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Thread: Overwhelmed by job applications

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Overwhelmed by job applications

    I've been struggling with underemployment for a few years and while I have been scraping by, I really do need either some additional hours or something new, so I've been looking for a new job. However, I feel overwhelmed by job applications, and they actually can literally cause me to panic. I think one of the reasons they seem overwhelming is because I have been passed over so many times over the years that I feel I'm wasting my time. This panic reaction discourages me from filling out. Do you have any advice on how I could better handle them?
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
    For it is not wise to ask such questions. - Ecclesiastes 7:10

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Preparation.

    But, yeah, I know the feeling. Try finding a job when you're 60 years old!

    But, here's what I mean....

    You know the information that most companies want ... personal info (name, address, contact info), work history, education....

    Create a spreadsheet or word document with all those things listed out, including the "from " and "to" dates of work history

    Also, have your references ready -- name, address, phone number, etc....

    Print that sheet and take it with you to fill out a job app (if you have to do it there) or bring a job app home (or print one from online) to fill out with your "cheat sheet". It's not so nerve-racking when you have that info at your fingertips, instead of having to try to remember it all, or looking up reference phone numbers, etc, trying to remember dates where you were when, etc.

    A lot of companies let you fill out a job app online, and will even import your information if you have an online (or saved on your computer) resume.

    I don't discount your apprehension at all... I know how much I HATED filling out job applications, knowing I probably had a snowball's chance of getting the job.
    Last edited by Cow Poke; 02-02-2014 at 03:00 AM.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    tWebber JohnnyP's Avatar
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    There are a lot of sites discussing how to fill then out, mistakes not to make, etc. you've probably seen them. Although some tips may not come to mind if you are nervous, like "Greet the receptionist politely when requesting or submitting an application. The receptionist's first impressions are often passed along."

    http://www.worksmart.ca.gov/tips_application.html
    http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/jobapp...pplication.htm
    http://www.sheknows.com/living/artic...ob-application

    One other idea is, try applying to some jobs you may not necessarily want, and those you may either think you are under- or over-qualified for. You may be surprised. Sometimes when we go for the gold we don't get what we want, and when we get out of our comfort zones we find what we need.

    If you get an offer and find you really don't want it, no harm done. Applying for a job isn't an obligation for employment. Getting some offers may help boost your confidence and help you feel less panicky as you continue searching for what you really do want.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    My number one all-time favorite employment advice (I used to be an HR Manager for a gas compression company) is.....

    90% of people interviewed NEVER ASK FOR THE JOB!!!!!!

    It doesn't have to be "So, can I please have the job?" --- it can be a good-spirited "Well, this job sounds GREAT, when can I START?"

    Often, that question will lead to "well, we have three more people to interview..." or.... possibly some other hint of a timeframe ("we won't actually be hiring til the first of the year").... or you could ask, "so, what's the next step in the process?" Anything to show you're actually INTERESTED in the position.

    MEANWHILE.... on a recent episode of BrainGames, they did an experiment where a bunch of people had the opportunity to act as a hiring manager, and they interviewed candidates to see who got the job. Turns out the job applicants were TWIN GIRLS, even dressed the same, and they said EXACTLY the same thing when asked the required question..... "how would you describe yourself"

    Both gave three POSITIVE attributes about themselves, and they gave three NEGATIVE attributes or characteristics....

    One of them listed the negative things first, then "sweetened it up" by listing the POSITIVE things
    the Other listed the POSITIVE things, then admitted the three negative things.

    Both said EXACTLY the same thing, but in a different order.

    The vast majority of mock interviewers selected the girl who was positive FIRST, then negative.

