The biggest frustrations when looking for a new job

Looking for a new job can be a stressful (and time consuming) process. Not only do you have to nail your applications, you also have to find a job that’s actually right for you in the first place and this can be one of the biggest challenges.

To help you get through it here are five of the biggest frustrations and advice on how to deal with them:

1. ‘I need experience to get experience’

So you’ve just found the perfect job.

You’re fully capable of carrying out the tasks and duties listed in the job description, and you have all of the required skills and knowledge. But you need experience.

And if you’re a recent graduate or school leaver, or you’re looking to change careers, you won’t always be able to tick that box. Especially if the experience required is industry -specific, and surprisingly extensive.

Don’t let this discourage you. Although there are many roles that will require experience, there are also lots that don’t.

If you can’t find them? Remember: all experience is good experience. Even if you have to start from the bottom or work in a different industry the transferable skills you gain will show recruiters what you’re really capable of (not to mention demonstrate your dedication to working your way up).

Our advice: Start small and work in any way you can to build up a portfolio of practical work experience. Because whether you volunteer, sign up for an internship or apprenticeship, or even work freelance there’s always an opportunity out there to help you develop your skills.

2. Get specific with your to-do list

When your motivation is low, general job-searching tasks like “network” and “redo resume” can be overwhelming. A great way to instantly make your search seem more manageable? Rework your to-do list to include smaller, more specific tasks.

For example, when you are job searching, you should make it a goal to reach out to at least two direct contacts one day and two referrals the next for informational interviews. Both are easy to-dos.

In addition, set yourself a target of a weekly quota of 5 to 6 jobs applications. This is a realistic goal and will allowed you to focus your attention on preparing the best job applications each week, rather than just applying for hundreds of generic jobs.

3. Can’t find the job you want

Finding your ideal job isn’t easy, especially if you’re really specific with what you want to do and the type of job you want.

When the regrets start to role in, this will no doubt be disappointing, however it’s important you do not lose motivation. You need to keep chipping away - just refine your expectations and make sure they are realistic.

Make sure you are not unknowingly searching in the wrong places, your search terms are too specific (or too vague), or you’re simply looking for a job that very rarely comes up – there can be a number of reasons your search isn’t going well.

Just a few small changes should help you change your outcome:

  • Consider broadening your search
  • Make your search more specific.
  • Don’t limit your options.
  • Although you might be set on a particular job, this could be in several industries so think outside the box

4. Seek constructive criticism from your supporters and network

Your biggest help could be those close to you and also be your most helpful critics. That supportive former co-worker, your old boss, your uncle John someone that believes in you and your ability or even a friend who knows your full potential and how you could improve. So, if you’re feeling like you’re trying everything but still getting nowhere, try asking them for some constructive criticism of your resume, your opening letter, your application or even where you are looking.

They can help you identify where you’re struggling, whether it is with resume formatting or interviewing technique. If you have a good relationship with a recruiter like Hospitality Search International and based on their knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, they can give specialized, honest advice (that you’ll be much more motivated to put into practice than the generic tips you’re reading everywhere).

5. Completion is all around you

Unfortunately, you’ll never be the only candidate for a job. Employers like choice so they can see what skill levels are available in the market place.

Whether it’s a job via company direct or a recruitment agency, on average there will be 200+ applications, hence why it is important to read the job brief and requirements before submitting your application, or you could simply be just wasting your time.

Knowing you are against all these applicants can be daunting. In fact, you’re beginning to wonder whether the phrase ‘needle in a haystack’ derived solely from your job search problems.

But competition shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a role you want as long as you have the skills the hiring agent or company seek. Then you have a chance of being shortlisted

  • Make your application stand out.
  • Make sure you resume is clear and to the point
  • Including a good picture of yourself is always beneficial

6. Put your career goals on paper

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” is a question we all try to avoid. But right now, when you’re in a slump, is exactly the right time to answer it.

Take some time to make a list of all your dreams, big and small. Actually, putting them on paper will force you to think about what you want to achieve and, better yet, motivate you to see at least one goal (if not all of them) through. Think of it as kind of like a to-do list for your career. Seeing things on paper will get you excited to check things off.

As an added bonus, seeing your dreams in writing may give you some ideas on how to tie them together. You may even find ways to widen your search (like linking your interest in writing and food to discover restaurant PR).

7. ‘It’s time consuming’

No matter how experienced you are, finding a new job can take time. Unless you are fortunate enough to be “headhunted “or approached directly for a job.

Not only do you have to tailor your CV and cover letter to each application, you also have to put the effort into searching for a job that ticks all of your own boxes.

Let’s face it, an evening spent crafting a really compelling application is better than an hour spent firing out irrelevant CV’s that won’t ever get read. Good things take time.

Our advice: Don’t rush it. Creating a really relevant and engaging application is a great way to prove your passion and interest to employers.

8. Take days off

The best way to deal with a motivational slump of any sort is to take a few days off. Pre-determined free days—where you get some time off from thinking about resumes, cover letters, and interview questions—can alleviate all those job-search frustrations and help restore your drive. By taking a few days off here and there, this should help to refocus your mind for the search ahead. The job search doesn’t have to be a daunting task every time you open your laptop. So, make sure you can see the wood from the trees and have not become “job blind” because you need a break to focus on other things for a few hours or a day.

9. You never heard back

So you’ve applied to lots of jobs and you’ve only heard back from half of them.

Understandably, you’re frustrated.

Has the job been filled? Will they tell you if you haven’t been successful? Did they even read your application? You’re also probably wondering what you did wrong.

This is why asking for feedback is essential.

Whether their response helps you improve on your next application, your interest persuades them to consider your application further, or they actually just haven’t gotten round to the interviewing stage yet (meaning you still have a chance) – you’ll get the peace of mind you need to keep going.

Our advice: Don’t give up. Although not hearing back can be discouraging, letting it affect the rest of your job search will only make things worse. Instead, continue to put the effort into applying for other roles and you’re more likely to increase your chances of finding one that’s right for you.

To mention once again in conclusion, do not apply for jobs you are not suitable for or don’t have the skills required, as you will not be shortlisted or get a reply. Do not waste your time, or the companies or recruitment companies time, as it will not will help your cause

Happy job hunting