Under the most optimal of circumstances, a job seeker has a 10% chance of success. You read that right, 10% under optimal circumstances. These circumstances include a strong resume that demonstrates relevant experiences, a skill-set that matches what the position needs, and someone in your network who is advocating for you at the specific company or organization where you are applying. So in other words, even if you are exactly right, you still only have a 10% chance!
So what does this mean? It means, as a job seeker, it is on you to be smart and strategic in your job search. Further, you need to be PERSISTENT. If you have a 1 in 10 chance under the best circumstances, you have got to get serious and stay with it. You will likely get more rejections than acceptances. The news is not grim though, persistence pays off, especially if you pay attention to the multiple sides of a job search.
Let’ s talk the smart side first. Yes, having good grades makes things easier, but it is not the only factor. Being smart involves crafting your application materials carefully, expertly, and with a focus on the relevant facts that make you a good candidate for a position. Did you customize your resume for each job application? Your cover letter? If the answer is no, it makes it too easy to be passed over for consideration. The simple act of reading a job description closely and matching your experiences to the description will help you rise up over a large number of applicants.
From the strategic side, have you researched the company? Do you follow the company on LinkedIn? Have you sought out alumni from UConn to connect with and learn more about the company culture? Are you building and maintaining your personal network? Have you thought about not just companies you are interested in, but also researched and looked into competitors and subcontractors? All of these steps add up and help you stand out.
And since it is the theme of this blog, it is important to persist. When you apply for a position, have a following up plan. Calendar days to make calls to HR and follow up on the status of your application. Continue to network. Plan to apply for jobs up until the point that you accept one. It is an ongoing process full of ups and downs, but remember, employers value individuals who know how to advocate for themselves and you can be that one that rises to the top!
(Along the way, don’t forget to consult with the Center for Career Development. We’re here year-round for you to teach you these strategies and help you achieve your goals!)