January 19, 2023

7 Things That May Surprise You About The Job Search Process

Unless you've been really lucky, you've probably discovered this simple fact about the job search process: it's not easy.

The process is littered with ups and downs, small victories, and brutal defeats. By the time you achieve the ultimate victory—landing a great job—you're both physically and emotionally exhausted.

As difficult as the job search process may be, the lessons that you learn from it will come in handy if you ever find yourself on the job market again. Some of those lessons may actually catch you by surprise.

We'll make the job search process a little easier for you (or at least mentally prepare you) and tackle some of those surprises now.

Wow! There Are Many Ways To Find A Job

Wow is right.

In a simpler time, a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), one would just read the classifieds section of the newspaper to see what was available for employment.

Today, while the classifieds still exist (they're online), there are a large number of online job websites that specialize in job searches from all over the country and world.

Websites like Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Craigslist are some of the most well-known job boards but there are many others, including some that may be tailored for individual states, regions, and professions.

The number of choices can be very overwhelming, especially if you haven't been involved in a job search recently.

The best thing to do is explore multiple websites to see which ones align best with your needs. Also, seek counsel from friends and colleagues who have been through the process to hear about their experiences with the various websites.

While these websites are a good resource for seeing what's available for jobs, it's important to not over-rely on them. If you've identified some companies you want to work for, conduct a proactive job search and make personal connections via networking. Don't rely solely on the online job board to express interest and submit your application.

There Are A Lot Of Ways To Write A Resume

Job seeker on laptop struggles to write his resume

You haven't updated your resume in a while and want to see what the latest formats look like, so you type "resume format" or "resume template" into your online search engine. All of a sudden, you're presented with another overwhelming amount of choices.

Seeking resume guidance online is like trying to self-diagnose yourself by using a medical website—you sometimes get more than you bargained for.

When working on your resume, it's important to initially focus more on the content, which will eventually allow the format to fall into place.

It's also important to realize that there isn't a "one-size-fits-all" resume, as each resume should be tailored to the job for which you're applying. You want to make sure that your relevant skills and accomplishments that would translate to this new job are at the top of the resume. A recruiter should be able to see these transferable skills within the first six seconds of reviewing your resume.

Work It Daily has multiple resume resources, including a resume review by our career coaches.

The Thought Of Personal Branding May Make You Panic

Professional woman with a strong personal brand

Resumes and cover letters are not enough anymore. At Work It Daily, we like to say that you're a "business-of-one," and personal branding is a big part of that.

Personal branding may seem overwhelming if you've never thought about it before, but it's really not that bad. Think back to when you were preparing your resume. Think about what type of career you're seeking and think about the type of skills that you have that translate to that industry. Think about what really makes you stand out.

Once you've determined this, share it with the world. Use LinkedIn and social media to your advantage.

Your goal is to let people know what you're up to professionally at all times. That way your professional network will be aware of what your personal brand is, which could turn into referrals whenever you're on the job market.

If you worry that you lack a personal branding strategy, don't panic. Take your time, put some thought into it, and consult with colleagues and mentors. Everyone has a personal brand; it's just a matter of putting everything together and executing it.

There's More Than One Way To Do A Job Interview

Job seeker takes part in a video interview

Phone, video, and group interviews are all becoming more common. No matter what type of interview you're a part of, the key is always preparation.

Treat every interview the same. Prepare answers to all the common interview questions the interviewer could ask and do your research on the company before the interview. Prepare questions for the interviewer so they know you're interested and have done your research. Also, be sure to dress professionally (more on that in a minute).

Most people are familiar with the in-person interview and, while it can be nerve-racking, it's also familiar. There's comfort in familiarity. It's those types of interviews you're not as familiar with that can be the most intimidating to prepare for.

Of all these different types of interviews, you'll most likely experience the phone interview, where you're interviewing just for the chance to be invited to an in-person interview. That in itself is a lot of pressure, but when you're doing a phone interview you also lose the advantage of certain social cues.

During an in-person interview, you're able to make eye contact with the interviewer and are better able to convey enthusiasm and emphasis. You're also able to look at the interviewer and attempt to gauge their reactions.

Phone interviews also move a lot quicker than in-person interviews. You get less time to get your points across. Even though all interviews carry with them some level of stress, the condensed timeline and impersonal nature of the phone interview make it one of the trickiest interviews to go through.

You'll Obsess Over What To Wear To Your In-Person Interview

Young professional wears a suit to a job interview

It's true, you will...and that's okay!

You want to dress for success and the interview is your chance to make a first impression. Deciding how to dress goes back to your company research. You want to determine what the company's culture is and then dress one level above it.

For example, if the company is very casual, show up to the interview in business casual attire.

You may already have the perfect outfit or you may spend some time in front of the mirror changing outfits. It's okay to be picky, just as long as the outfit you choose matches the company culture. Make sure your shirt is ironed and your shoes are clean.

And, if you bought new clothes for the interview, make sure to take all the tags off!

You Can Have A Great Interview And Still Not Get The Job

Interesting woman shakes hands with the hiring manager before an interview

There are times when you may know immediately that you didn't get the job. You weren't as prepared as you needed to be or the position just wasn't a good fit. While no one wants to have a bad interview, sometimes it's easier to mentally accept, particularly if you're able to pinpoint where it went wrong and apply the lessons moving forward.

But, what if you did everything right? What if you left the interview feeling like you crushed it and that the job was in the bag, only to later learn that you didn't get the job?

It could be that you did, in fact, have a very awesome interview, but the mistake that you made was assuming that you would automatically get the job because of it.

