You decided to upgrade your career. You’ve spent weeks, maybe months, configuring your online brand and job search profiles, updating and optimizing your resume, and had some initial success. Then your job search stalled out. These are the biggest reasons that job seekers lose momentum:
- Poor interview performance – If you don’t perform well in interviews – whether they are phone, video or in person on site interviews, you need to get assistance immediately. How do you know if you are performing well? Conversion rate AKA the percentage of time you advance after an interview event. If you aren’t advancing, it’s a red flag you cannot ignore. Your conversion rate for jobs for which you more than meet minimum qualifications should be over 80-85%.
- Insufficient Applications – If you don’t apply online, you won’t be considered for new jobs. It’s simple. However, many clients continue to put all of their hopes on one or two jobs, without assessing the risk, the number of other qualified candidates, the competence of the hiring manager and the likelihood that the organization will be willing to hire a real person rather than wait for perfect. Create job agents to push notifications to you every day to motivate you to maintain your online application apply rate. Remember, you are only applying to roles for which you are truly qualified and your resume absolutely shows in the first three paragraphs that you are a killer candidate.
- Off the Record References – If you are doing really great and suddenly they go silent, MIA, cold, non responsive, send the horrible rejection email out of the blue without a phone call, tell you that they are pursuing other candidates after telling you explicitly that you would be scheduled for the next step, it’s definitely a possibility that the hiring manager went rogue and conducted some backdoor references. It’s a heinous practice that is not legally defensible, potentially discriminatory and sadly, not predictive of job performance. My advice is to go into your LinkedIn privacy settings, hide your network and most importantly, remove connections from anyone you feel is unstable or malicious enough to slander you. It’s a sad reality but you need to plan for it.
- Your Compensation Requirement Is Too HIgh – If you are getting interest from employers but then they keep on telling you that you are above the range, you have a problem. Remember, Glassdoor and salary.com aren’t perfect. Many times company compensation ranges are different and you have to have a plan to deal with it. You may have to accept a lower base and a more leveraged plan with a performance based bonus. It’s good to give your Recruiter a range but ensure that it is not a huge range or else you risk looking crazy. A 20k range is fine.
- Your Address on Your Resume Isn’t in the Local Area – Ensure that you look like you actually live in the local market. That’s why you may want to just put the general city and state on your resume. In LA, people move all of the time within the metro area to be able to feasibly get to their new job. By just putting the metro area on your resume, you may be able to remove some barriers. However, it’s critical to put your metro area and state on your resume. It’s a red flag if you completely omit it.
- You Do Not Meet Minimum Educational Requirements – If you don’t have a degree or haven’t finished your 4 year degree and your job typically requires it, I don’t know what you are waiting for. You are literally potentially walking away from a half a million dollars in salary over the course of your career. It makes no sense to stay in a field that requires a 4 year undergraduate degree from an accredited university and fight with Recruiters for years because you have completed 2.5 years. Just do it.