Have you stalled out on the job search highway? Have the molehills on the road begun to look like Mount Everest? The truth is everyone stalls out from time to time; everyone takes a misstep once in awhile. The trick is to realize sooner rather than later that what you are doing isn't working and take steps to get back on track. Below are three common obstacles job hunters encounter and easy-to implement steps for getting around them.
BLACK HOLE RÉSUMÉS
When your résumé goes out and seems never again to see the light of day, check whether it is under whelming or even repelling potential employers.
Problem: The résumé doesn't sell you at the correct level. More often than not, it undersells your capabilities and doesn't highlight the value you would add to an organization.
Solution: Review your résumé for accomplishments. Does it include at least three, and preferably more, specific examples of ways you have contributed to the success of previous organizations? If not, include examples of what you have done to improve service, increase sales, increase efficiency or otherwise added value or made a difference to the organization.
Problem: Your résumé doesn't match the job requirements. Many times job seekers mistakenly assume one résumé fits all. Not true!
Solution: Carefully read the job requirements. Identify the specific skills the job requires. Now tailor your résumé so that it highlights and provides examples of when you have demonstrated the required skills.
Problem: Your résumé is difficult to read. It may be that it contains typos or poor grammar, or perhaps the type is too small or difficult to read.
Solution: Use the Spell check and Grammar check functions on your computer to check for obvious mistakes. Ask a friend with an eye for editing to review your résumé. Ask for feedback on the readability of the size and style of type. The key is to make it easy on the reader's eyes.
CUT FROM THE PACK BEFORE YOUR TIME
Disappointed when you don't get the interview?
Problem: Your résumé generates follow up telephone calls from potential employers but that initial conversation seldom, if ever, goes anywhere.
Solution: Make sure you are prepared to talk with a potential employer before you pick up the telephone. If you are not mentally prepared for a spur-of-the-moment interview, don't pick up the telephone. Let voicemail take the call.
When you do pick up the telephone be prepared to discuss what you have to offer and give clear, concise examples of your on-the-job successes.
DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $100
What if interviews don't result in requests for return engagements?
Problem: Although you get invited to the first round of interviews you seldom, if ever, get invited back.
Solution: Next time, as the interview is winding down ask, "In your opinion, how do my qualifications match your requirements?" This is a bold question but one that you must ask. The interviewer has formed an opinion; it is to your advantage to know what he or she thinks.
If, for example, the interviewer mentions that you are a good match-agree and restate why you think so too. If he or she expresses some hesitation because of a specific and unfounded reason, apologize for giving that impression and offer an example that counters that impression.
If the interviewer expresses hesitation due to a seemingly valid reason or weakness (one that you should be aware of and prepared for in advance) offer an example that mitigates or minimizes the issue. And of course, always, always, always write a thank you note after the interview outlining why you are such a perfect match for the position!
The next time you are faced with résumé and interview roadblocks, take these advantageous alternate routes to get your search back in high gear!
When you are first looking for a job, there are many steps you can take to help find the ideal position – that is, one which fits both your interests and expertise.
First, you’ve got to have clarity in your own mind concerning the type of position you will pursue. That may sound very basic, but for long term job satisfaction, you need to be comfortable with your interests and passions. You also need to know what type of career will best suit your personality.
If, for example, you are a person who likes to move around a lot and be very active while working, then a desk job is not going to suit your needs. Don’t try to fool yourself otherwise. Take a career assessment test before you begin your job search. There are tons available online that can help offer you insight concerning what you may be looking for in a job.
Consider asking friends and family members about traits and skills they see in you. It may be hard to look past your own good qualities, so you may need someone who can honestly assess other characteristics that you might otherwise overlook.
You also need to look at your overall goals. If a large salary is a significant part of your incentive, then you need to take this into consideration. On the other hand, when high pay isn’t your priority and your ambition is happiness instead, then you need to make that aspect of the job search your main focus.
As you investigate a specific company, look at both your long term and short term goals. In past generations, a person would work for a company for his or her entire life, but now people move to different companies and positions within those companies more frequently, so weigh the importance of stability. You could consider working for a smaller company to gain experience or jump right into a large corporation while starting off on a lower rung of the ladder. Either way, take charge of your own future right from the beginning.
Finally, try your best to determine how you might fit into a business. If you have a particular company in mind, you should meet with some of the department heads to see which may fit best and match your passion and experience. Make sure that any company under consideration offers a balance between work and personal life and will stand behind and work with you. If at any time you are not satisfied with your career, you can change it. You need to make it happen for yourself.