Landing a Job as an Oleh Chadash in Israel, it’s A Numbers Game
After nearly 8 months of searching, I have landed and accepted a job at a fantastic company in Israel. It is quite exciting and relieving as it has been arguably one of the most challenging steps for me as an Oleh Chadash (new immigrant).
As Olim (immigrants) we all have different journeys when it comes to the job search. Some Olim come with jobs lined up before arrival in Israel or are able to land jobs quickly due to their field of work, while others may search for years.
As a consultant/project manager, I had a more difficult transition, since my background did not exactly translate into the “swim-lane” job experience many Israeli hiring managers expect from candidates.
Documenting the progress of my job search over the past half-year was something I wanted to do so that I could share my my journey with other Olim to compare our experiences and share best practices.
Here Are the Stats Of My Journey:
Official Start-Date of the Job Search Process (Israeli Dates): 2/1/19
Number of Companies Applied To: 99
Number of Roles Applied To: 111
Number of Authentic Resumes Made: 111
Number of Formal Rejections: 48
Number of Times a Company Did not Respond after Applying: 52
Roles that are still in Limbo at this moment: 3
Number of Networking Events Attended: 32
Number of Networking Meetings (Calls, Coffee): 49
Number of Recruiters Contacted: 3
Number of Recruiters Telling me to “Lower my Expectations”: 2
Number of Phone Interviews (Phone, In-Person): 19
Number of In-Person Interviews: 36
Number of Take-Home Assignments: 8
Average Amount of Time Spent on Take-Home Assignments: 3 hours
Number of In-Person Presentations/Assignments/Exams: 13
Highest Number of Interviews in a Week (Calls, In Person): 12
Highest Number of Interviews in a Month (Calls, In Person): 26
Best Job Rejection Responses: “We don’t have a job for you at this time, but my husband and I would love to have you over for Shabbat.” (We are still working on finding a date for this by the way).
Worst Job Rejection Response: “No feedback to give. We are just looking for someone else with a different set of experience.” (This was after making it to the 3rd round and completing 1 take home assignment, and 2 in-person assignments).
Number of Job Offers I Received: 1
Official End-Date of the Job Search Process: 22/7/19
Key Takeaways from the Data:
Applying Online Did Not Add Value for Me — Of the 36 roles I directly applied to online, 100% resulted in a rejection without a chance to interview.
Making the Personal Connections Did — I applied to 55 roles with a 1st degree connection to the company. This resulted in a 55% chance of getting an interview. 60% of these 1st degree connections were people I met by either being connected to through a mutual friend or through attending Networking Events/Meetups.
Key Takeaways from the Experience
Don’t Expect the Job to Come to You — You have to be out there hustling every day. Checking your LinkedIn, other people’s LinkedIn networks and asking if they can connect you to people that might of interest to you to speak with. Israel is a family culture and it’s quite acceptable to reach out to 2nd or 3rd connections.
Set Up Networking Meetings — Finding people to grab a coffee with is extremely value added. Also don’t just ask them, tell them that you want to meet with them and why. The truth is that people want to help you, but they are not going to know exactly your story until you meet face-to-face. At the end of every meeting ask if there is anyone else they can connect you to and ask how you can be of help to them.
Be Ready for Rejection — It is inevitable in any job search. You have to take every rejection with stride and move on to the next one. If you aren’t hearing back from a potential connection or employer, follow up once every week. When you don’t get a job after interviewing, private message the hiring manager and/or the HR manager for thanking them for their time and asking for feedback. The feedback I received would go on to help me improve and tighten my messaging in future interviews.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help — A friend of mine and fellow Olim said something simple yet crucial. That is, “Olim help other Olim.” It wasn’t until the middle of my job-search process that I started sending out requests for help to some of the Whatsapp groups I was in as well as posting in Facebook groups like Olim in Tech. I received many replies from people that I didn’t even know saying, “hey, I’ve been in your shoes before. I would love to help.” Many of these responses led to coffee meetings, job referrals, and new friendships.
About the Author: Jordan Greenberg is a recent Oleh Chadash hailing from Boston in the States. He has worked with enterprise companies all over the US to help streamline their operational processes using SaaS solutions. He is passionate about the Israeli Startup Ecosystem and connecting the right solutions to the right organizations in and outside of Israel.