2024 HBCU Careers Magazine

HBCU Careers Magazine

Why is my Job Search so Difficult? By Amy Soricelli

Let’s face it, the job search isn’t as fun as the experts make it out to be. “Career exploration” and “your journey has just begun” often feel hollow and half-hearted, and the truth is the whole thing is just plain difficult.

Let’s begin with the resume. You need to always have one ready, even if you aren’t sure what you are applying to yet. Maybe that means you must have more than one resume? That’s exactly what it means. So, the next step is giving some serious thought to the different areas you are interested in, and then creating a resume with a Positioning Statement (statement that lets the recruiter/employer know what you are interested in without the dreaded words “seeking” and looking for” three soft skills, the functional title you are going for, three hard skills) that is tailored to each one. Each resume and positioning statement must speak specifically to that goal. We must also remember those fun “resume rules” that will probably never change; for instance, we no longer use an “Objective” (the Positioning Statement replaces that) the resume has a two page maximum, no street address on header, no References Upon Request, no personal pronouns, no age/birthdate/picture, and make every attempt for your resume to be ATS ready. (Applicant Tracking System – a tool that is used to screen you OUT – read up on this and don’t let that happen to you!). https://www.jobscan.co/blog/8-things-you-need-to-know-about-applicant-tracking-systems/ An easy way to be sure the ATS won’t screen you out is to be always intentional – plant buzz words and relevant key “terms” into your resume (can be pulled directly from the posting) so that the system is able to catch the similarities. No similarities – no phone call from a potential employer. Avoid the huge temptation of creating a resume using AI or ChatGPT – these are excellent tools for making sure you are “on the right track” but producing a document created solely with these tools is akin to cheating and suggests that you might not have the tools for the job itself. It is always best to receive a rejection or acceptance based on your own merit than to always live in the shadows of someone else’s work. Once your resume is ready (but remember it is a living and breathing document – always ready to be updated and tweaked) the only thing to do next is Apply, Apply, Apply. Always do your research beforehand and approach each new job application with a fresh spirit and open mind. Are you visiting company websites in addition to the “job boards”? Oftentimes, an organization will simply post an opening on their company website and avoid the competition of LinkedIn, Monster and CareerBuilder. Make sure to set up a profile on the sites that offer the most opportunities and visit them often. Can you identify a scam position? Do you know what to look out for? https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-know-if-a-job-is-a-scam Check this out and start paying attention to the subtle differences in email addresses, information that is requested – and never, ever provide banking or personal data until all the pieces have been connected.


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