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When the “Truth” Seems Elusive During a Job Search

Getting the truth in Job search can be a tough commodity to come by - here are some ideas on how you can create your own.

Do you know the ‘truth’ during your search?

No? Then you have some company! Shortly after launching my second search, I had my first refresher lesson: Reset my expectations around the ‘truth’.

Within the first few weeks, I received in response to jobs applied to, inquiries to open positions and requests to network

The ‘Dear John’ letter:  ‘You were one of our top candidates to choose from, however, …”.  

Cliché-Fiesta: Responses which filled an e-mail but said very little.

In Vague: Responses using terms like “new events internally”, “other factors”

No Response: Silence is the new ‘no’.

For each there was little true feedback to act upon to improve my pitch or understand why there was not a fit or interest. To keep my frustration in check, I’ve adopted the following practices when this happens.

Low Frustration Philosophy: “There are opportunities out there for me; this is just not one of them”. Move on and not waste time on speculating over what happened (or not) did little to give me actionable information. 

Catalog misunderstandings: If I ever had to address a misunderstanding of my background, etc. it was generally due to not delivering it correctly (not concise, vague description, etc.). The investment of time in documenting these misunderstanding really helped me avoid them in the future.

Catalog of suggestions/ideas for my documents: I find people that would give me direct (and sometimes ruthless) feedback. I would also review other candidates’ documents for presentation, excellent explanations of duties, etc. Again, I would make a list and then go through it once a month. I found that if I adjusted my documents every time I got a suggestion (other than errors), they lost clarity.

Interviewing Fault lines: Immediately following every interview, I would write down what went well and what fell flat (did the same for networking meetings that yielded great results.) This running list of items helped me when practicing answers.  

In short, no one is going to fill your ‘Truth’ bucket; it’s best to do it yourself.

As always, make this work for you and hope this helps.

Good luck today!

Mark Richards