NOT do the same thing over and over again and send DIFFERENT versions of your resume out.  Pain letters.  Human voiced resumes.  Focus on networking.  Or a multitude of other different approaches to improve your probability of a successful job hunt.  No single one is a surefire way of getting any job, but one or more of them would definitely work for the job you are looking for.


Failures should be celebrated, not as failures but from the perspective of great learning and taking what you can from those “failures” to learn so that next time you can achieve success!


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