Career Warrior Podcast #304) Top Concerns for Job Seekers: Summer 2023
In a LinkedIn Live event held on June 28th, Matt and Chris Villanueva explore the burning questions and challenges that job seekers bring to the table. Whether you’re currently in the job market or planning to dive in soon, this episode promises valuable content that can enhance your job search strategies.
We discuss topics like the infamous “black hole” of online applications, the complex world of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and the importance of tailoring your application for the human touch. We also delve into the significance of persistence, accessing the hidden job market, handling rejections, and coping with low response rates.
Moreover, we embrace the game-like approach to job seeking, encouraging you to track your progress, seek continual improvements, reward yourself, and take necessary breaks to maintain your motivation and mental well-being. We touch upon the time-consuming nature of versioning and offer insights into the bucket principle, which helps you allocate time efficiently between major revisions and quick tweaks.
Tune in to this episode for a dynamic discussion on job search concerns. Gain valuable insights, gather practical tips, and be inspired to tackle the job market with renewed vigor.
Matt Villanueva 0:00
I don’t know where to start with the buckets that are under sort of the resume that I’m gonna start with, like, what makes money, what am I good at? Like all sorts of questions that they come to me with. And I’m like, now I’m not a career coach. So I can’t answer that for you, but I can give them some advice and point them in a good direction. Usually, LinkedIn presents
Chris Villanueva 0:22
Welcome to the Let’s Eat, Grandma Career Warrior Podcast.
And welcome to the Let’s Eat, Grandma Career Warrior Podcast. My name is Chris Villanueva, and today we’re going to discuss top concerns for job seekers. This month, I wanted to do something a little bit different for this episode in the sense that I wanted to share some common struggles and concerns that job seekers are having in this day and age, I know things have evolved a lot over the months. We are currently in the summer of 2023 and I realized that my brother and I have collectively spoken with hundreds of job seekers in the last few weeks alone, many through long form phone conversations, that’s been my brother.
And for me, it’s been reviewing some of the resumes from job seekers that have been struggling, there have been some common themes and some common patterns. And the objective of this episode is relatability, I want you to feel like number one, you’re not alone in your job search. And number two, maybe there are certain things that other job seekers might be struggling with that you can learn from those mistakes and things like that. So I spoke with my brother, he broke down the phone calls with other job seekers quite nicely. And spoiler alert, one of those concerns for job seekers this month was rejection receiving rejections and feeling like their resume was getting sent in, “The Black Hole” to come on when I’ve heard and just job seekers feeling like their job search, and their job search process is not really moving along. So what I wanted to do was share with you that conversation with me, my co founder, Matt, and let you know exactly what those concerns are that job seekers are having specifically in this day and age. So without further ado, this is episode three of four top concerns for job seekers in summer 2023.
Matt Villanueva 2:17
I think in priority order probably encapsulates the number one concern, which right now is that applying online feels like a black hole. Chris, how many times have we heard that term black hole when referring to the online job search,
Chris Villanueva 2:30
Like infinite amount of times? It’s a kind of play on the black hole thing. But yeah, way too many times.
Matt Villanueva 2:37
Yeah, let me visually bring it home. If you don’t already resonate with that analogy. You just spent hours and hours of your time of your day of your week, whatever it is solely existing online, sending out applications, sometimes five or 10 a day, and you are hearing nothing back. And it’s not even just rejections. We’ll talk about that later. But it’s it’s just nothing. It’s just silence. It’s a black hole. It’s it’s going who knows where science also hasn’t discovered yet why we’re not getting any sort of meaningful reactions to our resume into our applications. So that’s kind of number one. And I have some kind of whatever you want in these concerns, I put together some ways we can combat them. But I want to hear what you think Chris first on this.
Chris Villanueva 3:14
Why is it a black hole? Like what is it is making it seem like they’re not getting any responses? Is it kind of like the auto rejections are just like they’re literally hearing nothing? When they’re sending out the resumes?
