Are you looking for a new job but feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless hurdles?
From tweaking your resume to acing the interview, the job search process can be complex and intimidating. At Insight Recruitment, we understand the uncertainty that comes with a job search and are here to provide advice on how to navigate these common challenges.
In this article, I’ll explore the most common obstacles jobseekers encounter – using findings from my recent LinkedIn polls – and how you can tackle them head-on.
Dealing with rejection and lack of responses
The job search process can be tricky, especially when you’re met with frequent rejections and radio silence. In a recent poll, I asked my LinkedIn network what they thought the biggest challenge was when looking for a job. 73% said dealing with rejection and/or lack of application responses was the most difficult.
Despite your qualifications and experience, being turned down for a job can be disheartening and demotivating. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. So, what can you do to increase your chances of success?
One solution is to follow up with potential employers after sending in your application to show them you are serious about the job and are interested in joining their team. It’s essential to be polite and professional in your emails and thank them for considering you. Also, don’t take rejections personally. Instead of getting stuck in a negative mindset, treat each rejection as a learning experience that can help refine your approach for the next opportunity.
At Insight Recruitment, we know that the job search process can be frustrating, especially when waiting for feedback. That’s why we aim to take the weight off our candidate’s shoulders by keeping track of where you’ve applied, who you’ve interviewed with, and what feedback you’ve received.
Competing against other candidates
Another hurdle that job seekers often face is competition for positions. This was reflected in my LinkedIn poll, with 10% of respondents saying that competition in the job market is a common problem for them.
To stand out from the competition, you must demonstrate to employers that you are the right person for the role. Conduct thorough research of the company and the position before applying. This will give you an edge over candidates who send generic applicants. In addition, taking the time to prepare thoughtful and intelligent questions before the interview shows that you are serious about the job and interested – helping you to shine above other applicants.
At Insight Recruitment, we teach our candidates how to “tell their story,” which is all about taking your skills and experiences and highlighting what makes them relevant to a particular role and why you’re the best person for it. Doing this can provide employers with a wealth of information that will give you an edge over your competitors.
Dealing with uncertainty
Dealing with uncertainty is an inevitable part of the job search process. Not knowing when (or if) you’ll get a job offer or how employers will respond to your application can be stressful.
Remember that this is normal and can be overcome with patience, practice, and research. Instead, focus on what you can control, such as ensuring your resume is current, staying active in your network, and researching prospective employers. To help reduce the anxiety, consider reaching out for support from friends, family, or a specialist recruiter who can guide you through the job search process. The latter can help you stay positive, identify opportunities, and present you with suitable roles.
10% of respondents in my LinkedIn poll cited limited opportunities as one of their biggest job search problems. A lack of opportunities could be due to several factors, such as economic downturns, limited job openings in your area or industry, or simply not having the right qualifications and skills for the role.
To tackle this issue, determine what skills and qualifications you have to offer potential employers, as this will help you find the right jobs. It’s also important to keep your job search broad, so don’t just limit yourself to one industry or field. Consider expanding your search criteria by looking for roles in different locations and industries where your transferable skills may be more highly valued.
Despite this, if you’re still struggling it may be worth reaching out to a specialist recruiter with a network of contacts in your field. For example, at Insight Recruitment, we specialize in ERP, IT, and Biotech roles. This means that if you’re a candidate looking for a role in these industries, we have a wealth of industry contacts and experience to help you find unique positions that may have been previously unavailable to you.
Lack of experience
A lack of experience can be a significant hurdle to securing a job, especially in competitive fields. In fact, 8% of respondents in my LinkedIn poll said that having a lack of experience is one of the biggest roadblocks they face when searching for a job.
Experience takes many forms, however, so it’s crucial to identify and emphasize the skills you already have. Think about any internships, volunteering opportunities, or extracurricular activities you may have undertaken in the past, as these can all provide valuable experience. Additionally, show employers that you are results-oriented and can handle responsibility by offering examples of how you have proactively addressed problems or contributed to successful projects in previous roles.
Negotiating salary is a challenging but necessary part of the job search process. In my LinkedIn poll, 38% of respondents said that salary negotiation was a key area they needed to improve when looking for a new job.
So, why do so many jobseekers struggle with this? For starters, the process of negotiating salary can be a difficult conversation to have, especially if you’re not sure how much money to ask for. It can also be intimidating when you don’t have the relevant information or experience to make a confident salary offer.
The best way to tackle this is to do your research beforehand so that you can enter the negotiation process armed with facts and figures on average salaries in your field. It’s also important to emphasize your value to the company, so demonstrate your skills and value before going into the conversation. And remember, a salary negotiation is a two-way street!
32% of respondents in my LinkedIn poll said that networking was one of the main areas they felt they needed to improve on when conducting a job search.
Why is networking so difficult for many job seekers? It’s often fear of the unknown, especially if you don’t know how to reach out and make contacts effectively. Therefore it’s imperative to plan and research networking opportunities in advance. Attend events where you can meet people from your chosen field or industry, join online groups and forums, and use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with potential contacts in your field. Networking is also a great way to build relationships with industry professionals, exchange knowledge and develop key skills that will help you find a role that is right for you.
Resume and cover letter writing
Writing an effective resume and cover letter is one of the most critical steps to getting a job. However, 17% of respondents in my LinkedIn poll felt that this was an aspect of the job search process they could improve upon.
At Insight Recruitment, we advocate that your resume should genuinely reflect who YOU are – rather than just being a document full of industry buzzwords and career cliches. We believe that the best resumes leave people with a “feeling” about you as if they have just accompanied you on a trip down memory lane filled with warm memories and forgotten triumphs.
So, how can you make your resume stand out? While it’s essential to highlight your experience and skills and tailor your resume for the job you’re applying for, it’s also important to focus on your passions (i.e., what you loved about the role) and ensure that your resume has a natural flow that keeps you reading. If this is an area you struggle with, partnering with a professional recruiter can be valuable. A good recruiter will help you improve your resume by reviewing it with you and offer constructive advice on what works best and what areas need improvement.
Time management is often a challenge for job seekers, particularly those juggling multiple job applications and interviews simultaneously, with 13% of respondents in my recent LinkedIn poll confirming this as an area they felt they needed to work on.
Time management is difficult for many jobseekers because they don’t always know how to prioritize tasks and focus their efforts. Staying organized is key in this situation, as it helps you keep track of your progress on each job application. Creating a timeline lets you plan realistically for how long it takes to complete each task. Additionally, setting aside dedicated blocks of time for job search activities is a great way to stay on track.
The job search journey can be stressful and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilize the tips and resources discussed in this article to make the process easier and maximize your chances of success. However, if you need help, consider contacting a recruitment partner like Insight Recruitment. We use our connections to find job seekers unique positions in industries nationwide. Job titles and business needs are ever evolving, and you can rely on us to keep a finger on the pulse of your market and stay on the lookout for opportunities in your field.