Finding a new job and embarking on a new job search can be stressful. This is especially true if you lack the required education or experience, have employment gaps, or lack professional references. Fortunately, you can reframe these challenges as positive characteristics that equip you for a position. Demonstrating what you have to offer an employer increases your odds of being contacted for an interview.
The following are four typical job search issues and how to overcome them.
Lack of Experience
If you are starting or changing your career, you need to frame your background in a way that shows what you have to offer employers. You also need to identify and reach out to the companies that may be most open to talking with you.
Look for entry-level positions or temporary roles to get in the door with employers. Determine which hard and soft skills are needed for a job, the type of training offered, and the opportunities for advancement. Make sure you research the company and fit with its culture before applying. This increases the chance they will contact you for an interview.
If you were out of the workforce for an extended time, your resume includes employment gaps. You want to proactively address your gaps in employment to show you were making productive use of your time. Be sure to show that your experiences can be valuable assets for an employer.
You should also include in your cover letter the reason you were unemployed. Also, mention the skills you developed during your time away from the workforce. These may include working long hours, solving problems, and overcoming obstacles. Then, mention your motivation to secure the job. Include how your education, skills, and experience make you well-equipped for the role.
Lack of Education
Look for roles that allow for a combination of education and experience. Even if you do not have a specific certificate or degree, you might have taken an online course or worked in a job that required similar skills. This shows you have the knowledge, training, and learning ability to take on the role.
If you know you want to work in a specific field, you may want to secure the education required to do so. This can increase your odds of landing a position. Additionally, be sure to mention your education plans if applying for jobs simultaneously. You may be able to land an interview.
Limited Professional References
Talk with your former classmates, instructors, colleagues, or managers about your job search. Include your skills, experience, interests, and other relevant information. Ask whether your connections know of any job openings. Perhaps they can introduce you to hiring managers or other professionals in the field.
Additionally, you may want to join a professional association to network in your industry. Adding members to your network can help you set up informational interviews or job interviews.
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