The job hunt can be excruciating and exhausting.
I’m not sure which part is worse, submitting your resume to countless companies and hoping they respond or actually going through the long hiring process at a company you would really love to work at, hoping they choose you as their lucky new hire.
Needless to say, like many of us, I’ve been through both. But this time was different.
I’ve never understood the concept of applying to 50 positions in one week and doing the same thing over and over again until you hear back from someone.
I’ve always been the type to put my eggs in one basket, which I would not advise.
However, I always found it more meaningful and beneficial to me and the recruiter to take my time to do extensive research into the company prior to even writing a cover letter or brushing off my resume.
And in this particular instance, I did just that. I did all my research on their website, social media pages, Glassdoor, etc. and decided this opportunity was worth my time.
I spent three hours writing a cover letter and customizing my resume. I searched for my best writing samples. I purchased a template from Creative Market that fit my personal brand. I packaged everything together, searched for the appropriate email address, and sent off my documents to the beloved company.
About one week later, I received a response and the interview process was rolling.
I passed the phone interview, secured an in-person interview with three senior leaders of the company, moved on to the writing phase of the interview, passed that and after 4 long weeks in the hiring process I reached the final stage: they requested my references.
I was elated. I informed my references that the moment had arrived and that they should be ready to answer their phones should any random number call them.
They were just as excited. Even after they spoke to my soon-to-be manager, they all let me know that the conversation went very well and that they were confident I would get the position.
I was just about ready to draft my letter of resignation.
Six days after my references were checked, I found out I didn’t get the position.
I couldn’t believe it.
I had all my ducks in a row. I even sent a thank you letter through snail mail after the in-person interview.
But despite my sadness, I reached out to the company and asked why they did not choose me.
Of course, not in those words.
Rather, I thanked them for the update and for the opportunity. Then, I mentioned that I would love feedback on my interview skills and overall qualifications.
It took much grit to ask for feedback. Before pressing send, I accepted the fact that I may never hear from them again but I pressed send anyway. And, the next day I received a response.
They assured me that they were impressed by my skills, passion and work ethnic and that their decision was based on circumstances out of my reach. With gratitude, I expressed my appreciation for their feedback and we parted amicably.
Three months later, after no communication, they reached out to me to gauge my interest in a newly opened position.
HERE’S WHY THEY REACHED OUT TO ME 3 MONTHS LATER
I did everything I could from the beginning to the end of the process to leave a lasting consistent and positive impression: from my resume to the timing of my emails to my personalized thank you letters to my writing responses to my reference sheet, even to my request for feedback.
I put thought and research into everything I did to ensure I put my best foot forward.
And you should too. Whenever you’re on the search for a new opportunity, always remember the adage: quality over quantity.
It’s better to meticulously and purposefully apply to 5 companies in one month than to apply to 20 in one week.
Odds are you’ll be more interested in the 5 companies you applied to a month later and more invested in the companies you do hear back from – keeping fingers crossed here.
While on the other hand, applying to 20 companies in one week will leave you even more exhausted, hopeless and forgetful because you probably won’t even remember 15 of the companies you applied to throughout the week by Friday evening, especially if you have a full-time job to worry about.
As for me, I turned down the opportunity. In three months, a lot can happen and a new job just didn’t fit with my current goals. But it felt great to know that I left such a lasting impression!