Matt Villanueva 3:25
Correct? It’s the silence. It’s not even so much that people are calling to me saying, You know what, I’m getting rejections left and right. I mean, they are saying that as well. But the thing that bothers them, I think first and foremost is I’m spending my time out of my week, I’m still employed, or maybe I’m not, maybe I have a family, whatever it is, I am super busy. And I’m applying to a job in which I see like, I can benefit your organization immensely. I’m taking the time to write a cover letter, I’m maybe hit writing this by scratch. And we’ll talk about that later. Because you shouldn’t be writing everything from scratch. It’s taking a lot of time, but I’m doing this and at least you know, I’m owed the respect of, hey, we read your application over we’re not going to consider you at this time. You know, we’re considering other people, you know, at least that right? But people just aren’t getting anything. So it just feels like silence screaming into the into the silent void. It can be bleak. Sometimes I share that commiserate with a lot of job seekers on that.
Chris Villanueva 4:13
It’s really tough and so I’ve been doing some resume critiques. So looking for folks resumes to give like some advice and like that was a pretty common complaint. Like, I feel like I’m not getting any interview requests when I send it out and I don’t and this is like the irony of having like a resume service. It’s like I don’t necessarily blame the resume completely because yes, there’s some things that folks like a lot of job seekers different types of mistakes that they’re making on their resumes, but it may go beyond just the resume like the holistic job search like how are you actually getting the resume sent out? Are you only submitting it to job boards online? Because I think that’s when a lot of people feel like they can get trapped in this kind of like the black hole so to speak. But like for anyone listening to this out or like in the future in a recording or something like that, just know that if you are not meeting, that sort of not getting the results you want, like you’re definitely not alone in this is because you’re competing in many cases when you’re submitting your resume with hundreds of other applicants when you’re submitting to these online job boards. And I even spoke to somebody the other day that said that they posted something like a new job opportunity a few days ago, and they got 1500 applicants within just a short timeframe. So it’s not you, it’s just your resume isn’t getting noticed, necessarily.
Matt Villanueva 5:35
So, I love that. And I want to put a quick plug in for something I heard from another recruiter and a headhunter himself, Chris Campbell kind of taught through his course on how to get around the black hole. He calls it accessing the hidden job market, they plug for that, because as soon as I heard that, it resonated with me. Yeah, there is a hidden job market. And it’s through making meaningful connections with people and getting referrals like and not just just kind of the sleazy way, like, oh, like I treating everyone as a number. And I’m just trying to get referrals like but no legitimately treating the job search as a way to get your resume in the hands of somebody who needs someone with your skill set and benefiting their organization benefiting them and their department doing this can be difficult. But it is possible in getting into that heightened job market, it’s going to take a lot more work than just sending out your resume through the conical black hole that is the many job boards that are available right now, indeed, and to name some indeed, and LinkedIn, of course, can feel like that way.
Chris Villanueva 6:32
But again, great platforms, but you do need to understand that there is time that you can be spending elsewhere as well. Imad, thanks for bringing that to light here. And I’ll move on to the second one. And we’ll get into some practical tips to overcome some of these obstacles in a second. I know this was a kind of just did the doom and gloom one, like just the black hole. But just let’s move on to number two. And for those of you listening, just know that this like, so this is our first LinkedIn audio event. And I’m not sure if there’s a way to get any sort of comments or things like that. So I apologize. I thought there was a way to kind of get that. But if you do have any specific questions, honestly, man, I would love to hear from you. So connect with us personally, if you haven’t already done so and send us an InMail. Just send us a message. And I’d love to personally help answer any questions you have, again, because like the whole purpose of this is to start using the community here. So, Matt, go ahead. What’s number two?
Matt Villanueva 7:22
I think number two principle or concern, rather, that people are expressing with me is that, hey, they know that they do need multiple versions for multiple applications. They do know that they need different cover letters. And they do know that they need different cover letters for different jobs. I mean, we’re not all replaced by robots yet. We shouldn’t all be using AI to help write every single portion of our job application job documents, we shouldn’t delete, right? So it’s like we do need to take time to make each version meaningful and different based on the job and applying for but the concern there is to that takes time, as I kind of said before, people are calling in and like, we have families, we have full time jobs or part time jobs, or yeah, we’re unemployed. But we need to make money. So we’re doing these side things. So it’s like, I don’t have an extra 40 hours a week to give to both my full time responsibilities as well as another 40 for the job search.
