Written by Ismail Abdur-Rahman, CEO
You know, I often have clients approach me from various industries, all with similar concerns: the unpredictability of the global economy makes it difficult to find and sustain gainful employment for many people around the world.
Global economic performance notwithstanding, we have to assume that there are some available jobs out there that some people will be offered. Understanding that, there are still people who are otherwise qualified who remain unemployed. But why?
In my experience, there are several reasons good candidates remain unemployed during a lengthy job search. However, in the interest of time and space, I will highlight only a few here.
1. Swimming in the wrong pond.
Sometimes the convenience of searching job sites and internet listings
comes at the expense of making meaning contact with points of contact responsible for recruiting for the thousands of jobs that are not
posted on the internet. Trying to establish relationships with potential
employers through networking events like seminars and workshops will expand the pool of available jobs that you are aware of, theoretically increasing the likelihood of landing one.
2. Jack of all trades, master of what?
A consequence of exclusively searching for opportunities on the
internet is that the same blase resume gets sent to every company
with an available position. Not tailoring your resume to the specific job
opening is an egregious mistake that tends to tell recruiters that you are not nearly as diligent professional as you imagine yourself to be. One of the worst things I've seen candidates do is list every skill they have and every minute of professional experience they've accrued, irrespective of whether those skills and experiences suit the job
I'm hiring for. Personally, when I'm reviewing resumes for job openings, I trash roughly 75% of them that show no indication of a specific focus on the job I'm hiring for or my company. A focused search will unequivocally lead to better results.
3. Living too high up the food chain.
A very real problem for employers is receiving resumes from candidates who are simply overqualified - yes, that is really a thing. While at first blush that might sound like a laughable objection to an applicant's candidacy, think about it from the employer's perspective. If I am hiring a technical support supervisor, and I have a candidate who's graduated from MIT with a master's degree in electrical engineering, how long will he be satisfied providing support for basic network issues? The reality is that in the absence of an appropriate professional challenge - to say nothing of corresponding compensation - this candidate will lack the motivation to add any
value to my company, and his lack of enthusiasm could prove to be cancerous for young associates just beginning their careers. The reality is that as soon as my MIT graduate finds a better opportunity, he will leave me looking for a replacement, often without giving
appropriate professional notice.
Like I said, there are myriad reasons good candidates struggle to find appropriate roles, and these are just a few of them. Of course, in a volatile market, even the best candidates can struggle to find a job. Here's a bit of unsolicited advice: continuously upskill, as the average skill set has a useful life of 2-3 years before it needs to be upgraded to keep pace with new market developments.