    Simple reason? The FIRST IMPRESSION colors the entire rest of the interview, and within the first few seconds of the interview, the potential employer will subconsciously have a "bias" toward everything else you say.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Emeritus Professor JardinPrayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I've been struggling with underemployment for a few years and while I have been scraping by, I really do need either some additional hours or something new, so I've been looking for a new job. However, I feel overwhelmed by job applications, and they actually can literally cause me to panic. I think one of the reasons they seem overwhelming is because I have been passed over so many times over the years that I feel I'm wasting my time. This panic reaction discourages me from filling out. Do you have any advice on how I could better handle them?
    Okay, KG, here's the "official" Perissos Resources response, with thanks to the others who stepped up to offer support:

    From your description of the problem, it seems you've already identified the problem--and it isn't job applications. Discouragement, doubt, panic, rejection, and fear are the tactics of the enemy of your soul, and he uses them opportunistically. The practical tips already provided by Cow Poke and Johnny P are great and may all be useful and effective, so I recommend you consider them all. However, I believe the motivation, encouragement, and determination you need in order to take full advantage of the opportunities available to you is found in Christ alone. At the heart of the matter, your battle is being waged in the spiritual realm. My check list for overcoming the obstacle you describe looks like this:

    1. Pray. Then pray some more. Pray God's words right out of the Bible to be confident you are asking for the things He already wants to provide. Try Romans 8:32-37 or Philippians 4:4-14 for starters.

    2. Ask someone to be an accountability partner. Your spouse may be a good option here, or man who is more spiritually mature than you that you trust who will honor the request. Ask him to encourage you and build you up and to help you set goals for how many applications you'll complete this week, then check on your progress. Pray with that person.

    3. Whenever you are passed over or don't hear back from a prospective employer, remind yourself this is not necessarily a personal rejection. Unemployment is a huge issue in our country right now and many are vying for the same positions. Determine not to permit those lost opportunities to be stumbling blocks in your path. (See #2 for assistance with this step.)

    4. After you have done 1-3, review your resume and perhaps a couple of applications you've completed with someone who has some experience and can help you refine your process. You may need a tweak or two to help put your best foot forward on paper (or web forms). Lots of people need help with this. If you don't know someone who can take a look at your resume, try Google.

    5. Celebrate victory. When you assess your daily (or weekly) progress, look for the things that went well and be intentionally celebratory and grateful for them. Give them at least equal time than the things that you're worrying about or discouraged by. Take every thought captive and pay attention to the words you're using. If they're all negative, balance your scales.


    You do have to set your mind on the things of God here, KG. Cast the problem at the foot of the cross and then allow Him to go before you into the battle. Walk in agreement with who God says you are (His beloved, His child, joint-heir with Christ), and take up your armor against the slings and arrows of your enemy.

    I know some of this may sound "poufy," and familiar, but I always find that coming back to the basics of walking in the victory that has been won for us on Calvary is the best way to begin to address any issue. I am praying with you for victory here.

    "...so encourage each other and build one another up." ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JardinPrayer View Post
    Okay, KG, here's the "official" Perissos Resources response,
    Oooooops

    Sorry

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Emeritus Professor JardinPrayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Oooooops

    Sorry
    No worries. It'll be less interesting if there's no dialogue. Threads like this are more like group therapy. There's a definite benefit in that. The forum was set up to work like an advice column with a little more integrity, but I don't intend to stifle discussion unless it gets wacky.

    "...so encourage each other and build one another up." ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

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    tWebber JohnnyP's Avatar
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    Another idea: adult ed, community colleges, and county programs in your area may also offer courses and workshops on finding a job, where you can get feedback from peers and interact with others having the same goals. Helping others with the same fears may also help in overcoming your own.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Thank you everybody for weighing in. I will certainly use this to reshape how I am approaching everything in this process.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
    For it is not wise to ask such questions. - Ecclesiastes 7:10

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    I found my current job through Monster.com - and that was 6 years ago. I think more and more job applicants and employers are using online career sites. It saves on having to fill out applications and allows the employers to sort through the resumes easier. The one thing that really counts though is the "cover letter" or email you send when you apply for a job online. It is your only opportunity to be personable. The computer resume can end up being just a dry list of applications and skills. But the cover letter lets you be yourself, and summarize your career and personal life to a prospective employer. Hopefully that will get you past the first hurdle and into an actual interview.

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