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Seven Road Blocks

By John Daugherty

There are seven “Road Blocks” to an effective job search in today’s job market.  While the job search process has many different aspects, there is one factor that affects all individuals at some point.  In order for an employer to be interested in you, they must identify you as the very best candidate to satisfy an unfilled company need.  Each person being interviewed must be viewed as a potential solution to the company’s problems.  Companies need to determine if what they will pay you is right for the level of return they will be receiving from your services.  They need to be able to associate your contribution of skill and expertise to the bottom line. roadblock

1.  The first road block is the economics of the search itself.  How long does it take to become reemployed?  The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that for every $10,000 of income you expect to earn, it will take one month of search time.  This is, of course, if you do the entire process yourself.  Remember, if you are currently unemployed, the longer you take to become re-employed, the more money you lose overall over the length of your job search.

2.  The second road block has to do with YOU.  The employer’s perception of you, and what you have to offer, is the most important aspect of your entire career search process.  In today’s job market, a candidate must have impeccable credentials; their marketing campaign has to be well defined.  Your materials must pass the 15 second rule; the time it takes most interviewers to look at your resume and related materials.  If they find something that catches their attention, you may get an interview.  If they don’t, they simply hit the delete key on their keyboard and you are out of the running.  In fact, many of the larger companies are using software that screens resumes and eliminates the ones that don’t have adequate keywords they are seeking.

3.  Marketing yourself is the third road block.  Far too many people feel they are skilled at doing this.  They are out of touch with the real market and/or haven’t done this in quite some time.  Just because an individual has risen to the top of their current or last employer’s organization, doesn’t mean they know how to get in the door of the next employer.  It takes professional assistance to accomplish this task even for the seasoned job seeker.

4. Getting the interview is a fourth critical road block to the entire process.  It doesn’t matter how terrific one’s resume or cover letter looks or the number and quality of references one has to offer.  It all depends on getting in front of the right people and communicating your value proposition.  There are so many sources of job leads out there that go nowhere.  Only about 25% of the visible job leads are ever available to the average job seeker. The remainder of the job market is only found through other means.  Learning how to conduct an effective “back-door interview” is essential to not getting hung up in the gate-keeper’s office.  As too many people are finding out, the human resources office is of little assistance to them in seeking interviews.

5.  A fifth road block is the interview process itself.  A successful candidate must learn how to get and keep control of the interview.  You must learn how to eliminate the competition while in the interview.  The majority of individuals are ill prepared for the interview, their focus is too loose and their skills are out of shape for the rigors of the process.  The only person that can succeed in the interview is the candidate.  They cannot lean on their resume, or references to help them.  Getting the interview in the first place is a gigantic step, and far too many people drop the ball just when it’s handed to them.  Learning how to conduct an effective interview is critical to success.

6.  A salary negotiation, along with the settlement of fringe benefits and other related expenses, is the sixth road block for individuals.  It is estimated that people leave anywhere from 15% to 25% of their potential salary and benefit package on the table when they accept a new position.  This can never be recovered through after-employment negotiations.  If you don’t get this settled before accepting the position, it’s lost forever.  It is very frustrating to take a new position, only to find out some time later that you will be under paid for your services when compared to other employees of the same firm or within the industry in general.

7.  And finally, the last road block has to do with what you do after you have become employed.  The follow-through is critical to on-going success in the job.  Your career coach can provide you with continued support and assistance as you seek promotions, reviews, relocation requests of your employer, reorganizations, downsizing, etc. 

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