Chris Villanueva 8:14
So versioning takes time in the job search takes time, I would say that’s kind of the number two concern that people are expressing with me. Yeah, well, just kind of launching into that. Like, we’re always like telling people like it’s important to like, tailor your resume sort of, but like how far does that go? Because I had a friend the other day, this actually was a long time ago, I say the other day, but this is literally like two years ago, but it stuck with me. But she said that she had spent like 60 hours in the last few weeks, like just working on her resume. So like, you know, I can’t speak to like the types of like results that that would get for those who are spending but like how much time like are we really supposed to be spending on a resume is like tailoring and tweaking it.
Matt Villanueva 8:55
Definitely not 60 Your time absolutely could be better placed coming up with a solid version in much less time. And then spending that time applying to jobs or making meaningful human connections like talked about earlier. That’s way too much. So but to give you a straight answer. Number one, consider resume service. This isn’t just a plug for services, but I do truly believe in what we do. And I do believe that people should consult and outsource what they’re not good at. I can speak probably for many people on this call many people that are listening to this. No one truly truly enjoys putting together a resume, you know, and if you do come work for us because it’s difficult. Even talking about yourself is difficult sometimes. And so consider even working with a friend or a family member to bounce your your skills and your career, your experience and everything. Bounce that off of them so they can help you put together a resume. It is difficult to do on your on your own. So how much time does that take?
Now if you’re working with us, but if you’re working on a completely new version, and you don’t want to use a service and you want to do it yourself? I mean honestly, sometimes it could take upwards of five hours, maybe even more. I know some people will say they’ll spend 10 hours or so. Working on a resume, and it feels like you’re grinding, you know, it’s very, very difficult, of course. But once you set up one version for one category of jobs that you’re applying for, what I tend to advise them in doing is then take five or 10 minutes per application that you’re sending out to tweak that version, and send it out to each individual job. So you’ve spent all that time upfront the 510 hours, hopefully way less than making a really good version for one category of jobs or one industry. And then you spend 510 15 minutes maximum, making tweaks and making sure that the version you’re sending to this job application is relevant to them, and that you’ve looked at their job posting for keywords, and reordering things. There’s many, many things you can do during that tweaking time. But yeah,
Chris Villanueva 10:47
I love it, that the way that you organize your resumes in your drive or folder, whatever I think has a pretty big impact, or it can have an impact, because you don’t want to be disorganized and like have a bunch of different versions floating around maybe like that one master version. And then you have like a sub folder with the different types of positions that you might be applying for. I know that people typically are not just applying to like one type of position these days. So I found that to be helpful, like when I’ve written for clients a while back.
Matt Villanueva 11:15
Let me see if I can just come back and say that the visual analogy because you know, I’m great with analogies or I love I love that these talking about them is the bucket approach. Think of your categories, or kind of the folders Chris was just talking about on your computer desktop, think of those as an actual physical waste bin, something that you’ll have in your office that you can put out and say you take a job posting, you print it off, and you have a job posting that is applying towards event management, right, let’s just pick one random job skill or job title. And then you crumple that up and you throw it into the waste bin. Well, then you get another posting that is also it’s called program management. But it’s basically event management. I mean, they’re asking you to basically only look at events, we’ll take that printed off, crumple it up, throw it and not waste bin, any piece of paper, any posting that belongs in that waste bin belongs to one tailored 510 hour version of your resume that you took the time to play up front in may get targeted for that bucket, right. Each individual crumpled up piece of paper is a 510 Minute tweak. So yeah, think about that. Think about that. Or if you like computer desktop folders, use Chris’s analogy, but I like the way spin. I like the bucket analogy.
Chris Villanueva 12:21
I love it. I had you come in prepared with like three different concerns for job seekers. But I actually heard that you had more than that. So I actually want to get through all of them. I think you had five, six? Yeah, let’s keep going. Yeah, five. Again, for those of you listening, Matt, I’ll speak on the kids side. He’s personally spoken with, I mean, dozens of job seekers, you might be pushing like, was it like between 101, 50 met? And recently? Yeah, yeah. Like actual in depth phone conversations with like, human to human, like, not just like a quick one off, but like, in depth phone conversations with job seekers. And so that has fired? Yeah, just the last month alone. So that’s what inspired like today’s audio that so like, just rest assured like this, these are like real answers of job seekers addressing like, or just giving us their concerns. So now what is number three in terms of what people have been telling you on the phone for things that they’re concerned about in their job search these days?