When employers say they had many qualified candidates apply for the job, it's not just lip service. Chances are they had a tough choice to make and, while you gave it a good effort, there was just another candidate that was a better fit for the position.

It can be a major blow the first time this happens to you. Let it humble you but don't let it deter you. Build on the things you did well and do an honest self-assessment and fine-tune the things that you can do better.

Make sure to thank the interviewer for the opportunity and continue to express interest in the position. There's always a chance they could come back to you at some point in the future.

Salary Is Important But May Not Be Everything

Young professional is happy to receive his first paycheck

A lot of people change jobs to get a better salary, while many others do so because they're not happy in their current jobs. Whatever the reason, salary still remains a crucial component. It's important to do your research on the average salary for the type of position you're pursuing in your geographical area.

However, as you go through the job search process, your stance on salary may change. You may like a company's work-life balance and benefits package so much that you're willing to take a cut in salary. There may also be cases where the demands of a job are more than anticipated and you need to up your salary requirements. Individual circumstances also play a major role in salary negotiations.

When it's time to negotiate salary, be flexible. Don't short-change yourself but also understand your priorities. Salary is an important part of the equation but you also need to factor in everything you've learned about this position during the search process to make a well-informed decision.

One thing is for certain when it comes to the job search process: you learn a lot along the way!

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

Should We Blow The Whistle On Labor Unions?

What Is A Labor Union?

A labor union can be described as an employee organization that advocates for the rights of employees.

A labor or trade union is an organized group of workers who advocate work conditions, economic justice, and unfair treatment by employers. Labor unions have collectively advanced their members' interests by negotiating with employers.

Unions are organized much like democracies. The members of the associations elect officers who make decisions for their members. The primary purpose of the officers is to provide power and control for their members.

How Do Unions Make Money?

Labor union, worker protection, team concept

Union members pay dues to cover the union’s costs. Most unions have paid full-time staff that help to manage their operational costs. Some of the union members volunteer their time and talents to the association. Some unions create strike funds that support workers in the event of a strike.

Are Labor Unions Still Effective Today?

American flag/worker concept

Unions have played a significant role in workers’ rights for centuries. Labor unions’ roots in the United States date back to the 18th century when the Industrial Revolution and big business were in their infancy and relied heavily on human labor. This quickly led to widespread abuse of workers, including children, who were forced to work many hours daily for low wages and benefits.

Today there are federal and state labor laws to protect workers. For example, these two agencies are responsible for setting industry standards, such as safe working conditions and minimum wage standards.

What Are The Critics Saying About Labor Unions?

Workers huddle up at work

​Critics say that labor unions work against employers, making it more difficult for a company to manage its employees for the company’s good. Some say that labor unions make it difficult for companies to fire unproductive employees. Also, companies complain that unions are driving up payroll costs and benefits costs that leave the company with less revenue to operate the company or force the company’s hand to raise the price of goods and services.

Which Industries Have Labor Unions?

NFL football

The public sector has the highest rate of union members, such as police officers, firefighters, and teachers. In the private sector, industries with high union rates include transportation, warehousing, utilities, motion pictures, and sports.

When I worked at the National Football League, labor unions played a large part in the game. The players union was known as the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). The NFLPA represents all players concerning wages, retirement, insurance benefits, and working conditions, and protects their rights as professional football players. Lastly, the NFLPA ensures that the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) terms are met.

Just as the players benefit from union representation, the game officials also belong to a union. The game officials union was called the National Football League Referees’ Association (NFLRA). The NFLRA represents all game officials concerning wages, retirement, insurance benefits, and working conditions, and protects their rights as professional game officials. Lastly, the NFLRA ensures that the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) terms are met.

The Pros And Cons Of Organized Labor

Union concept

Labor unions have been part of American culture for a long time. Due to government-regulated employment laws, memberships and the need for unions have declined. Gone are the days when unions were in place to protect child labor, unfair working conditions, pay disparities, and workday hours unfairness.


1. Unions promote higher wages and better benefits.

2. Unions can economically be a pacesetter.

3. Unions provide worker protection.


1. Labor unions discourage individuality—the group is treated the same.

2. Unions can protect failing employees.

3. Unions can drive up costs for the company.

The Last Resort Or Bargaining Play

Engineer/factory workers unionize

A strike or lock-out is evidence of discontent and an expression of dissatisfaction by unions. When negotiations between company management and labor unions fail, unions must take action to disrupt the company’s workflow and production. The best course of action is when the company and the labor union continue to discuss their differences that keep an agreement from being agreed upon.

When the two sides refuse to budge on the sticking points while negotiating, companies are sometimes forced to hire replacement workers to continue operations. Many of these replacements might be unskilled, but this temporary move by the company is an attempt to keep the company open for business. Hiring replacement workers might also be a bargaining ploy by the company to let the union know that the company can move forward with these non-unionized workers.

Lastly, as company management and labor unions negotiate an agreed-upon contract, neither side will get everything they started out to get. There will be give and take on both sides. Finding common ground so that management and labor can co-exist to work together should be a goal for both sides. Let’s work together so we can all continue to do what we all love. Working. Playing. Making a better world!

“What Is Your Management Style?” Tips & Sample Answers

“What is your management style?” is an interview question that gets asked to pretty much anyone who’s going to be overseeing other employees. And if you want the job, having a great answer is incredibly important. This resource will show you how to describe your management style in a way that impresses hiring managers, while […]

The post “What Is Your Management Style?” Tips & Sample Answers appeared first on Career Sherpa.

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