In the past few weeks, I've had occasion to email several people who are unemployed. Some had emailed me for advice or connections. Others had participated in live events with me and I'd followed up by emailing them some resources they'd requested. A few wanted me to review their resumes or cover letters.
In each case, I took the time to craft a helpful response, including links to relevant information. Some took me only 5 minutes to respond, but several required up to 30 minutes, including reviewing materials and providing specific feedback.
I emailed these off and then. . . crickets.
No thank you. No "I appreciate you taking the time to look at this." Not even a "got it." Just silence.
Only one of two things can be going on here, neither of which is good for the job search.
First, it's possible that they haven't checked their email and therefore don't know I've sent this information. However, since the vast majority of employers are using email to stay in contact with folks, not checking your email when you're looking for a job is a HUGE problem. The race is going to the swift, my friends, so if you aren't on top of the emails in your inbox then someone else is going to get that job ahead of you.
The second possibility is, in some ways, more disturbing. They may have received the email and simply not thanked me for my time. They got what they wanted, now on to the next thing.
This is what's wrong with the world right now, especially when it comes to connecting--this idea that human interaction is all about you. It's not. It's about me, too.
I love helping people--it's what I do. But when I'm not even acknowledged for these efforts, it makes me much less likely to help you the next time you ask for something from me. And if this is how you're treating other people, then maybe that's contributing to the fact that you're still unemployed. Job search these days is about connections and if you aren't contributing to the circle then you're using up all the goodwill that could be helping you find another job.
Relationships are not transactions, where we simply extract from them what we need and then move on to the next person. They are reciprocal--two-way, where each does for the other.
I know that it's scary and hard and frustrating to look for a job right now, but that doesn't mean that you should wallow in it. You have to give back too. I promise that it will make you feel better. And those you thank will want to help again.
The best thing you can do for your job search is to THANK PEOPLE FOR THEIR HELP. It costs you nothing (except a little time) and it goes a long way toward strengthening the connections you need right now.