How to Set Realistic Expectations During Your Job Search

Finding a job is never easy

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Answering vacancy announcements and sending resumes sometimes feels like playing the lottery. It’s like a shot in the dark and you can only be sure that the chances of winning are rather small. At the same time, surveys revealed that the average recruiter spends not more than 6 seconds reviewing a resume, which really forces you to do invest time and planning into your cover letter and CV.

In such circumstances, you should be realistic and expect to lose a lot of time and energy applying to various job opportunities. You need to know that this is the process which demands persistence before all else.

How to prepare for a job hunt

The US employers are creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs every month, but still millions of workers cannot find work. You need to determine personal priorities and then set a number of realistic expectations before entering the job hunt. Here’s what you should do:

Prepare well

Before you begin looking for the job, make sure to conduct necessary preparations. Update your resume and keep it concise and relevant. Don’t burden recruiters naming all sorts of skills that you possess. Instead, try to emphasize your results and accomplishments. Be sure to proofread your resume. If you are not sure you can do it carefully by yourself, try to use tools such as Careers Booster or Grammarly.

For instance, don’t write that you are a big data expert but rather explain how your data analysis helped the previous employer to increase sales by 45%. This sounds much more relevant and convincing. Additionally, don’t send the same kind of cover letter to everyone. Try to adapt it to make it look perfect for this exact position that you are applying to.

Don’t expect a huge compensation

Although you are probably proud of your skills and expertise, don’t expect that potential employers would offer a gigantic financial compensation in the beginning. Be moderate and don’t mention huge figures in your application. Try to avoid this issue at first and keep in mind that your knowledge and experience will eventually convince the superiors to give you additional privileges. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should accept the beginner-level incomes but also don’t expect the biggest salary in the organization.

Don’t apply to each vacancy announcement

Recruiters post thousands of vacancy announcements on a daily basis but you don’t want to apply to each one of those. No matter how broad your set of skills might be, you cannot possibly fit the needs of all employers.

Therefore, you should choose carefully when to give it a try and it will increase your chances of getting hired. If you don’t respect this advice, you will face many rejections and it will start breaking your competitive spirit. Avoid this by applying only to adequate job calls and you can expect concrete results soon enough.

Don’t be lazy

You can consult your former colleagues, friends, or family members while searching for the new position. Knowing you, they can often give you valuable advice and point out your strengths, weaknesses, and potentials. However, you cannot expect them to do everything on your behalf. If you want to succeed, you are the one who has to send all those application packages, do tests, and conduct interviews.

Send a lot of applications

The job hunt is essentially a game of numbers: the more applications you send, the bigger the chances are that you’ll get hired. Don’t think that it’s enough to send only a few resumes and then comfortably sit back and relax, waiting for the answers.

Try to send as many resumes as possible – as long as you fit the company requirements. The market is overcrowded with young talents and experienced professionals who want new jobs, so you’ll have a big competition. Don’t be afraid of it but also don’t expect that you’ll beat them all with only a handful of applications.

Be patient

You’ve probably figured out by now that the job search is everything but a simple and short process. Bearing this in mind, you have to be patient and wait for the perfect opportunity. We know that it’s easier said than done but it’s just a harsh reality. Sometimes it won’t take you more than a few weeks to find the new position but there is also a chance that you’ll have to wait for months. But don’t lose enthusiasm – just be persistent and don’t give up.


Finding a job is never easy and the whole process can cost you a lot of time and nerves. Many people don’t have realistic expectations during their job searches and feel depressed because they lack concrete results. If you want to avoid this, keep it real and follow our suggestions – they will make your job search easier, more precise and efficient.

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