The Top 3 Roadblocks in the Job Search Process (and How To Overcome Them)
Published: Apr 12, 2018 By Porschia Parker
Many life science professionals struggle during the job search process. They spend hours online looking for positions; then submit their resume, only to have it fall into a black hole. Most people never hear anything back from the organizations they apply to. Over time, this leads to feelings of rejection that often becomes apathy toward the entire job search process.
It’s easy to start believing that your age, gender, and/or ethnicity are holding you back from attaining your dream job. It is unfortunate that in some cases, these circumstantial factors do make a difference in your ability to land the position you want. But you must keep looking, applying, and bringing your best to every opportunity.
In the competitive job market we have today, its not uncommon for people to apply for almost one hundred jobs and only receive a handful of interviews. There are ways to improve the response rate you receive and to land more interviews. In order to maximize your time and energy, avoid these top three roadblocks during the job search process.
Outdated or Underwhelming Professional Branding
If you haven’t addressed the importance of developing a highly converting resume and a cover letter that sets you apart from other candidates, it can cause your job search to drag on for many months or years. As we all know, technology is integrated into almost every process today. If your resume doesn’t have enough keywords that are relevant to the role you’re applying for, then odds are your submission won’t even be viewed by a human being. Instead, you’ll just receive an automated response saying that you’re not a fit with what the company is looking for.
Having a professionally written resume by someone who understands using relevant keywords can help your submission get past the technology filters. Using your cover letter to highlight your accomplishments and address how you are unique, can also go a long way in being noticed. You need documents that are formatted to help demonstrate your value to the reader in less than ten seconds.
Eighty seven percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to evaluate candidates. Your LinkedIn profile can determine if you are even considered for an interview, so make sure your profile is complete. It’s also important to make sure that your LinkedIn profile utilizes the appropriate keywords.
Not Having a Job Search Strategy
It’s very common for professionals to utilize different tactics that produce little results in their job search. They might be doing things sporadically and changing their search approach from week-to-week or month-to-month. It might sound something like this: you apply for jobs online for a few weeks, then decide to reach out to contacts on LinkedIn to see if their company is hiring, and afterwards decide to begin going to industry networking events instead. If you don’t stick to a few consistent, impactful activities, you will start spinning your wheels because you aren’t seeing results or getting interviews.
Having a schedule of job search activities that you put on your calendar is a good place to start. This allows you to have reminders for maintaining consistency and continue taking action on a daily basis. It’s vital that you follow up with everyone you know or meet who could help on your search including professional contacts, recruiters, and interviewers.
Not Having a Support System
Most people aren’t even aware of how a lack of support can affect their job search goals. “In the absence of support, environment always wins,” is a common saying in the personal and professional development space. Think about when you have the best intentions of doing tasks and taking action, but life gets in the way. You have obligations to your family, friends, and other social groups. These cause many professionals to go on a “job search hiatus” for weeks or months. As a result, they start feeling stuck, like they will never land a position.
Cultivate a strong support system of mentors, coaches, and/or advisors. These are the individuals who will motivate and inspire you to keep going through an intense job search. Oftentimes, your family members don’t provide the type or depth of support you need because they have their own past experiences and bias. It’s also important to stop spending time with negative people, or significantly decrease your time with them. Their thoughts, opinions, and actions could have a negative effect on your mindset and job search.
Overcoming these three roadblocks in the job search process can help you generate more job leads, get selected for more interviews, and decrease the amount of time it takes to secure a job offer.
Which roadblock has affected you most in the past? How can you find a way to address it and land a position faster?
Porschia Parker is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. She empowers ambitious professionals to add $10K on average to their salaries.