3 Major Challenges in the Job Hunt

When you are job hunting, it will help you to get specific about the challenges and problems you have in the process. In this post, I want to go through three major challenges and ask you which one is your biggest challenge right now? That way we can together get a better understanding of your current challenges and how we can help you going forward.

The three challenges are:

1. Finding opportunities

2. Getting positive responses.

3. Getting job offers.

The reason to why you need to think about it in more specific terms than “my challenge is to find a job” is that you need to be specific to improve. The solution to increasing positive responses is very different to the solution to finding more opportunities.

Let’s go through all these challenges one by one. I will also give some suggestions to possible solutions.

1. Finding Opportunities

Let’s say that you are applying for jobs on job boards. You have targeted a niche in which you would be a good fit for the job. For many people, such search might reap no results at all. For instance, I tried searching now for ”auditor in Uppsala”. But, I got not a single open position or opportunity to apply for:

Search for "Revisor Uppsala" get us no results.


However, when I am searching for “Revision Uppsala” (revision is the Swedish word for auditing), and press the first result, they have a heading saying “work with us” and then an email to where we can send our spontaneous application. What do you think the company will do, if they are getting enough great candidates in this email inbox every year?

This company seems to be open for applicants…

Think about it. They will probably have more than enough candidates in their email inbox to be more than enough so that they never have to use the job boards. This combined with the seasonal hiring patterns of auditing companies (they usually hire and onboard employees in the fall because spring is the most busy part of their season).

This leads us to an important question. How many opportunities do we see every day, week and month in our job hunting process? If you are only looking at the job boards, you are greatly underestimating the number of opportunities you can apply for. But think about the number of opportunities you see, are they enough to keep you busy applying for jobs?

In fact, doing a search for auditing companies in Uppsala on the corporate register allabolag.se will give you 50 companies. All these are probably interested in hiring people at one point or another. I see this all the time when I call employers. Most never have ads up but when you call them, they are interested in talking about challenges they are having and how new staff could help in that process.

2. Getting positive responses.

Another challenge you might have is that you get a low number of positive responses. So what is a good response rate to begin with? Everything above 5 %, it seems. We asked job hunters what their interview to application rate was and found that 80 % had a positive response rate of 0-5 %.

We also asked people about what they did to get this response rates. Both people that got high response rates (above 5 %) and low ones (5 % and below). The results were quite interesting. For people in the high response rates, the majority of the people spent an hour or longer with their applications. This is a general tendency we have found with job hunters that succeed. They usually spend more time on their applications. Some people even call the employers or recruiters.

If the case you are experiencing right now is low response rates, try to spend some more time on your applications making sure you talk about why you want to work for the company and why you are a good fit for the company.

3. Getting job offers

This is the last step of the job hunt. You get the interviews for the companies you are applying for. So, what are your success rate on turning these interviews into jobs?

I met a person the other week who told me, I am getting invited to interviews in recruitment processes that have thousands of applicants and on the interview I am not being selected. Just hearing that statement, we can assume that the person is not having challenges with the second step here. But perhaps the first and the third one.

So, if you are having problems with turning interviews into jobs, one thing you can do is to practice on the interviewing part. Go back to the interviews you have had so far. See what the feedback have been from recruiters. If you received any feedback. Then, make a couple of mock interviews with friends. Basically, take some common interview questions and go through them with your friends. Ask for their honest feedback. Maybe you can improve your answers by doing so?

Understanding your challenge through numbers

I would advise you to look at these three numbers in your job hunt and think, “where is my biggest challenge right now?”. This way, you can focus on a specific part that you can improve. Whether that is finding more opportunities, getting positive responses or getting opportunities.

You can start thinking about where to improve your process and how. For instance, if you are not seeing enough opportunities, then take actions to increase the number of opportunities you see. Maybe by making more spontaneous applications. If you are having challenges with getting email responses, spend more time on your emails. If you are not getting the offer, do mock interviews with friends.

Also, feel free to tell me what your biggest challenge is. I would love to hear about it so I can make more specific content for your challenges.

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