Conducting a job search can be one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life. Whether you are trying to land your first job, or are employed but looking for a change, the demands of a job search can be overwhelming.
While every search is unique to the job seeker’s goals and situation, some job search challenges are universal regardless of the industry, position, or skill requirements.
Top 3 Job Search Challenges
Job Search Challenge #1: No response to application
A resume or application is submitted, but does not receive a response. Being ignored feels like a job application has disappeared into a black hole – and when one application after another simply vanishes into the job search netherworld, a job seeker’s energy and confidence are understandably damaged.
But consider the numbers: On average, 250 resumes are submitted for each open position and by some estimates, 75% of those never make it past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An estimated 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS to screen candidates for open positions, and an estimated 75% of resumes are rejected by an ATS before ever reaching a person at the company.
Learning to write your resume for an Applicant Tracking System can help to make your resume stand out from the crowd. By tailoring your resume with the right formatting and relevancy, candidates can more easily moved forward in the application process.
Job Search Challenge #2: The years of experience paradox
Many jobs, even some entry-level jobs, require a certain number of years of previous work experience. However, for many job seekers just entering a competitive job market or looking to make a career change, the required years of experience paradox can feel impossible to surmount.
How, after all, is a person supposed to gain relevant job experience without ever being given a chance to accrue work experience in that job? In this scenario, a job search strategy needs to be creative.
Even without the required work experience, a job candidate can craft an application that proves they are qualified for the job by focusing on their skill sets and demonstrated acumen fulfilling responsibilities a particular position requires.
Never underestimate the value of the skill sets you learned from waiting tables or working in the military. Knowing how to organize workflows, handle stressful situations, and be a collaborative team member are invaluable to companies in every industry.
For many technology and creative jobs, a portfolio that showcases the work an individual has created should be just as powerful – if not more powerful – than a resume that simply states where and when a person worked at particular companies. Savvy employers seek employees who can help their companies advance and grow towards a successful future.
Job Search Challenge #3: Career changes and employment gaps
People change. It’s part of growing older and understanding yourself, and the world, in new ways. Though there is an enduring stigma to career changes and employment gaps, many experienced hiring managers understand that career gaps often mean personal growth, not a lack of commitment, aptitude, or professional stamina.
Career changes and employment gaps that stem from personal situations -- such as parenthood or moving back home to care for an aging parent -- can be easily explained in face-to-face interviews but getting into that interview can be a challenge
In other scenarios, employees have employment gaps due to unexpected circumstances. Sometimes a person ends up in the wrong job, with the wrong boss, or at the wrong company at the wrong time.
Unforeseen situations are more common than most people admit, and there is much truth to the saying “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” For employees who end up back in the job search after cutting ties with an employer, face-to-face time with a prospective employer is critical.
Enlisting the resources and help of a staffing agency or recruiting firm is an excellent way to get in the door and explain to potential bosses and employers the details of your career change or employment gaps. As human beings, we simply relate to other better when we are able to shake their hand, look them in the eyes, and listen to their story.
Staffing and recruiting firms have the networks that job seekers need to land interviews that offer them the most potential for advancing their careers. Let’s face it, no employee has ever thanked an ATS for offering them a chance to shine.
Overcome Job Search Challenges With Sparks Group Recruiting Agency
Sparks Group helps job seekers with every aspect of their job search, from showcasing overlooked skills and talents to networking with professionals and employers who can provide opportunities to candidates at every stage of their search -- and career.
Get in touch with a Sparks Group representative or visit our job board to explore opportunities that will accelerate your journey to a position and employer that appreciate your value, potential, and future.