- Employers’ priorities don’t match that of workers.
- There is a labor shortage and a surplus of jobs available. However, jobs available are not lining up with what job seekers are looking for.
- Having too much experience or failing to tailor your resume can prevent you from getting the job you are qualified for.
Workers are increasingly seeking higher pay, more flexibility, and remote options as they flex their leverage in the current job market, but many companies are not necessarily being more accommodating.
Employers are continuing to favor candidates with several years of experience in their industry, more availability to work evening or weekend hours, or a preference for those willing to work in person.
Not only does this make qualified workers wonder why they aren’t getting hired, but this mismatch in what both sides prioritize is yet another challenge complicating economic recovery post-pandemic.
What does the post-pandemic job search look like?
The millions of jobs available aren’t necessarily the kinds of jobs people want. People are beginning to be choosier with how and where they want to work.
There is a surplus of jobs and a lack of available workers, giving prospective job seekers their pick, but the issue might be that the types of jobs available are not lining up with what job seekers are looking for.
Tim Brackney, president and COO of management consulting firm RGP, refers to the current situation as the “great mismatch,” which refers to mismatched desires, experience, and skills. Part of the reason is that the skills necessary for a given job are changing quickly as companies more frequently adopt new software.
As well as this aspect, workers want more for themselves post-pandemic.
Shelly Steward, director of the Future of Work Initiative at the Aspen Institute, told Recode, “A lot of what people are seeing are low-paying jobs with unpredictable or not-worker-friendly scheduling practices, that don’t come with benefits, don’t come with long-term stability. And those are not the types of jobs that any worker is eager to take on.”
How has the job landscape changed?
Before the pandemic, remote working was not the norm.
Now, the vast majority of workers, regardless of the type of industry, say they want to work from home at least some of the time.
While the number of remote jobs has risen, they still only represent 16% of job listings on LinkedIn, though they receive two and a half times as many applications as non-remote work.
Workers are beginning to ask for what they want, and employers are realizing that they may need to offer what is desired by employees in order to attract and retain them during the current labor shortage.
On the other hand, in September 2021, there were 450,000 workers categorized as discouraged, an increase from the 392,000 reported in August 2021. Discouraged workers are those who want to work and are available to do so but have dropped out of the labor force because they believe there aren’t any jobs for them.
Some of these job seekers might be beginning to wonder, “if there’s a labor shortage, why aren’t I getting the jobs I’m qualified for?”
There might be some reasons for why you aren’t getting that job you’re qualified for
Although the labor shortage should assist in helping people find jobs more easily, an inevitable aspect of the job search is not getting the job you hoped for.
It’s not always clear why you weren’t able to secure a position you felt fit your experience and skills perfectly, but knowing the reasons why you weren’t hired will help you better prepare for the remainder of your job search.
1. One of the most common reasons job seekers’ resumes are overlooked is due to people sending the same generic resume to multiple positions.
If you really want a job, you must tailor your resume for each unique position.
The key is showing that your achievements match the employer’s needs and the company’s particular requirements.
2. Your resume isn’t getting past the AI hiring systems that chooses potential job candidates.
If you’re having a hard time getting interviews for jobs you’re qualified for, there’s a good chance you’re failing to beat applicant tracking systems and reach a pair of human eyes.
These systems work by running through resumes, comparing them against the job ad, and giving them a relevance score. As a result, recruiters end up with a list of top job candidates whose applications likely fit the job description the most closely.
It’s best to skim through the job ad and then go back to your resume and highlight the work experience and skills the job is looking for.
3. You might have too much experience.
While not always the case, large gaps between your experience and actual job requirements can cause you to be overlooked.
Sometimes employers don’t pursue over-qualified candidates because they cannot pay what they believe an applicant will expect, or they want to be sure the applicant will stay with the company long-term and not look for a better job soon after hire, according to Indeed.
If you are overqualified for a job, you can still keep yourself in the pool of applicants. A few ways to do this include addressing your experience outright in your application, explaining your salary flexibility, and focusing on your interest in the work itself.
Making it clear why you are applying will give employers more reason to invite you for an interview.
Tips for securing higher level jobs:
Instead of applying for tons of jobs with one-click, choose a role and employer that you’re genuinely interested in working for and take time to apply.
Focus on crafting an ideal resume and cover letter that showcases your skills and passion for the position. Because the one-click era of applying can be overwhelming, many hiring managers still use cover letters as a way to filter through and figure out which candidates genuinely want to work for their company.
The search for candidates filling higher-level positions often tends to be largely network-based, so try to get in touch with those at the company that you would be working with, if you can find their information online.