Job Searching-Why it’s NOT Personal

The new year will be here before we all know it. Although it’s only September, the fall season and the holidays it brings fly by and January comes at us fast! The new year is one of the most common times for people to begin job searching. Finding one’s “dream job” is among the most cited New Year’s resolutions. New year, new job and, perhaps, new career. It all makes perfect sense.

At any point in the year, when you make a conscious effort to commence a job search, there are a number of useful tips to keep in mind as you begin perusing job posting sites and LinkedIn for leads:

First, keep an open mind. Many job seekers find a lack of success by being too choosy about what they’re looking for in a new role. Salaries are negotiable, so if pay is a concern and the number is close but not quite good enough, bear in mind that applying is still viable because you may be able to broker a salary deal during a post-interview negotiation process. Also, commute time is another point many focus on. Be open to expanding the search a bit past your comfort zone, if physically feasible to do so. Some municipalities may not contain a great deal of vacancies in your field, but do some research and you may be surprised that the commute you thought was too lengthy is actually doable. Plus, many commuter workers have cited pleasure in their daily travels, indicating that it provides a good opportunity to both psych up for the day on the ride in and to decompress on the way home. These are just a few examples, but always keep an open mind and you won’t be disappointed.

Second, use any and all job searching tools at your disposal. We all know of the common ones, including Monster, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Indeed and the like. But think outside of the box. If your industry has a specific job posting site, try it out. Some colleges and universities, for example, post on a site called for not only faculty positions, but for any and all vacancies they may have. Conversely, don’t just defer to an industry aggregate job searching site-some companies don’t want to pay the fee to use that site to post openings, so they use only their own Human Resources site. To cover all bases, use everything at your disposal. Industry sites, the aforementioned job search sites, a simple Google search, a search through the Yellow Pages website…all valuable resources that, when combined, allow for a very holistic search process. Also, LinkedIn has made deep strides in becoming one of the foremost job searching sites and even has its own mobile app specifically for its job search function. Check everything out and see what pans out in the process.

Third, make sure you’re organized as you search and, eventually, start scheduling interviews. Use a personalized cover letter and even a tweaked version of your resume as you upload and email your application materials to organizations that are hiring. Keep your references handy should a company request it, but don’t offer that information unless asked for it specifically. Also, to keep careful track of who you’ve corresponded with, which applications you’ve completed, etc., maintain a list that details each position you’ve applied to, which company is hiring and the contact information you used in applying. You can also use this to maintain notes should you begin an interview process with one of the listed entities. Furthermore, since it’s advised that you use tailored cover letters and/or resumes for each role, to have an actual folder for each company’s tailored documents. Being well-organized helps you stay on top of your job search and helps you come across as a well-oiled machine! Should you need help creating a solid, well-written and modern cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile and other job search aids, contact us at and we’ll be more than happy to discuss the services we offer to best assist you in your job search!

Fourth, once you’re at the interview level of a job search, make sure you have everything you need to make certain that you make the best possible impression. The first thing hiring managers and search committees will notice about you when they meet you is, of course, your appearance. Keep it professional yet tailored to your personal style. Have more than one outfit option available should you need to engage in more than one in-person interview. Even if the job is a part-time or freelance opportunity to supplement your current job, treat it and any other interview as a professional process. Even Skype interviews, which are increasingly taking the place of phone interviews, should be treated as an in-person opportunity, so dress the part. After you ace the interview(s), be sure to properly follow up. Record lot of notes, most specifically the names of the individuals you’ve engaged with over the course of the process(es). This is crucial because the art of the thank-you note is NOT dead. Sending out a thank you, either handwritten or via email, shows the company that you not only paid attention to who you talked with during the interview(s), but also, that you are interested and diligent in following up to pursue something you want.

Lastly, after the hard parts are over and you’ve search, applied and interviewed, the hardest part happens: the waiting game. So many employers ensure that you’ll be contacted via X-method and that it’ll happen during X-timeframe. Weeks later you’ve heard nothing and you feel like you aced the interview. Remember that it’s not personal. Many factors play into a delayed timeline or a lack of response. Some companies need to go through many channels before being given permission to extend an offer. Some organizations lose funding for a positions after the interview processes have ended. Some reopen a vacancy and go through another round of interviews to expand their options before making a final choice. Others are simply scattered and not stringent as it relates to adhering to a previously-stated timeline that was originally provided to you. For whatever the reason, if you should have heard back and have yet to, do not assume that you A.) didn’t get the job and B.) that the process is over. Feel free to send a check-in email after a few weeks if you want to check in. Reference articles from LinkedIn, The Muse and other career-focused sites for tips on following up without seeming pushy. And if you end up hearing nothing back from an interviewer after being promised a reply after all is said and done…again, don’t take it personally. In fact, the manner in which a company follows up on its interview process speaks volumes to the company culture. Would you want to work at an organization that doesn’t value keeping promises or adhering to an organized timeline?

I could go on and on, since job searching is a pretty extensive and oft-referenced topic, but for now, these small tips should help you not only maintain your sanity, but rock the search process as well. Here at Dragon Resumes, our Resume Writing Consultants are well-versed experts in helping clients as they search for their dream jobs. If you’re interested, feel free to reach out to us to learn more about our package offerings and a la carte services at We’re here to help, so feel free to reach out. Cheers and best of luck!

By Lauren Petrillo, M.Ed., B.A.
Resume Writing Consultant, Dragon Careers