Matt Villanueva 13:23
Great. Yep. Changing industries or changing jobs is hard. It’s difficult. Some people say it’s impossible. I disagree with him. But that’s that’s the concern that he shared with me, it’s very, very difficult gets number 30.
Chris Villanueva 13:36
Oh, my gosh, tell me more
Matt Villanueva 13:38
Two types of transitions, pivots or industry changes that people are kind of expressing, or rather just changes, career changes. Number one is, as I mentioned earlier, I’m changing industries. So I am going from finance to technology, those are two distinct industries, that obviously, you can do the same job in two different industries. And you could be in I mean, it’s intact might be kind of like its own industry. But let’s just say you can be doing like you can be in a FinTech company, doing computer programming work for for finance, or you can move exclusively towards something like meta, like an actual, like, tech based platform. So it’s like, you’re changing industries, but you’re not changing your job title, right? You’re not changing what you’re doing on a day to day basis. But it’s still hard for whatever reason, people are finding that, you know, going from one industry to the next, they want someone who has a background in an industry, they want somebody who is in a competing big company who might be able to share their secrets with me or at least to share their process and kind of bring that that type of management scale management style, whatever it is to my company. So it’s like they want to leverage that background in the same industry. But oftentimes, we’re bouncing around as jobseekers. And I’m sorry, I do go on tangents here.
So just to say the other one real quick, the other type of industry change or pivot or job pivot is I am doing a completely different job function. You may be doing that in a different in district two. So that’s that’s double the hard. But no, I’m going from one complete function to one completely the different one. It could be in the same ministry. But yeah, that’s another pivot in both our heart. Yeah. Why is a resume harder for a career changer or even somebody making a pivot? Like I mentioned earlier, it does go a little bit beyond the resume. It’s also just people objectively looking at your resume, knowing that you don’t have the background that they’re looking for. But I think it just to answer your question, specifically, the resume too, can be difficult. We, as writers, if you’re writing for yourself, and you’re not getting a third person objective point of view to help you out, if you’re just doing it yourself, we tend to just write down everything we’ve done, we consider our resume, like a laundry list a, this is my job that I had for the last two years, two and a half years. This is everything I did on a daily and a monthly basis, you know, sign or this is my diversion, that’s done. But it’s like, that’s not the best approach when it comes to career changing. And it’s the one that’s not going to get you good results, especially for you your career changers, you need to look closely at your experience and your skills and know and only write down the things that are transferable to the job that you want. It’s a hard recommendation there. And it’s hard recommendation to do. But it’s a firm one that I stand by. So don’t make your resume into a laundry list, make it into something that is, again, resumes or marketing pieces. They’re not just a four or five page documents, you know, quite like a CV, maybe that’s something that you want to pitch yourself and you need to be relevant, you need to be targeted. And so it’s a hard thing for people to do.
Chris Villanueva 16:34
Right, absolutely. But I do want to give a shout out to Skye since we don’t have a common kind of thing. So she sent me a message saying that I do enjoy writing resumes, and in this writing monthly articles. And it takes a different type of creativity, like especially for those entry level jobs as guide mentioned, because it’s tough sometimes like I think also entry level jobs. There’s also the connection between that and career changers, because oftentimes, hiring managers and recruiters are like directly looking for that position title on the resume, that, Oh, I need, you know, three to five years of experience, I don’t see that you know, directly. And so that’s like, oftentimes the hurdle we have to overcome when we’re trying to get somebody to look good for a particular role or like to show their qualifications for a particular role. So I think that’s great. So while that was okay, all right, Matt, anything else?
Matt Villanueva 17:23
Because like, dang, I want to make sure we have enough time. I didn’t know you have other ones. So we’ll actually let’s breeze through to the other concerns you have here these last few minutes here. What are their concerns jobseekers have and they just kind of like wrapping it up with we’d encourage people to do I had to put this one in the list. I’m sorry, just two more. So yeah, rejection in general, is extremely difficult for people to take different to the black hole concept that we talked about before. Right, Chris? It’s not just not getting a response at all, which is kind of being ghosted. If y’all are familiar, that terminology, it’s getting an actual No, you’re not the right candidate for the job. And that hurts. That hurts to hear. Right?
