4 Ways to Show Enthusiasm vs. Desperation in the Job Search


Maybe you’re unhappy with your current job and are actively seeking new opportunities. You might have the attitude of “anywhere but here” when it comes to the next step in your career. Or perhaps you’re unemployed, finding yourself catapulted into the job search without much warning (or none at all.)

It’s easy to let life get the best of you. It’s easy to be bitter about your current situation, focusing on what isn’t working and why you’re so unhappy vs. focusing on the positives and leveraging those to land a new, more fulfilling opportunity.

“Desperation can be smelled from miles away.”

You need a new job. You want/need it now. When those factors combine, it’s easy to fall into a trap of desperation.

STOP! You’re scaring people away, including potential employers.

Here are some tips to help you show them you’re serious without coming off as desperate:

Make a great first impression

This matters! You’ve heard stories about people mistreating the janitor or receptionist before going into an interview… but what about when they walk in to meet their potential future employer?

Enter the room with enthusiasm and confidence! You’re excited for this job right? People remember how you enter a room and how you made them feel. Be present. This may be the tenth interview of the week for you…don’t let it drag you down. Enter with a smile, make eye contact when shaking hands, then sit down to distribute fresh copies of your resume or portfolio.

Listen with intensity. Answer with confidence.

You may be asked some challenging questions during the interview. Be sure to listen to the full question. If you need some clarity, ask! Answer the question, telling a short but concise story.


Stand out with follow up

Follow up with a nice thank-you note.
Sounds simple, but people just don’t do this. Following up can set you apart from the competition!

Yes, you live in a digital age. Email is okay! Send a short note thanking them for their time. I recommend saying “thanks for your gift of time” and then mentioning something unique from the interview (like something you learned you had in common.)

You could also send a handwritten note, dropping it off with the receptionist before you leave or mailing within 24hrs. Tip: include your name, email and phone number when signing the card and reference the specific position for which you interviewed. Chances are, you weren’t the only person they interviewed that week! Make it easy to remember you.

Allow time for the process 

Time: when you’re unhappy at work or are trying to become gainfully employed ASAP, time drags onnnnnnnnn…..

Understand that it takes time for the process to work. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter or hiring manager. They certainly want to hire for the position and are clearly interested in you, but they probably also have a million other things going on at work and in their lives. Remember that they’re people, too!

If you haven’t heard anything in 7-10 days and they said next steps would be soon, go ahead and follow up. But don’t be annoying!

BONUS: How to Win a Recruiter’s Heart & Mind

What additional tips would you add? Please leave a comment and as always, thanks for reading. ending
Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “4 Ways to Show Enthusiasm vs. Desperation in the Job Search

  1. Once you have decided to change the job, think it twice whether it would be the best option or not. Career decisions are to be taken carefully. Then comes the interview part, it depends upon the interviewer either he wants to see your enthusiasm or desperation for the required profile. Just give the appropriate answers to the question.


  2. I am planning to look for a job through a job posting site since it is the easiest way nowadays. Somehow, I feel nervous when someone finally contacts me, so I am also looking for tips to bring home the bacon. I found it interesting when you suggested mailing a handwritten note to the company to stand out from the other applicants after the interview. Thanks for the tips!


  3. Looking at the job search process for all the potential it holds vs. looking backward helps keep you optimistic and focused on the future.


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