One whiff of desperation and hiring influencers may toss away your resume and any chance you had of getting the job you wanted. As a serious job seeker, you need to learn to identify the scent of desperation on yourself, your resume, and your actions. Learn to cover that desperation with the lovely perfume of confidence.
Any Career Coach will tell you that while it’s normal to feel some desperation after being downsized or leaving an untenable position, it isn’t something you ever want to show during the vetting and hiring process. Even if you’re down to eating nothing but cereal and rationing the fuel for your car.
Yes. For once, I’m telling you to hide the truth and lie like your career depends on it. Or channel your inner Superman or Wonder Woman and ignore the crisis while you save the day. How? It’s not easy, but it brings the best results for both you and your potential employer: Act as though you had all the confidence you need.
Make a plan. Desperation leads to rushing, mistakes, and impulsive acts. So make a plan, and stick to it. What do you need to do before you look for a job? Accomplish the tasks on that list so that when you do start searching, you’re ready to move quickly according to plan. Plan your job search. Make a list of what you need from your next position and employer. Know what you have to offer. All this planning pays off because it helps you look calm, confident, and anything but needy. Worried you’re too worried to plan well? Consult a Career Coach to help you create a solid, confident search plan. A professional Resume Writer can help you beef up your resume and remove any desperation there, too.
Evaluate your impulses. Make sure that each action you take during this stressful job search LOOKS like it’s coming from a place of confidence, not desperation. If you were happily employed and considering moving into a new position would you call your hiring influencer twice a day for results or feedback? Probably not. So evaluate the impulse to hound your interviewer or potential employer, as it reeks of desperation rather than confidence. Yes, you’re going to feel panicky at times, and you’ll want to speed up the process by pushing hiring influencers or by offering greater incentives to potential employers. Don’t. If you were negotiating terms from a place of confidence, would you tell a potential employer “I’m sure whatever salary you offer will be fair” and agree to unseen terms? No, of course you wouldn’t. You’d want to know what salary and benefits they’re offering, and you would take time to read them over and evaluate if they’ll work for you. Acting on impulse can reveal the desperation you want to cover.
Question the fit. Just as you would if you were looking for a new job from a place of security, ask questions about the position, the team, the organization, and more. Not only will hiring influencers appreciate that you are concerned about a good fit, but it indicates a lack of desperation. This is one of the times you use your plan, and work from the description of your ideal job.
Take a beat. If a recruiter asks for your availability, take a beat and jot down two or three four-hour windows. Then offer those. Desperation causes people to admit they have nothing else to do but obsess about this one opportunity. Smart job seekers offer a few times and then if those don’t work, they’ll offer to “make time” on an agreeable date. Same result, no desperation. Get a job offer? Hooray! Take a beat. Seriously, sleep on it at least overnight and think about your experience during the hiring process. Is the job one you want? Is it a good fit? Will you be happy and successful there? If you still feel it’s a good fit and not a desperation move, take the job the next morning. If it’s not, keep looking. It’s unwise to jump from one type of desperation to another, and you’ll be explaining your desperate move out of this misfit position for years during future job interviews.