Chris Villanueva 17:56
Yeah. Isn’t it? Like, is this the resume or like down the line with the interview?
Matt Villanueva 18:00
Actually, that’s a really good question. I’ve heard both. And I feel that both are hard, depending on the type of person but when people are calling me, they’re in the stages of despondency, and rejection and the beginning in the middle of their application. So usually not the interviews, I think people are relatively better at handling a, hey, at least I got to the interviewer, you know, the better man or better woman one one hour me and that’s fine. And that’s fine by me. But it’s kind of the rejection of like, I know that I am a good candidate for this job. I am in fact, in my eyes, the perfect candidate. I can’t believe that and see that. And I got a pretty candid response of, you know, we’re gone with other people. It wasn’t even personalized to me their rejection wasn’t personalized. And I feel like I myself as a person and being rejected. And it’s not by the way, they’re not rejecting you as a person, but people take feel about rejections are.
Chris Villanueva 19:03
So I don’t know if like, this is like the, I don’t know, maybe you were just like kind of going over these concerns. And like just having seen people like would resonate with that. But like, I don’t know if like, what would we offer up to people who may be feeling rejected to their job search, like anything that you’d like to add there?
Matt Villanueva 19:05
That’s a really good question. Yeah, it’s just like number one. If you are putting yourself out there. If you’re being vulnerable enough to apply, just know that you will face rejections and know that every one of us is getting rejected as well. It’s a very difficult game, but again, this is a June newsletter. Right Chris? This is for this month. I’m talking about 150 calls this month alone, people more and more have been expressing discontent from the rejections this month, compared to quarter one of this year even though it’s like months ago or like last year, earlier on like, again COVID Like the beginning 2020 was difficult in its own right there have been ups and downs and but just know that this month is difficult for jobseekers know that rejection is happening a lot more so you’re not alone. Be persistent and know that you are not your job. You are not being rejected yourself. You are more than your job. You are a total human being who has amazing things and amazing things to achieve and amazing goals and that it just going to take a couple of stumbling blocks and a couple of noes to get your final year.
Chris Villanueva 20:00
So just understand that. Love it, Matt. absolutely crushing it. Now, what is number five? Read it out. I want to hear what the last concern that you’ve been hearing for job seekers. I love it.
Matt Villanueva 20:11
This is the hardest one because it’s the one that like, I myself might be out of my depth in responding to. And I direct them elsewhere for it, by the way, but the concern is like, I’m not even sure what I want to do. I just I’m leaving teaching after 20 years, someone has called me like today, I’m in plenty people are leaving teaching right now as a separate subject. But plenty people are you know, I’m laid off from this job. This is the only thing I know how to do. But I also don’t want to do it anymore. Because I’m burnt out. There’s a tremendous amount of reasons why people are leaving their current trajectory, their current path and trying to go for something else. And it’s not just the career changer I talked about earlier. It’s the people who just don’t know what to do. They’re like, Well, great.
Chris Villanueva 20:49
I’ve just been lost. I’m paralyzed with fear and indecision. And I could do a million things that were not at all. So I don’t know where to start. Those are the people I feel like I hear a great amount of concern with and yeah, yeah, feeling like you’re leaving a career altogether. Like, it can be tough, not only just because it’s something you might feel attached to. And then like I remember, I was used as example. And I apologize for anyone who’s heard me say this is some like a broken record sometimes, but leaving hospitality restaurants it felt like I had gravity just pulling me constantly bad towards that industry. It felt like the only thing that I was like, truly, like, Oh, like this is the only thing I was capable of doing. Like, which is a lie. And feeling like it was even harder to like make the jump to like another just something else it out. So I’m glad you brought that up. And I think like any reason, in particular, why it’s this month, and why people are seeing it more and more.
