Four Reasons for Job Search Struggles – Managing your Career Assets

By Ken Moore

Why is it that nearly every job seeker puts ten times the energy and effort into the job search than what is given back in return? To speak in business terms (and running a strong job search should be treated like running a business), where’s the return-on-investment (ROI)?

Just having hope is not enough:

  • There’s hope of getting an interview after submitting a resume
  • There’s hope of getting a job offer after having an interview
  • There’s hope of hearing from someone soon
  • There’s hope that the economy will get better

It’s NOT the economy. Good companies are hiring all the time. So, there needs to be strategic action behind all of that career and job search hope. If too much time is spent just hoping and not enough time or effort is given to energizing or feeding the hope, then there is only false-hope. To feed energy to hope requires overcoming 4 key reasons why a job search would struggle in the first place, causing no return on your investment.

Reason #4: Not demonstrating skills and past results to employers during the interview process 

The interview is like a product demonstration. A job candidate is the product and the employer is looking to hire that person. To make a decision, the employer needs to clearly see and understand what future value the job seeker offers.

Think about receiving a product demonstration or a sales pitch – it could even happen while walking through a local hardware store or garden center. If the benefits of having a specific product are not highlighted, then why would anyone buy the product? The same holds true for an employer looking to hire someone for a specific job.

The employer needs to clearly understand the benefits of hiring someone. That communication must come from the job candidate during the interview process. Also, there must be rapport and trust-building taking place during the process in order to convince the employer to make a job offer.

Reason #3: Not providing referral contacts the best or right information to effectively provide that referral to an employer for consideration

Giving key contacts the right information is like training a sales staff to properly sell the products. Ever received a sales call where the “messenger” did a poor job of representing a product that led to the decision of not buying the product? The same is true when a contact is acting on behalf of a job candidate. The right words need to be provided in order to trigger action from an employer.

If a job seeker is passively marketed, then the chance of an employer fully understanding the value of setting up an interview is extremely slim. Getting a network of contacts to share the right information with employers is important.

Reason #2: Not providing results of accomplishments in a resume

A resume is like a product sales brochure. It is the first thing that a potential employer will see about a job candidate and there are no second chances to make a first impression. There are half-baked advertisements and television commercials that leave people wondering, “huh, what was that?” This happens with resumes more often than it should, and when it does happen, it is not memorable at all. The message is lost and very quickly forgotten.

If a resume comes across as a disorganized dump of your thoughts that leaves a reader confused, then what kind of message does that send to an employer? What are the odds of a poorly written resume inspiring an employer to make a phone call to set up an interview? The odds are not very good.

Reason #1: Little to no focused time has been spent creating the career history story

A career history story is developed so that a resume and the interview message fully explain the value a job candidate can bring to an employer – which therefore resolves reasons #2 through #4 listed above.

The top reason job searches struggle is because job seekers do a poor job of communicating the results of what has been achieved in the past, which is the only indication employers have of what can be done in the future. Poorly communicating achievements in a resume, to networking contacts, and in the interview is a show stopper.

When explaining and talking about things that were accomplished, without quantifying the results of what was done, leaves a job seeker half the way home. It’s like saying a certain task can be done, but a push or boost is going to be needed along the way.

Manage Career Assets

Take time to develop a stronger career history storyline and message with quantified results. Do this task before writing a resume, talking to contacts, or going on interviews. Think of this as managing the assets of a career that are then used in a resume as well as verbally during an interview.

Too often, the details of career accomplishments are lost over time, and the strength of the story diminishes as well. This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a job seeker to explain the future value to be offered to a potential employer. Document and track career milestones just as the physical assets of technology are managed.

By follow these simple planning steps, the rest of the job search will take care of itself.

Go ahead, feed energy to your job search hope today and manage important career assets. It’s well worth the effort. It will also show up in the paycheck!

About the Author

Ken Moore is the CEO of ResumeBridge Inc.