The job market can be tough at times. For most of us in the cleared government contracting market, it can seem like there are always jobs available. Contract positions come to an end, and you can be on a new contract within a week it seems. However, there are times where some find themselves sitting on the bench or at home looking for work and not getting any traction. It can be maddening to look for jobs all day long, fill out application after application, and get hardly any responses or good leads.
Where Have all the Job Opportunities Gone?
Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months without a job; it can be very discouraging. But why? Why can some go so long without any good leads or opportunities? Why do some people get tons of calls, emails, and offers, while others hear nothing back from anyone? Here are some reasons that you might find yourself faced with deafening silence in the job market.
1. Your Resume is Incoherent and Lacking
A resume that is incoherent and lacking good formatting, is the #1 reason you find yourself still on the job market with no real promising leads. The best thing you can do for yourself is to find a resume writing service and pay them to critique and edit your resume. Creating a fresh resume with the appropriate keywords that a recruiter will punch into a search engine can jump your resume right up to the top of the heap. Additionally, your new resume will get uploaded to your job board which will refresh your profile and put you at the top of the list. You can get a huge return on investment by paying for a resume writing service to revise and polish it up for you.
2. Your Skills are Out of Date
Unfortunately, the rate at which our world turns can leave some of us out in the cold when it comes to jobs. Take for instance the information technology career field. If you don’t keep up on the latest and greatest technologies, you can quickly fall behind the curve and your application will look less appealing to a prospective employer. Same goes for the human resources career field, project management and cybersecurity fields. With the cybersecurity career field, you have to be up to date on all of the latest attacks and breaches so that you can prepare to protect the employers you work for. If your skills are stale or out of date, this could be a major reason why you aren’t getting any traction in the job market.
3. You Skillset is Too Narrow
There are some individuals that decide to specialize in a specific career field or skill set. These individuals are considered specialist or subject matter experts (SME). The only drawback to being a SME is that you pin yourself to that subject matter. Sometimes, it is better to have knowledge and skills in multiple disciplines instead of just one. For example, you may be a networking SME, and that’s great. However, if you do a simple search for networking on ClearanceJobs.com, you will find a job listing that is primarily networking based but also requires security experience, and virtualization experience. Don’t tie yourself to a singular technology or skill set. Get all the knowledge you can, and be good at everything you do.
4. You Don’t Have Enough Experience
Lastly, you just don’t have enough experience. Do you remember the first time you tried to get a car loan or credit card approval? For many, in those instances you just didn’t have enough credit history and that is a real bummer. You might be amazing at managing money and you have a great job, but if you don’t have a good history of paying your debts on time, it’s hard to get that loan approval. The same applies to job searches. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, it can be very hard to land the job you want. If you find yourself stuck on the job market with no real offers. Sometimes you might have to take a step back and find a job that you can continue doing while gaining experience before jumping out on the market. If you have a lot of jobs on your resume that are three to six months long, maybe a year long… you may need to put in your time and stay at a job for 3-4 years to build solid work experience.
Assess and Navigate a Response
Take stock of your situation, and see if you have one or more of these reasons against you in your search for a job. It’s ok if you do, just prioritize ways to fix it. Mentors are also helpful for building up your resume. There are great jobs to be had on the job market today. Do your due diligence to revamp your resume, gain some new skills, and build some work experience so you can land the job you want.