Matt Villanueva 21:43
Yeah, and this is shown by the stats over time. But ever since 2020 coins have been on the rise, and equate as measured by someone who’s voluntarily leaving their current assignment, their current work, be contracting more or full time or part time or whatever, voluntarily. Usually looking for something else doesn’t always mean that but you know, looking for something different. And in since this has been on the rise, a lot of people are like, are quitting right, and maybe not having the clarity of knowing where they need to go to next. I think that’s fine. Am I rallying against that, you know, people have different circumstances and reasons why they would do that. But it’s like, it puts them in a difficult position when they’re calling me. Or let’s just say they’re still employed, right? And they’re just like, I need to quit, because this job sucks, but I don’t know what to do. So it’s like, it’s it can be a paralyzing thing. I don’t remember what your question was. But basically, it’s just something people are calling it all the time about and it’s, it’s difficult. And I don’t know where to start with the buckets that are on our side of the resume that don’t always start with, like, what makes money What am I good at, like all sorts of questions that they come to me with. And I’m like, now, I’m not a career coach. So I can’t answer that for you. But I can give them some advice and point them in a good direction usually.
Chris Villanueva 22:46
And then do like, again, Matt said, I like we’re not career coaches, and do seek out a career coach, if you can, if you can afford one, like the career coaches, you know, after speaking with a ton of them over the last few years can be so helpful to helping you navigate any sort of, you know, change, whether you’re going to move industries altogether, or like transition like that. So we know a ton of great ones out there. So we can speak for that
Matt Villanueva 23:11
kind of make a plug dough book in case they want to read a book from a great career. And if you can, if you can just don’t have the funds right now to get a career coach, and you just want to want to learn a little bit more about Career Clarity. There’s a title of a book by that name, Career Clarity by a partner of ours, Lisa Lewis Miller, please look it up pretty short. Right, Chris? I remember reading it not too long ago last year. And he gave me some insight and some pointers on how I can gain clarity in my my full time role. But but for sure, I recommend it to anyone who’s looking to learn more about getting clear, getting clear on what they want.
Chris Villanueva 23:41
Matt, thank you so so much for doing this. I know you also like prepared with some really like solid notes. And just like collecting and structuring your thoughts, you know, taking all of those calls that you’ve taken, and then like distilling it down to like these top concerns. I think it’s so valuable for people to know that like a I’m not alone and be these are obstacles that I can overcome in my job search. So kudos to you for that, Matt. I really appreciate you laying it down, of course. And thanks, Chris, for hosting this is always enjoy working alongside you and talking to you. So Oh, but other people got some good out of this as well. Yeah, it’s for those of you listening live, like I really appreciate you too, because this is like our first LinkedIn audio event. This is a first for us. And so I was really excited to kick into it. So please, please, please connect with me if you haven’t done so already can send me a message. And also for those of you listening, we’re going to be distributing this across like our other networks and our newsletters and things like that. So stay in touch. This is an open dialogue and we want to keep hearing from you. So with that, I will say thank you again, feel free to react because it’s a fun little thing you can do here on LinkedIn audio, and it will take care of now.
Matt Villanueva 24:48
Thank you everyone. Take care.
Chris Villanueva 24:50
All right, Career Warriors. That wraps up episode 304 of the Career Warrior Podcast. We covered some heavy hitting topics here we covered the ATS projections, and the different things that a lot of job seekers are spending not only their time, but their mental energy and focus there. So I hope that this episode was relatable for you by again, I hope that you feel like the things that you’re struggling with are not special by any means you are not alone in your job search and some of these struggles. So I do encourage you to keep moving forward. Keep listening to this podcast, we have lots of good content coming up with career coaches and folks who can help you navigate these things, ton of resume episodes if you haven’t checked those out. And of course, you’re welcome to book a call with us. It is a free of charge consultation with my co founders actually doing them now. Basically, to let us know what you’re thinking about your job search. Where are you applying? What are your specific concerns?
We’d love to hear from you just head on over to letseatgrandma.com and book a call with us. Alright, Career Warriors. This wraps up again, Episode 304. Look forward to an amazing episode coming next Monday. I can’t wait to see you then. Take care.
Before you go, remember, if you’re not seeing the results you want and your job search, our highly trained team of professional resume writers here at Let’s Eat, Grandma can help head on over to letseatgrandma.com/podcast to get a free resume critique and $70 off any one of our resume writing packages. We talk all the time on the show about the importance of being targeted in your job search and with our unique writing process and focus on individual attention. You’ll get a resume cover letter and LinkedIn profile that are highly customized and tailored to your goals to help you get hired faster. Again, head on over to letseatgrandma.com/podcast. Thanks and I’ll see you next time
Transcribed by https://otter.ai