Do you make assumptions? I think we all do, at least once in a while. But making assumptions can hurt your job search.
In a communication workshop I attended years ago I was introduced to the phrase “assume positive intent.”
In job search, assuming positive intent help you flip a negative into a positive. It is a reminder to always be polite and respectful, no matter what you are thinking.
Dangerous Assumptions Job Seekers Make
Here are some scenarios that pop up again and again and push job seekers to assume- sometimes the worst:
- I interviewed for a job last week and haven’t heard back.
- I’ve networked with lots of people but never get additional contact names.
- I submitted my resume and they haven’t called me yet.
- I am a perfect fit for this job, why aren’t they calling me.
- I haven’t gotten a job yet because of my age.
- I’ve registered with agencies, but they haven’t called me.
- I’ve interviewed multiple times at this company already.
There could be a million reasons why the company hasn’t responded or made an offer. Ask and find out the reason.
You Are Not Alone
If you have ever thought any of these things, you probably aren’t alone. Getting discouraged or frustrated happens during job search.
But, never play the victim.
You are the driver of your job search and career.
Gaining control means figuring out the real reason behind your question or concern. And not making assumptions that can hurt your job search. Instead of assuming, ask the question either of yourself, the interviewer or people you trust.
There are things you need to understand about companies and agencies and the processes they use. Every company is different.
Every company has their own method and process for hiring.
The employer’s time clock is not the same as yours. If you do not know their process and timeframe then ASK.
Placement agencies and 3rd party recruiters do NOT find you a job.
Agencies and third-party recruiters do not work for you. They are paid by the employer to put the right person in the right job. They do not have to work with everyone that walks through their doors or submits a resume. If you don’t know how they work with job seekers, ASK.
No One Will Read Your Resume and Cover Letter
No one has to read your full cover letter and your full resume. Employers may take time to do more than skim it, IF it captures their attention or they may not. If your phone isn’t ringing, your written materials aren’t working. Do you understand how Applicant Tracking Systems work? Read this: How To Get Past The Applicant Tracking System.
Businesses Want To Make Money
It’s really risky to hire someone. It’s also expensive. So employers want to make sure they are getting the best value for their investment. This could mean they take a long time with the interview process, it could mean they try to offer you less than what you want to make, it could mean lots of things.
The best way to understand is to ask the people you meet questions to understand what their concerns are.
Don’t Take It Personally
A colleague shared with me an email she got from a “frustrated” candidate. The employer wanted to interview more people. That is within their rights. Unfortunately, the employer did not tell the candidate they wanted to interview more people (or maybe they did and the message wasn’t heard.) When the candidate found this out, they wrote an email message to the company that said: “I wish I would have known before the ad came out; what a slap in the face.”
Do you think this person was still considered a candidate for the role?
Job Searching Is Emotionally Draining
Everyone knows it’s tough to face rejection and indifference during job search. But are you making assumptions and letting your emotions get the best of you? The end result could be detrimental.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.