No matter what stage of your career you are in, job searching in the digital world can be the most demoralizing processes around. It makes online dating look semi-fun. What is more personal than getting NO answer from dozens of resumes and cover letters?

Do you want the truth?


nervous young business woman at the desk with a laptopWhile you are sitting tearing your hair out in front of your LinkedIn profile or Indeed job posts, the recruiters and hiring managers who you think “hate you” or are “not giving you a chance” or the “courtesy of a reply” may not have even seen what you sent them.

Take it from me. As a former contract recruiter, I want to to tell you a little story….

A few years ago I was recruiting for an event manager position for a small company. It required about 3 years of experience. I was hired to manage the search and placed 2 ads — on LinkedIn and Indeed.

In 2 weeks time I received over 250 applications from ALL OVER the COUNTRY! I used to go to bed every night praying not to be attacked by my mounting inbox.

The truth is I didn’t get to see every applicant. I had to make a series of decisions very quickly and vet out the people I could to fill the job.  A few times the client asked me to consider a referral and they jumped to the front of the resume “pile”. (according to a recent jobvite survey recruiters report that 78% of recruiters find their best quality candidates through referrals!)

career changes I need to you to understand something huge. While you think a mean recruiter is laughing at your resume, he or she is doing a million other things. When a company is looking to a hire a person, the amount of factors affecting a job search that have NOTHING to do with you can make everything seem like it’s never happening. Try these on for size:

  • Timing. Work is going on every day. That work has to get done. It will always take precedence over hiring unless it’s an emergency to fill the position. Filling positions can get delayed for weeks even months due to a company’s day-to-day activity.
  • Seasonality. YES, this is real. Hiring slows during holiday times or towards end of summer when a lot of key decision makers may be on vacation. Take this into consideration!
  • Budgets. Hiring means a company has to SPEND MONEY. They are also making an INVESTMENT in a human. The high cost of turnover is real and hiring decisions are no simple matter when it comes to money. Budgets can change, get slashed or resources allocated elsewhere – all in a moments notice. An ad could be up for a job where the company is still looking but may be waiting to hire at a later date due to budget constraints.
  • Laziness. Sometimes people FORGET to take job postings down. The position may have been filled or even eliminated. BONUS: You have ZERO way of knowing this.

If you are job searching, you do NOT want to be spending all of your time applying online. You should equally be dividing your time between applying and networking, but that is an entirely different article.

If you are struggling with the process, check out my gem: 6 Steps to Job Search Success: A Job Seeker’s Guide. For less than a trip to Starbucks for two. I’ll tell you EXACTLY how to spend your time wisely while job searching, give you expert tips on your resume, LinkedIn profile, job search strategy, cover letters and more. Get it HERE.