We’ve all seen it: a professional acquaintance looking for a job, speaking out publicly and dramatically on social media for someone to hire. We may have been that person ourselves. In my case, I have an acquaintance who every week would update LinkedIn with a reminder that, yes, they were still unemployed – with a note that it had been six months, or seven months (and so on) since. their last win a check every two weeks.
While unemployment sucks – I know, I’ve been there – public desperation is the wrong way to set eyes on someone who might want to hire you; and with each attempt, you can actually tell potential employers that they’re better off without you.
And it’s not just social media posts that make you look desperate – there are plenty of other ways you could appear desperate in your job search.
Do not apply for several positions in the same company
If you’ve been unemployed for a long time, you have every reason to Feel desperate. It’s annoying beyond imaginable to wake up every morning to apply for jobs, but there’s an irony involved, and it’s pretty unbreakable: you can’t appear desperate, otherwise you will discourage employers.
One way to avoid this is to stick with one job at each company you are applying to. If you toss your resume to everyone with an opening, it will show that you are not particularly interested in a position with the company. Additionally, it won’t be clear what your actual area of expertise is, and at worst it will appear that you are trying to play with the system.
Do not flood the hiring manager
There is an uneven balance in finding a job. The hiring manager, unfortunately, holds a disproportionate share of power in this dynamic; they can ignore your emails and ghost you, and nothing, really, will come of it. This sucks and is a problem with job search these days.
Still, you can do yourself a favor and possibly reduce your chances of being a ghost by not checking in with a hiring manager. too much. If you bombard them with messages every other day about potential updates, they’ll sense flashes of your anxiety and maybe think you’ll be a headache to deal with.
As a best practice, try to ring once a week at most (which I recommend especially if you are feeling friendly enough with the hiring manager).
Don’t say “yes” to all aspects of the job
You want to be ambitious and sensitive to the demands of the job, but don’t exhibit skills that you don’t actually have. Saying you can do something when you know you can’t and don’t have the experience to back it up can hurt your chances. If you are eager to get hired, no matter what your actual ability to do a job well, it will show. Instead, be honest about your skills and explain your plans to overcome your shortcomings.
Ask questions about bigger issues
Be sure to ask questions about company culture, vacation policies, and benefits (once you’ve reached the final stages of the interview process). If you don’t ask these questions, you will likely present yourself as nothing but eager to impress.
At the end of the day, you’re looking to treat yourself to the best kind of package when it comes to accepting an offer. This includes a multitude of things outside of work, not limited to your coworkers, pay, benefits and vacations. If you don’t ask questions about this stuff and blindly jump on any offer that is offered to you, not only will you be doing yourself a disservice, but you will look too desperate in the process.