Many job seekers have similar problems that hinder their job search and push back their career progress. Funny enough, the main deterrent that prevents people from achieving the results they desire from their job search is self-fulfilling: Paranoia that they will not get a job coupled with a steeply declining level of self-confidence can be a vicious circle.
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Here are some common situations that lead to a rough job search. These challenges are mentally wearing on even the toughest personalities. Along with the problems, I’ve proposed logical, proven solutions.
1. Potential employee has been out of work for 3+ months
The top mistake that job seekers make when they are out of work and it kills me inside is that they don’t spend the time bettering themselves. Job seekers with big employment gaps don’t necessarily need big resume gaps. Just because they aren’t working doesn’t mean they can’t be doing something resume-worthy.
When laid off or fired, job seekers should take a week or two to do some research to narrow down the field they wish to be in. Keep one or two backup fields for risk management measures.
Job seekers need to take the 8-10 hours a day that they would be working and put it into learning everything there is to know about their target fields. Then, when asked questions such as, “Have you used x software?” they can answer, “Ten hours a day for the last 70 days.”
Industry jargon is huge both on the resume and during the interviews.
2. Potential employee had multiple jobs over the past few years
Since the resume objective is the first thing an online resume reader judges, the job seeker should be candid and upfront. A straightforward group of sentences such as this should get the resume reader to warm up:
“I intend to find a home, not a job. I have been unfortunate enough to be in two circumstances where _________. I work hard enough to merit a strong career within a company that is competitive, entrepreneurial and fun.”
For job seekers who have bounced around, positions larger companies are probably not worth chasing. If the job seeker has poor job stability throughout their career, they must find an employer who thinks outside of the box.
3. Potential employee had a poor compensation plan at their last position and doesn’t know what salary to ask for
The biggest mistake that underpaid job seekers make is trying to defend themselves and their abilities against the low compensation their previous company paid.
Although most job seekers let employers get away with murder in the initial offer, having a low base salary does hinder the employment seeker’s value on the market for the next job search.
The best remedy for what could be a cycle of poor pay is for the job seeker to get more than 1 or 2 offers at the same time. Let the companies bid, leveraging the numbers the entire way through.
A lower base salary at one’s current position is no justification for a lower offer than competing applicants receive. The two numbers are mutually exclusive.
4. Potential employee was fired from their last position
Job seekers must be canny here. It is important to keep the reason they were let go as factual as possible, and allow the hiring party to make the call. Here are some key points to cover if these realistically despict the reason for job loss:
– Talk about an inherent personality clash from day one.
– Talk about getting in trouble for thinking outside of the box.
– Talk about the discrepancies, if any, between the way the job was described during the interview and what the job was in practice.
– Describe no marketing support behind you. Marketing support is critical.