The job market is teeming with applicants putting their best foot forward to secure a job. On the other hand, employers seek candidates with impressive qualifications, laudable achievements, and a positive personality that will fit easily in a company’s culture. It would help if you exhibited employable traits to land your dream job. However, certain obstacles or barriers might prevent you from doing so. The good news is there are ways to overcome them and get the job.
- Gaps in employment
This gap can happen if you take time off to raise a family, recover from a long illness or go to school. If this is a potential barrier, you can overcome it by being honest with your potential employer. Share the reason for your employment gap on your resumé or in a cover letter. It would be best to keep it professional and not overshare. While you wait to get your foot at the door, don’t stop networking with people in your field. It will keep you up-to-date and improve your knowledge about your industry. Doing this will come in handy the next time you go before a group of interviewers. It is essential to tweak your resumé as well. Hire a professional to help you fill the gaps strategically.
- Social media content
It is no secret that your social media content will influence your potential employer’s decision to hire you. It might seem like a stretch, especially when it has to do with your life outside the office. However, one wrong picture or comment can crush your dreams of landing a job in one swift move. Consider doing a social media cleanup if you plan on entering the job market again. Monitor your online reputation by finding out how much damaging information is on the internet. You can either enter your name on Google and see how much incriminating information comes up or hire a professional to help you manage your online reputation. When the cleanup is done, create new content that portrays your positive character.
- Insufficient skills and training
If you don’t have the funds or time to apply for a higher qualification, you can apply for online certifications that will boost your job potential. Strengthen your skillset with free online resources. Attend seminars, workshops, and training to learn and network. Find a career mentor who will guide you on the skills to develop and the career path to take. You can also sign up as a volunteer in any field to help you gain transferable skills that might benefit your new job. Besides, volunteering looks great on your resume, and it will give you on-the-job examples for your interview.
- Lack of experience
Looking for a job when you lack experience can be challenging. This can be a major barrier if you are a new graduate or switching careers. However, you can overcome it by customizing your resume creatively to highlight any transferable skill you have. Identify and reach out to companies who are open to having you onboard. Focus on entry-level jobs and internships and prioritize gaining as much training as possible. Consider matching your unique skills and experiences to the right company or industry.
- Criminal record
Employers are looking for qualified employees, and one with a criminal record might not be a top pick. If you are worried that your criminal record might be a barrier, there is a way to overcome it. You will need to run a background check before sending out your job application letter. Highlight the changes you have made since you were convicted. Did you take short courses or volunteer in an NGO? If you have completed your time at the rehabilitation center, mention it. During the interview, briefly describe what transpired and the lessons you learned. Let your employer know that you are determined to impact society positively. You can get your criminal records expunged, but this would depend on your charges and the state or country, so keep this in mind. Get a professional to help you remove mugshot from Google.
Age discrimination is real and can be a big barrier to employment worldwide. Whether you are a younger or older job seeker, avoid drawing attention to your age in your resumé. Don’t add your graduation dates if they go beyond 10 years. You can mention your up-to-date certifications and leadership experiences. Employment dates cannot be scratched off because they are essential. The best you can do is list dates in the past 10-15 years. Instead of being downcast about your age, celebrate your strengths and experience, and consider yourself ‘seasoned.’ Network and share your knowledge with other younger peers in the industry. This will set you up as an industry expert. Become a consultant, speak at seminars and conferences, and mentor others to make you a future asset to employees.
- Getting fired
Getting fired can be emotionally overwhelming and embarrassing to explain to your next employer whether it was your fault or not. Getting fired can make you lose confidence and become nervous. You might even feel like there is a dark cloud over your head, and this can prevent you from applying for jobs. However, it is possible to overcome this barrier. Be honest about the circumstances that led to your termination when you are interviewed. Take full responsibility if it was due to your actions or misconduct. Underline the lessons you have learned and emphasize your skills. Let the interviewer know if you have credentials, experiences, achievements, and strengths that will be useful to your future company.
Fear can be crippling when you want to change your career and start over in a new industry. For others, it is the fear of rejection or not being qualified enough.
To gain confidence, prepare adequately for your job interviews and set realistic expectations. You can focus on your strengths and work on improving yourself.
Getting a job can be exciting when you have learned to overcome your barriers.