One of the most basic rules in economics deals with supply and demand. Today’s job market certainly has a significant supply: 13.9 million people looking for jobs. But demand has been meager for the past several years; it probably will continue to be for the near future; and—at least at this point—it does not show any robustness. The immediate impact of this discord manifests itself by only a few people getting jobs.
In theory, the process of getting a job is simple: human resources department employees, outside recruiters, and hiring managers review multitudes of applicant résumés and eliminate all except outstanding ones. There are many of the latter, and less-than-outstanding résumés get filed in the black hole. A further elimination process is in place via phone or video screenings, with the target objective to request applicants appear for in-person interviews—but typically, no more than three to five of the seemingly best prospects. Ultimately, of course, only one is going to get the congratulatory letter.
In practice, since more and more job seekers know the rules of the game, they’re trying to maximize their chances by getting outside help. There’s been a significant uptick in the trend of job seekers’ hiring professional résumé writers, followed by the trend of working with career coaches to specifically improve interview skills. Both professional résumé writers and people who offer career coaching services appear to be costly. Plus the expense comes at a person’s time of trauma, anguish, and high frustration level, but what is the cost of those things combined with lack of a steady paycheck?
Most people realize that job seeking has become very competitive in every occupational field. Even most colleges, as part of their applicant-screening process, interview potential incoming students before making final determinations. As a career coach specializing in the interview process, I see more and more such college student applicants who engage my services. Furthermore, many military veterans returning from years of service find themselves unprepared for the next phase in their lives, and they reach out for assistance with job search counseling and interview skills enhancement.
It’s not enough to be able to say you did great things in past; you now need to sell that to someone who’s willing to pay you. Do you know how to do that?
by Alex Freund