Job Search

Are You Too Aggressive In Your Job Search?

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Conducting a job search over a period of weeks or months can make most people wonder why they haven’t been hired yet. Of course, over time, this feeling of wonder can change into one of desperation—especially if you’re not receiving so much as an interview callback.

Related: How To Not Be A Networking Nuisance

It’s well known that in the process of job seeking, you must be very determined. Acquiring a job often requires dedicating as much time to it as you would a full-time job. But in the process of reaching out to employers, there can be a fine line between being determined and being a bit aggressive. To avoid the latter, here are some tips to consider.

Avoid Sounding Preachy In Your Cover Letter

Some job seekers who feel that they’ve paid their dues for the past few months may develop an attitude that translates as an undertone in their cover letters as: “I deserve this job.”

While you want to prove you are indeed the right person with the skills and background that you showcase in both the cover letter and resume, you don’t want to send a negative message of entitlement.

Instead, maintain a humble approach of gratitude for the opportunity to apply, then convince the reader with your clever wordplay that the company wouldn’t be the same without you.

Follow Up, But Don’t Pester

If you’ve sent in your application and haven’t heard back in a while—or have been called in for an interview and now are curious about your status with the company—it’s natural to want to follow up. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with initiating communication with a company, unless it precisely asks you not to.

But in your attempt to follow up, it’s important to avoid pestering the employer. In other words, send a follow-up e-mail, or place a phone call—and then allow the hiring manager to do his or her job.

Don’t Apply For Everything Within One Company

Your desire to be hired could convince you that being aggressive and applying for every job you think you’re qualified for within a company is a good idea. In actuality, the opposite is true.

An employer wants to know that you feel committed to a particular position and bring specific skills to the table that can enhance the role. Applying for every job makes it appear as though you’re applying only for the money—not because you believe you would do a good job. So, take time to review positions and try to limit your search to the one you connect with the most.

Employers are always looking for assertive, determined workers to fill roles. They need to know that the people who work for them are natural-born leaders. But appearing to be an aggressive person places you into an undesirable category. And unfortunately, this could result in your being turned away before you even get an opportunity to prove how great you are.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter.

3 comments

  1. Finding a new job is one of the hardest things a person can do. Taking the advice from this article is not only wrong, it’s dangerous.

    I personally know that you do need to sound preachy – in fact, I have seen people not get jobs because they didn’t sell themselves and many companies want you to apply for multiple jobs because there are often multiple recruiters looking to fill jobs especially in larger companies. In fact in many companies their ATS (applicant tracking systems) are so messed up that you would be lucky to get a recruiter to notice you.

    Maybe this advice might have worked in the past but not any more.

    • Tim, thanks for sharing your opinion. Do you have any more suggestions to help job seekers follow your strategy, or examples of people who have used it successfully?

  2. Definitely feel this was needed read for me. I just moved to Westport, CT from Manhattan. In Manhattan it’s easy to get people to network, just ask them for a drink. In CT most of them have families they want to get home to ASAP and if you don’t have a kid their kid’s age, they probably aren’t going to spend too much time with you. I am not sure it’s harder here, but I am definitely learning it is different and I need to adjust my pace and style.

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