How NOT to Act as a Candidate During the More Difficult Job Market in 2023

How NOT to Act as a Candidate During the More Difficult Job Market in 2023

We see it every time the job market turns difficult, candidates let their frustration and fear get the best of them and only make getting a job more difficult.

We also understand that being unemployed is extremely difficult and creates a lot of stress for you and your family. It is important to remember that how corporations hire does not change because you are unemployed and your professionalism when times are tough matters more than ever.

As an example, we are working on a retained senior level digital marketing executive search and a candidate with great experience who is not a fit for this role sent an email with the following subject line “I just want to get out there”. The content of the email itself was even more desperate and basically spent three paragraphs discussing how difficult the job market was and how this individual just wanted to get back to work, even if that meant a pay cut from his previous opportunity.

Just wanting to get out there, does nothing to explain how you are going to solve the business problem they are hiring for or how your expertise has positively impacted the companies you have worked for historically. Additionally, taking this approach highlights that you are struggling to find a job and if no one else wants to hire you, why should the next potential employer see you as valuable?

A second example is a candidate I spoke to earlier this week who had some interesting and very relevant experience for a brand executive search we are working on. Overall, she was a little light on experience but had other things going for her that could have made up the difference. However, sensing she was possibly a little junior, she proceeded to exaggerate all her experience and accomplishments. I have been doing this for twenty-five years, have interviewed thousands of candidates of marketing executives, very hard to fool me on your experience.

As the job market in 2023 is significantly more challenging and competitive than it has been in years, some candidates experience feelings of desperation as they strive to secure their next executive level marketing role. While it is natural to feel a sense of urgency during the job search, it is crucial to approach the process with a strategic and positive mindset. Showing signs of desperation will sabotage your chances of landing a new job every time.

Here are some of the reasons how desperation is ultimately detrimental to job seekers and provide valuable tips on how to job search in 2023:

  1. Desperation Clouds Judgement: Desperation can impair a candidate’s ability to think clearly and make rational decisions during the job search. When individuals are desperate for employment, they may become more inclined to accept any job offer that comes their way, regardless of its alignment with their skills, values, or long-term goals. This hasty decision-making can lead to dissatisfaction, lower job performance, and eventually, the need to start the job search anew. Worst of all you end up putting a short stint on your resume that you have to explain away every time you look for a new role for the rest of your career.
  2. Lack of Confidence and Self-Worth: Desperation often stems from a sense of inadequacy or fear of rejection. Candidates who project an aura of desperation may inadvertently communicate their lack of confidence to potential employers. This can be detrimental, as employers seek candidates who are self-assured, competent, and capable of handling the responsibilities of the role. By undermining their own worth, desperate candidates risk undermining their chances of securing an offer. Finding a job is a lot like dating, no one wants a partner who lacks confidence in themselves.
  3. Desperation Impacts Interview Performance: Job interviews are a critical stage of the hiring process, and desperate candidates may exhibit behaviors that deter employers. Desperation can manifest as excessive nervousness, overeager responses, or attempts to forcefully sell oneself. Such behaviors can make the candidate come across as insincere or unprofessional, leaving a negative impression on the interviewer. Additionally, desperation may cause candidates to overlook the importance of research and preparation, further hindering their ability to make a positive impact during interviews.
  4. Reduced Negotiating Power: Candidates who have displayed desperation during interview process are likely to get shortchanged if they do find themselves in a salary / compensation negotiation. If you appear ready to take any offer, you can expect an offer that reflects your worth as you have portrayed it. You will be perceived as less likely to negotiate or reject the offer, as you are coming from a place of weakness. If you want to receive fair and competitive compensation you need to project humility and confidence.
  5. Limited Networking Opportunities: Networking plays a pivotal role in the job search process. However, desperation will negatively impact a candidate’s ability to build valuable connections. When individuals are desperate, they may come across as needy or solely focused on their own needs. This can repel potential mentors, industry professionals, or even peers who could provide guidance or referrals. Networking requires a genuine approach, and desperate behavior can hinder the establishment of authentic and mutually beneficial relationships.

How to Job Search to Overcome the Desperation in 2023:

  1. Develop a Strong Support System: Surround yourself with individuals who can provide encouragement, advice, and support during your job search journey. Having a strong support system can help boost your confidence and provide a fresh perspective.
  2. Focus on Self-Improvement: Rather than fixating solely on the job search, use this period as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Pursue relevant certifications, take online courses, or engage in volunteer work that enhances your skills and expands your network.
  3. Set Realistic Expectations: While it’s crucial to aim high, it is equally important to set realistic expectations. Tailor your job search to roles that align with your qualifications and experience. This targeted approach will increase your chances of finding the right fit.
  4. Practice Self-Care: Job searching can be emotionally taxing, and it’s important to prioritize healthy habits around nutrition, working out and sleep.