Why is job hunting sometimes such a terrible, mental health-destroying, motivation-killing experience? Why are there so many job-seeking aggravations when it comes to finding a new job? Surely, the process could be easier – it doesn’t always have to be this way.

The 3 Worst Aspects of the Job Search

My experience as a job seeker has been one of the hardest, anxiety-ridden, soul-crushing events of my life since I retired from the U.S. Army. These are just a few things that I don’t understand, and have quickly become a few of my biggest points of friction in the hunt for a new career.

1. If I didn’t get the job, just tell me.

If I didn’t make the cut for the position, why at times does it take so long for the notification to go out informing me that I didn’t get the position, or that they ‘are proceeding with other candidates’?

The hiring process can take weeks – especially if client approvals are involved. I realize that recruiters receive many applications and that takes time to process and sift through to find the right candidate for the open position. However, the longer the hiring process, the less a company can bill for a contracting position. Any extra time in the hiring process can be an unnecessary drain on company resources. But to candidates, it can be even more frustrating to get stuck in a state of hiring limbo.

Prompt communication can make you stand out to candidates. A delayed, pre-constructed denial letters sent weeks after the application deadline is disheartening in the job search process. It tends to make me less likely to reapply for other positions.

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

2. I am open to negotiating!

The salary range conversation feels like a minefield when it doesn’t need to be. I’m sometimes confused when I’m asked about my expected pay range – only because the job posting listed the salary. When salary is listed that falls within my pay range, I apply for the position that matches my resume.

I feel that it’s important for candidates to know their worth. The salary conversation should be negotiated based on facts – skillsets, experience, education, etc. It shouldn’t be surprising when candidates ask for compensation that’s commensurate with their value. It might exceed what a position offers, but it should be easy to have the salary conversation.

It shouldn’t be awkward. It’s okay to go back and forth on what works for the position, salary-wise or what a candidate should be requesting for compensation. Candidates should also feel free to explain their compensation requirements, as well.

3. Would I fit better in another role?

I have received many denial letters after applying for different positions, and the company ‘hopes’ that I will consider applying for other positions. Personally, this approach comes across as an indirect way of telling me I’m not the one for the job. It’s okay if I’m not the right fit; however, if you see another opening that I’m a better fit for, it’d be helpful if you connected me to that role instead of hoping I stumble on it in my job searches.

As a job seeker, my plea is this: consider the potential of who you are hiring and consider other roles for that applicant.

But my biggest plea for anyone involved in the hiring process: be mindful of the waiting game for candidates.

I can’t answer for all the candidates who ghost recruiters or take forever to respond. I can only speak to how it can feel when you’re actively searching for the right job.

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Aaron Knowles has been writing news for more than 10 years, mostly working for the U.S. Military. He has traveled the world writing sports, gaming, technology and politics. Now a retired U.S. Service Member, he continues to serve the Military Community through his non-profit work.