Episode 8. Job search process and my experience

ProdActivity
5 min readOct 4, 2020

Hi everyone,

Hope you are doing well with despite the current Covid situation and I am happy you are tuning back in. As promised, in this episode we will talk about the job search process itself. Last week I talked about the things I read and researched, and how I got prepared for the role, including how I tried to stay healthy during the process. Today we are looking at where to find jobs and how to apply, what you need to prepare beforehand, what are the odds of finding a job, the unfair limitations, how to handle rejections, how to sustain yourself financially and more. Each topic will be concise and precise; therefore, the episode may be a bit shorter than the other ones.

Let’s start with where to find a job. Now you know what you want and you are ready for it, lets start the search process. The best place to find a job is within your network. Ask your friends, old colleagues, clients, partners or write on LinkedIn about your availability. As one famous quote says, you are only 6 people away from the person you want to reach out to. Your connections may work wonders that you may not know. What if they do not bear any fruits? The you have amazing sources to find hundreds of jobs easily. These are job platforms, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Totaljobs and other local ones that will be focused on the region you are at. Make sure to use the filters to specify the salary range, location and other factors that may affect your choices. Another way of finding a job is to search based on your interests. Find the top companies in the industry you would like to work with, check the website of all and try to find positions or leave your Resume for future opportunities.

Now you have found jobs and need to apply. What are you going to send? The obvious answer is the resume and the cover letter. Make sure that you have Resume core draft, where you can change the details and quickly adapt for various roles and companies. Also make sure to match your Resume with the criteria of the country you are applying for. In some countries they ask for a resume with a picture in other do not. These are important and can game changing role. Also feel free to use free CV health-check websites where the HR professional in combination with AI gives a score and feedback on your Resume. Make sure to use it for your advantage, whilst these tools are still there.

I decided to go one step further and made myself a website that represents my style, is more interactive and can show things like references, portfolio of products I have built and more. This way you also gain a new skill and stand out of the crowd a little more.

So, you got all you material and you are applying. What is the wait time and odds of getting a positive response? The sad reality is most of the companies just do not respond. Although I understand why, it is still not right for the candidate. So, if you have not heard back within 2 weeks after the position is closed, that probably means that you were not successful. What are the odds of getting a successful response? I would say Pareto principle applies here, so 20%. You will get 80% of value from 20% of applications. And that goes through all stages of the process. So if you want to get a job, you need 5 final interviews, and for that you need 25 second or third stage interviews and for that you need 125 first initial calls and for that you need around 625 applications. Considering that the Covid made things twice as hard you may need to send well over 1000 applications for a job offer. I know it sounds ridiculous, but there are a lot of amazing qualified people out there and not enough jobs, unless you are a technical candidate.

If you are invited to the interview, it is awesome news, but don’t take it easy. You need to prepare a lot. Read all about the company, find your potential colleagues and managers o LinkedIn and check what they have shared, read industry news, read articles and your notes from preparation process earlier. Make sure you cover as much ground as possible and the rest is a bit of luck. But what if you do not get invited to the interview? What was wrong? Unfortunately I this case we are unfairly unlucky. In 99.9% of the cases candidates do not get feedback and it creates a loop which is hard to break. Other unfair disadvantages you may experience can be the rejection based on need a visa support, rejection based on your ethnic/gender/race background and other factors that you can not control. Although it is illegal to not to hire based on those, every company has their own agenda and sometimes it may affect the hiring process if it is not set up right. I have seen cases where they ask the diversity related questions in the forms, but my ethnicity or language or country is not even listed. You will see this a lot if you are from Caucasus and Central Asia.

To overcome all that, here are some practical tips:

  • Find freelance projects that can help you gain experience in that field, but also pay your bills.
  • Reach out to companies and ask for case studies to work on or ask for short internship opportunities.
  • Write or make some kind of a content in that field that can give you a credibility boost.
  • Work on a personal project or support a start-up that you can add to your portfolio

All these will take time from your applications, but it will make your application much stronger, shortening the whole process as well. I am doing a freelance work, going through and accelerator programme where we solve case studies, working on my own project and creating this content all in parallel.

Overall, it is quite demotivating, tough and painful process to go through. Always try to keep up and know that it is temporary and you will get what you want. As mentioned, this is a shorter episode and hope it is helpful if you are in a job search process. Remember to check Anchor channel for audio version and check Teespring for apparel by GetGuided. Thanks for listening, stay safe, talk to you later.

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ProdActivity

As you can guess most of the episodes will be focused on entrepreneurship, startups, product &growth. However, sometimes I may dive into social issues & more.