Reading the title to this post those that know me may be wondering whether I am letting Doctor Who seep into my job search advice! But don’t worry I am not going to reflect on the fictional religious order or movement that Steven Moffatt created with the aim of them being the scariest of the Doctor Who villains!
No in this case “The Silence” is that radio silence which has been the biggest shock to me since re-entering the market for a job. It’s the silence which I think you really have to prepare for when you are searching for a job. Having identified a role you feel you have the skills, knowledge and will to do, you will find yourself spending many hours crafting a cover letter. You will tweak your CV to place appropriate emphasis on aspects of your career to date which marry up with the requirements the employer or recruiter has identified in the job advertisement. You may even go through the process of creating an account on the employer’s website and completing various steps in the process. Having done all that you know that, based on the information they have given you, you meet the requirements and then you submit your application.
You then wait in eager anticipation of the response…..and you wait, and wait. It’s then I am afraid that you will start to wonder whether your application even reached them because The Silence descends. Yes, it has been quite a shock to me that it now seems that HR/Recruitment is the only function in a business where ignoring your clients/potential clients is deemed to be acceptable behaviour. You will find that household names will go silent, large companies with tens of thousands of employees will go silent; companies that you have dealt with in the past when you were in employment will go silent. That’s not to say every company or organisation is the same because there have been some excellent companies that I have dealt with that have kept me informed of the progress of my application via email, their website, text messages and telephone calls.
However, as I am providing job search advice I feel obliged to warn you what you are almost certain to experience. Now, I have commented elsewhere that I am not going to focus on the negative aspects of job search on this blog and nor am I going to deviate from that. The reason I decided to write about this area of the whole process is that I have fairly rapidly come to some conclusions as to how you can deal with what can be quite a challenging situation.
As I reflected on it I came to the conclusion that in reality there are probably two approaches you can take to dealing with the silence during your job search:
- Vent about it and get annoyed. But what good is that really going to do you? Is it going to get you the job you applied for? Is the employer or recruiter going to feel suitably chastised by you wasting your time and energy on getting annoyed? I am sure that if you spend a little time reflecting on those questions you will come to the same conclusions as me.
- Learn from it. Yes, as you might expect from a Learning & Development Professional I see it as a learning opportunity. You are learning things about organisations and how they deal with people which will serve you well in the future. Once you are back in employment and you have recruitment decisions to make you can do your best to ensure that candidates are dealt with in a way which you would have liked to be dealt with. You will also know firsthand what it is like have been a user of potential suppliers to your organisation and be able to make informed decisions based on those which gave the best service.
Any situation we find ourselves in is packed with learning opportunities and that applies equally to our positive and our not so positive experiences. As I have said many times before being open to the learning experiences that we encounter is a good thing.
Yes, I know it can be challenging when you are keen to secure new employment and you feel as if “The Silence” is yet another brickwall. However, learn from it and keep ploughing on.