We’ve all been there, you are searching and searching but can’t seem to land a new position. It feels scary, like a dead end is near. If you have a family, your stress levels are higher. With over 80% of American’s not having more than $500 in their savings account, it can be a treacherous time. So what do you do when you feel like you’re at odds with the process of landing a job?
Know that finding placement is getting harder
In today’s job market, especially in the US, there is this notion that hiring managers should “always be hiring”. It makes for a pretty terrible experience for us, the job seekers. But what employers decided to do is keep open positions on the market, even though they don’t have any actual intention on filling the open positions. Sounds crazy, right?
For the employer, in their eyes, when they need someone to fill a job function, it often takes too long. What they decided to do instead was, always be looking. This means, some employers have no real intention of hiring. They can’t actually come right out and say that to you as a potential employee. Because it would ruin the entire process. But it’s a tactic more frequently used behind the scenes.
Key takeaway: realize that it may not be anything wrong with you, your resume, your interview, but the employer’s intent to fill that open position.
What you can do to combat not being able to find employment
There are four things you can do to combat the issue of not being able to find employment. They can be broken down as the following:
- Increase the amount of jobs you are applying for
- Search and apply for alternative job functions
- Tap into your network
- Offer freelance or contractor services
Increase the amount of jobs you are applying for
The more jobs you apply for, the greater your chances are of being interviewed. Increasing the number of job opportunities you are applying for will single-handedly be the best way to increase the chances of being hired. If you only applied for 10-20 open positions, it might not be enough.
Forbes estimates that you should aim for roughly 200 applications before you see an offer of employment. Use tools like LinkedIn to search for your job and location under their jobs section to get an idea of open positions you can apply for.
Search and apply for alternative job functions
This is often an overlooked technique, let’s say you are an IT Manager and you are applying for IT Management positions. If you aren’t having luck with that particular search, try moving laterally in the job function. One that will still play a major part in your career path and that you are well suited for.
For example, IT Management could easily transition to Project Management in the technology sector. You could apply to that position and have relatively the same salary potential. Not sure how well you’d do in an interview for a Project Manager position? Check out this article.
Tap into your network
You hear this advice often, but it’s the one that holds the most truth. A friend of mine who was an executive in the software industry, was having a difficult time finding a position. He interviewed at many software organizations and still fell short. He landed a position, but funny enough, it came from a friend he had in his adult soccer league. The most important part about tapping into your network is being direct. Ask, “Do you know anyone who is hiring?” or “Do you know anyone who could benefit from the skills I have?” and keep asking!
Of course, this isn’t to say you should shove your resume down their throats. Right now, you’re just asking if they know of any jobs available.
Offer freelance or contract services
Even if a company is hiring, they may be more willing to work with someone on a freelance or contract basis. And this could provide you the opportunity to earn an income while searching for something more permanent. It’s also a good way to avoid employment gaps in your resume.
Companies love hiring freelancers because it gives them the flexibility to test the job function and collect an expense on the business, which is tax deductible. Because of this, you’d be surprised at how well received you may be when you offer your talents or job function on a freelance basis.
Don’t hesitate to ask companies you’ve already applied to as well. This would show your commitment to wanting to work at the company. It could be another way for you to secure full-time employment if they appreciate your work.
I hope these insights to help you in your search. It’s important that you don’t’ let the results of your search impact your confidence or self-image. That could potentially carry with you when you interview and result in more difficulty in being hired. There’s many reasons for why you may not have been offered the position. From the role changing, to someone being hired internally (meaning an existing employee taking this job function over) or the position not being needed any longer. Majority case is that you did everything correctly and it’s simply bad timing. Keep your head high, stay confident, follow the steps above and you’ll find income and placement soon enough.
Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive in the technology sector. He’s helped to build some of the worlds greatest teams at some of the fastest growing Companies in Silicon Valley. You can find out more about him and see more content like this at Algrim.co.