Are you trying to figure out what is going wrong with your job search? Are you running into roadblocks that you don’t know how to navigate?
Here are some common traps that job seekers find themselves in. Read on to find out what you can do to keep your job search moving forward and land that next position.
1) Your network is thin and you have exhausted your existing contacts.
Since most people find their new positions through networking, if you have a small network and have already exhausted your contacts, you need to expand your network in order to find more job opportunities. Follow these tips to increase your network:
Ask for referrals to people that you don’t know. Ask the people in your current network to pass your name along to people in their networks who may know of openings that would suit your skill set. Then set up phone or in-person meetings with these new contacts to talk about what you have to offer. Be sure to have your resume ready if you are asked for it.
Look up former bosses and colleagues on LinkedIn and connect to them. You can use the Advanced Search function on LinkedIn to find people that you previously worked with. You can search by company name to find work associates, and you can also search by people’s names. This is a quick way to grow your network on LinkedIn and update these contacts on what you have been doing and what you are looking for now.
2) You don’t land interviews at all or you get responses for positions outside of your field.
If you are not getting calls for interviews, it means that your resume is not speaking directly to the needs of employers in your field. For one thing, your resume could be missing keywords. Recruiters search their resume databases by keywords, so if a resume does not contain that keywords that recruiters are looking for, that resume will probably not be reviewed, no matter how qualified the applicant is. Look at several vacancy announcements for your field and see which phrases come up again and again. These are the keywords that you need to incorporate into your resume.
Your resume should highlight duties as well as accomplishments. Job seekers often pull out their position descriptions and use them as the basis for a description of their work experience. But seldom do they point out accomplishments on the resume, which are what distinguish them from similarly qualified candidates. Other employees with similar job titles will have similar experience, but no one can duplicate your accomplishments exactly. It is a good idea to go back to old performance appraisals to find accomplishments that your boss has highlighted.
3) You receive callbacks for interviews, but then the interviewer says that you are overqualified.
Anticipate the employer’s concerns. If the employer considers you to be overqualified, the main concern from the employer’s perspective is that you are taking this position as a place holder, and as soon as something better comes along, you will leave. You can allay this concern by showing your stable work history. If you have a track record of staying with employers for a minimum of two or three years at a time, this can bolster your case that you won’t cut and run.
Show genuine interest in the position and organization. Before the interview, take a look at the company’s value statement and mission statement on the website. Then you will be in a position to talk enthusiastically about how your values align with the organization’s. That way the employer will realize that you are interested in that company specifically, not just that you are desperate and looking for anything.
4) You generate interviews, but you don’t get offers.
If this is your situation, then you need help with your interview skills. You may be highly qualified, and clearly your resume was good enough for you to be called in for an interview, but you are not able to seal the deal. Practice some of the commonly asked interview questions with a career coach or friend so that you can improve your interview techniques.
5) You are being lowballed in the salary negotiation process.
If you are given a low offer, don’t just walk away. Negotiate based on how well your qualifications match the requirements of the position. An employer will not be impressed if you try to negotiate based on what you made previously. The current job market is filled with qualified candidates. However, you are in a strong position to negotiate a higher salary if you are pretty much a perfect match for the position. The best thing to do is to reiterate what the position requires and restate the fact that you have exactly what they are looking for. Then you can say, “My salary research shows that the going rate for someone with my qualifications and experience is between $X and $Y.” This makes your request for a higher salary objective instead of subjective.
Is your job search failing? Do you need help landing that next position? Get professional assistance with your job search by calling 877-743-9521 or send an email to email@example.com.