Getting a job in the U.S. has always been difficult, but with the pandemic affecting most industries, finding work is even harder. Besides, the job market has become crowded with college graduates, experienced professionals, and those laid off due to the pandemic. Therefore, landing your desired job requires extra effort, more persistence, and a better approach. Here’s what you need to know about getting a job in the country and how to get ahead of the competition.
Unemployment in the U.S.
The unemployment rate currently sits at 3.4%. This means that many people are still looking for work, so competition is fierce. Additionally, the pandemic has heavily affected specific industries, and more layoffs will likely happen shortly. Here are the everyday struggles of finding a job in the country.
One major struggle job seekers face today is job scarcity. With the pandemic affecting most industries, companies had to cut back on their workforce or freeze hiring altogether. It became challenging to find a job, even with a great resume and excellent interview skills.
To overcome job scarcity, job-seekers should look for thriving industries and jobs during the pandemic, such as healthcare, technology, and delivery services. Additionally, candidates should be flexible and willing to accept jobs that are not ideal but can lead to their desired career path.
The second struggle job seekers face is high competition. With many qualified candidates on the job market, standing out in a pool of resumes has become even more critical than before. To increase their chances, candidates must tailor their resumes and cover letters to the job they are applying for.
They should also showcase their skillsets and experience uniquely and compellingly. Networking on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and attending online job fairs can also help them to build connections and discover job openings.
A current challenge that job seekers face today is virtual interviews. Due to the pandemic, most companies are conducting interviews through video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams. While virtual interviews are convenient, they present new obstacles in terms of technology, internet connection, and interview etiquette.
Job seekers should prepare for virtual interviews by testing their technology equipment and internet connection beforehand. They should also dress appropriately, find a quiet, well-lit space, and maintain eye contact.
The fourth struggle job seekers face is negotiating their salary. Many companies offer reduced salaries due to financial constraints caused by the pandemic. While job-seekers may have to accept a lower salary than they previously anticipated, they must do their research and negotiate a fair compensation package. They should communicate their experience, skills, and achievements to justify their salary negotiation and be aware of the current market rates for their position.
Lack of Experience
The final struggle that job seekers face is a lack of experience. Graduating from college without real-world experience can make it challenging to find an entry-level job. However, candidates can overcome this struggle by creating a portfolio of their academic and extracurricular projects, internships, and volunteer work. They can also participate in skill-building programs, such as internships, online courses, and professional certifications, to gain experience, knowledge, and expertise.
How to Be Competitive in The Labor Market
Now you know the struggles of job seekers in the United States. To get ahead of the competition and be successful, here are some tips to consider:
Improve Your Resume
Employers will check your resume before interviewing you, so make sure it stands out. Make sure to showcase your achievements and skillset concisely and professionally. Use keywords related to the job position you are applying for, and don’t forget to list any awards or certifications you have obtained.
If you don’t know how to write a competitive resume, consider hiring a professional to help you. A professional resume review service can create a resume that fits your industry. Furthermore, they can also advise you on how to present yourself best and highlight your skills and experience.
Network with employers, recruiters, industry professionals, colleagues, and other job seekers. Staying connected online or in person (when possible) can help you stay informed of any job openings available or new opportunities. Utilize social media platforms such as LinkedIn to increase visibility and reach out to potential employers.
As mentioned earlier, many industries were heavily affected due to the pandemic. Therefore, consider looking for jobs in another field or taking a different role than you originally wanted. This flexibility can help you gain work experience and open more doors for future employment.
It can be fairly hard to get a job during the pandemic, but with the right approach and attitude, you can make it happen. Seek opportunities, stay connected, be flexible, and don’t give up. With persistence and dedication to your goals, you will eventually find a job.