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One of the hardest things about being out of work is putting time and effort into applying for jobs, only to never hear back. Project Displaced Editor, Alethea Mouhtouris discusses how to keep faith in yourself with three of our coaches.

It’s annoying, disappointing, and feels degrading. What’s worse is when it hits our self-esteem, and influences how we feel about things more broadly. It becomes not about a job, but about us.

But here’s the thing – it’s a common grievance among all job seekers, no matter who we are, or what we do. I’ve certainly heard it from people who have been very active on job hunting sites, only to feel devastated when their applications repeatedly go into a black hole.

So it makes sense to take a business-like approach to job hunting.

3 insights into the recruitment process

1. If you apply online, your chances of getting a response are around 6%, according to recruitment specialist, international recruitment specialist, Lois Freeke.

2. Recruiters are usually flooded with applications, and can’t feasibly respond individually to every single one. They are under the same pressures that you would experience in your own role (that is, the time they invest versus a positive outcome, which is filling the job), so they have to allocate their time accordingly.

3. It’s not personal.

Lois adds this context: “The job market is even more competitive than usual at the moment, so you need to maximise your chances of landing more quickly by finding a direct route to the hiring manager.

“Referrals are the number one way candidates find jobs, whenever you find a job you want to apply for, try to make sure you are connecting with someone who can refer you in.”

So what does that look like?

Lois says: “Make strategic connections with hiring influencers and managers in your target organisations, and ask people in your network to help refer you to those in the organisation who could pass on your resume. Hiring managers trust referrals and many organisations are relying on employee referrals at the moment.”

What if I struggle with networking? And what’s the best way to get back in touch with people I haven’t spoken to for years without making it look like I’m just using them?

The global impact of COVID has resulted in extensive awareness about the job situation. So it’s not entirely unexpected to contact people you haven’t reached out to for some time.

Career coach Dwayne Warman says: “Think about an approach of seeking information or advice. People love giving advice. Keep it conversational and upbeat, don’t come across like they need to find you a job. Find common content to talk about (e.g. COVID) and follow up with a thank you afterwards.”

Senior career and mindset coach Michael Bartura says: “Start following them on LinkedIn. Think about liking and commenting on posts. Offer value for a while until you re-establish connections.”

Keep everything up to date

Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date so that people can have the most current information about you. Stay connected and active.

For more pesonalised advice, book a free career or mindset coaching session with Lois, Michael or Dwayne or any of the coaches at Project Displaced. Or join one of our free group classes to meet the team.