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Why is it so difficult to find a job in 2024


Right now, unemployment is sitting at 3.9%. Meaning the job market is more competitive than it was in 2023.


Businesses are prudently watching their spending, trying to keep their costs down.


Recruiters have piles of resumes to go through.


Thanks to emerging technologies, the job application process has gotten faster. The problem is anyone can shoot over a resume that looks good on paper. Unfortunately about two-thirds of these applicants might nail the keywords but don't quite cut it when it comes to the skills needed for the job.


Then there’s the whole thing with those automated systems picking candidates. They’re supposed to make things easier by finding resumes that match job descriptions. But sometimes, they just end up picking people who are good at stuffing their resumes with the right buzzwords, not necessarily the best people for the job...


On top of all that, hiring managers are dealing with business growth challenges and cost increases across the board. Their attention is spread super thin, which means they might not give each resume the attention it deserves.


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Job Market Challenges in 2024

Why is it so difficult to find a job in 2024


And so, landing job interviews and job offers is tough in 2024. The competition is fierce, attention spans are short, companies are closely watching their financials, and standing out from the crowd is more challenging than ever.


Becoming the Go-To Candidate


The objective is clear: you need to be seen as the creative problem solver who can dive in and deliver results from day one. This visibility is critical, especially when hiring managers are skimming through a sea of applicants.


In order to conquer a tough job market, you need to know the myths you may be operating under and do something about them.


Let's dive in.


Myth: The best jobs are always advertised


  • Reality: Many positions, especially at the executive level, are filled through networking, internal promotions, or by headhunters and are never advertised publicly.

  • How to navigate: Review all the best companies that are hiring in your industry. Then reach out to various managers at various levels. Ask for coffee chats, lunches, referrals, and interviews


Myth: If you’re qualified, you’ll get the job


  • Reality: Hiring decisions are often based on a mix of factors including fit with company culture, interview performance, and sometimes internal politics, not just qualifications. You also have to be seen and trusted.

  • How to navigate: Start being known for one thing. Use LinkedIn as the platform to build your expertise or thought leadership. The more you show up on this platform, the more trust you build.


Myth: Lowering your salary expectations will make you more competitive


  • Reality: While being flexible can help, undervaluing yourself can lead to being perceived as less experienced or not confident in your abilities. Moreover, if a company truly values what you bring to the table, they're often willing to pay what's fair to secure your services.

  • How to navigate: First ascertain your market value. Then create a "sales pitch" for what you offer. Then, confidently negotiate your value.


Myth: Networking is only for finding job leads


  • Reality: Networking is also needed for gathering industry insights, understanding company cultures, and building relationships that may lead to opportunities in the future.

  • How to navigate: Use the laddering strategy of networking. Begin by connecting with junior-level employees within your target companies. These individuals can often provide unfiltered views of the company’s environment and challenges. Armed with the knowledge gained from junior employees, approach senior staff. Your discussions with them can then be more substantive and focused.


Myth: The job search process is just a numbers game


  • Reality: Successful job searching is more strategic than simply sending out resumes. It involves careful targeting of companies, functions, meeting with decision makers, and personal branding.

  • How to navigate: Have a cohesive plan on where you want to land. Then tailor your resume, LinkedIn profile, and brand to all tell a story about how you solve critical problems. Don't use a scatter gun approach. It will only frustrate you without yielding meaningful results.


Myth: Past achievements will speak for themselves


  • Reality: Employers are more interested in what you can do for them in the future. They want to solve problems and achieve new goals and they want to know how you can help them with those.

  • How to navigate: Talk about how you will solve their problems. Use past achievements as credentials on how you have the experience to deliver on your promise.


Conclusion


The job market in 2024 is challenging. There is no doubt. But if you know the blind spots, you can proactively work to show up as the best candidate for the right hiring team. Know the common pitfalls and employ a comprehensive job search plan. I am positive you will be successful in landing the role that is just right for you!


 

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