Getting Past Job Search Roadblocks

July 22nd, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »

job search roadblocks

The job search can be an arduous journey that, unfortunately for the average job seeker, contains numerous unknowns. What happens to my resume after I send it to human resources? Who does the hiring manager consult with before making the final decision of who gets the position? A lot of what goes on behind the scenes can leave you feeling incapable of controlling your own destiny, but there are several ways to get around even the sturdiest job search roadblocks.

Here are a few of the most common roadblocks the average job seeker can run into on the road to employment:

You cannot find companies that are hiring for your desired position

This is one of the hardest roadblocks to overcome, but just because companies do not have open positions that you are qualified for doesn’t mean that you should abandon the hunt.

Ways to get around the roadblock

• Don’t be afraid to contact companies even if they don’t appear to be hiring at the moment. Building a rapport with companies is a surefire way to send your name to the top of the list should a position open up at a later date.

• Is the company hiring for a similar position, or for a different department? A common way to eventually get your dream job is to enter a company in a different department, get to know your co-workers and human resources workers, then transfer once a position opens up.

• Companies in your city may not be hiring, but there is an entire country filled with businesses that could be looking for someone like you. It may not be your first inclination but it’s not always a bad idea to consider relocating for a job.

• Perhaps it is time to go back to school or obtain those certifications you have been putting off for years. The more skills and certifications you have, the more marketable of a candidate you will become.

You aren’t getting any interviews

If you have been sending out dozens of resumes but do not hear back from any companies (and those that do aren’t interested in bringing you in for an interview) you may not be sending out an attractive enough resume. Statistically speaking, the average hiring manager only looks over each resume for six seconds, which doesn’t leave much time for you to impress them.

Ways to get around the roadblock

• Don’t undersell yourself in your resume. Make sure the skills and successes really demonstrate your capabilities. Make sure to specifically highlight your successes, especially the ones that will be attractive to the company.

• Your cover letter may not be specific enough. Do you truly understand the goals of the company as well as the role you will play in helping them get there?

• Keep in mind that the longer a job posting is up, the more resumes that will be received. It is actually possible to apply too late for a position. By the time you have submitted a resume you may be up against hundreds if not thousands of resumes. If you are applying on a well-known job site such as Monster, you could be competing against hundreds of thousands of job seekers.

You get the interview but still aren’t offered the job

This is because the game isn’t played on paper. All your years of experience and skills won’t guarantee you the job, just as the better team in the playoffs isn’t guaranteed to win. This is why they play the game. You have to beat out your unseen opponents by outperforming them during the interview. Just because you look great on paper does not guarantee you the job. You have to sell yourself to the company and convince them, through your experiences and success, why you are the best person to fill this position.

Ways to get around the roadblock

• Make sure you know everything there is to know about the company before the interview. The more you know about the direction the company wants to go in, the better prepared you will be to tell them how you can help them get there.

• Every hiring manager is different. How well do you know the person that will be deciding your fate with a certain company? Find out who will be conducting the interview and do some preliminary research. Look for them on the company website, LinkedIn, etc.

• Make sure you are following up on your interviews. A well placed thank you note can be the difference between a call back and radio silence.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of Nathan Rein via Flickr