The unemployment rate has dropped a bit, but that is little comfort to the millions of Americans who are still looking for work. There are challenges that go beyond the simple fact that there are fewer jobs and more people looking for them. Take these tips on facing those challenges, and get a fresh start on your job search.
Extended unemployment. It’s sad but true: the longer you have been out of work, the less likely you are to get hired. Employers worry that if you have been out of the game for four, five, six months or more, you have lost your ability to remain flexible on the job or keep up with changes in the business. One way to combat this challenge is to stay up to date on your field. Learn any new software programs that come out, follow the new developments in your area of expertise and continue networking with your professional friends and colleagues so you are aware of what’s happening.
Overqualified. It’s okay to feel a little desperate about needing a job, any job. You are probably applying for positions that are beneath your skill level and expertise. Employers will notice this and hesitate to hire you, fearing you will abandon the position as soon as something better comes along or the economy recovers. Put them at ease by acknowledging that the position seems like a step back for you, and put a positive spin on it by discussing your interest in brushing up on skills you have not needed for a while. Talk about how much you admire the company you are interviewing with, and how you would be happy to get a foot in the door with the intention of growing within that company.
Nothing is advertised. The classified section in the Sunday paper is looking weak, and CareerBuilder has the same commission sales job advertised week after week. The best opportunities are probably not advertised. Print out your resume, put on a suit and start going door to door. A friend of mine just got three job offers from companies that no one knew was hiring just because he walked through the front door ready to talk about his qualifications.