Having a job is hard, but not having one can be harder. When you don’t have any financial safety net to fall back on, you may be eager to find job leads and opportunities because they keep up your hopes and help you cope with joblessness one day at a time.
At this point, your food, shelter, and clothing insecurities, as well as other responsibilities, may push you over the edge into a state of constant desperation. While your friends and family may understand your circumstances and help you out to ease your distress, this sentiment will backfire — badly — in the interview room.
Now, you can’t accuse recruiters and CEOs, or even your ex-boss, of being poker-faced experts. Regardless of your differences and desperation, they cannot meddle their humanitarian sentiments with professional responsibilities. If you show signs of desperation and hopelessness in your email or interview, they might get the impression that you’re trying to cover up for your professional weaknesses by using your state and manipulating your recruiters. In this way, you may even lose the position to momentarily overthinking.
How to Avoid Looking Desperate In Your Job Search
1. Practice Mental Peace
Whether you have a mantra, or you fast, or meditate, or pray, or have any other mental healing exercise, it will help you rein in your mental scatterness before it starts showing in your personality. If you’re currently searching for a job, it will suffice to have a few mindful and relaxing moments early in the morning before you browse through emails and advertisements.
If you have an answer email for your resume or interview, take a few deep breaths before you open it and respond to it. This will ground you in humility and peace and reaffirm that whatever happens today will lead you to a better place tomorrow.
2. Work On Your Appearance
There are two critical components to your appearance when you show up in public and professional spaces. The first is your attire. You may not be in a condition to afford a new professional suit, but you should still be presentable in your existing professional wardrobe. Untidy shoes, a loose belt, or a creased shirt won’t help set a good impression.
The other component is your body language. No matter what you wear, your body language has the power to set a powerful first impression. A firm handshake, optimal lengths of eye contact, your posture while standing, how you sit in your chair, the way you carry your smile and style your hair, everything makes a difference. It can cover up your desperation quite well while you’re interacting with recruiters or referring parties.
3. Avoid Spamming Hirers
You may have heard a lot about sending follow-up emails to catch your recruiter’s attention, but there’s also a downside to them. You may send out follow-ups once every week, twice a week, twice a month, or once a month. On the other hand, though, different HR heads have different temperaments when they go through their emails. No matter how much you calculate your email intervals, some will immediately realise that you’re desperately in need of a job. This might snuff out all potential interest that that hirer may have held for you.
4. Minus the Pessimism
Although realism is an impressive attribute, it isn’t always the best to prioritize during your job hunt. You may want to pour your heart out at your current state of affairs, but try to keep those topics away from your recruiters. You may not be in the mood for those witty, tricky questions your interviewer throws your way. You may want to describe just how awful your ex-boss has been for laying you off from your previous job, how it wasn’t your fault, or how you would’ve been promoted if you were given a chance. These are not the types of responses interviewers will find attentive.
When you feel like the conversation is getting irrelevant to its original purpose, this could mean your interviewer is trying to probe you to test how much pressure you can handle without becoming a passive-aggressive or negative person. In such cases, the best strategy is to keep your answers as short and neutral as possible instead of going into too much detail.
Times are tough right now, but you’re tougher. If you know you have what it takes to secure that job, you’ll be able to land it only when you keep up your composure. These fee mindset tweaks can go a long way in helping you calm yourself when things aren’t going your way!
Alex Cole is a Specialist Building Services Recruiter with Responsum. He’s always interested in networking with Building Service professionals. He loves talking football, is hoping to get on the property ladder soon, and visits Tenerife every year!