Overcome Five Barriers to Employment
Have you hit an employment wall?
Dismantling 5 Barriers to Employment
There is no question that employers are currently the choosiest ever when selecting employees.
There are five specific proactive things that job seekers today can do to ensure they are not being "derailed" by some issue hindering their job search.
- Check your resume thoroughly for inaccuracies. Make sure all the employment and education dates you list on your resume are accurate. If the potential employer also wants salary history, make sure you furnish accurate information on that as well. Many people find it useful to keep current a "detailed resume" as well as a basic one which has full addresses, phone numbers, salary, etc. Assume the potential employer will verify this information either directly from your employers or by use of credit history information. I suggest having an employment coach or a friend call your former employers to find out what is said about you, the exact dates of your employment and if your salary was at least $XX, etc.
- Check your credit history. Employers can be loathe to hire employees with problems paying their bills. Be sure to check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and Transunion and resolve inaccuracies listed. Stable address history and bill paying history is desired by employers. That does not necessarily mean that a few strikes on your record will mean you won't be considered. Who hasn't gone on vacation and paid a bill late? Employers also understand that medical bills can completely overwhelm people and may be willing to overlook medical collection(s) on your record. After all, why is Healthcare Reform such an issue right now?
- Run a background check on yourself. I know that Careerbuilder and some of the other job site portals offer to run a background check on you for a fee. If you have lived entirely in one state, you may be able to get local state records for less money. For instance, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation charges about $8 as I recall. Finally, there is a fairly new service I saw advertized on TV called BeenVerified where you can currently get a seven day trial to run background checks. I did trial this and actually tested many friends and aquaintences with it, but did find several errors and ommissions. But at least you can get an idea of where you might stand. You may also see if somebody with a similar or the same name could be confused with you.
- Google yourself. Be sure that your online presence does not offend potential employers or make your character seem questionable. Employers regularly peruse sites like Facebook and MySpace. 'Nuff said.
- Keep your skills sharp. If your resume says you are an expert in Office 2010 applications, be prepared to demonstrate that expertise. Often employers are now using ProveIt! online exams or will test you right in their office. If unemployed or underemployed, you can also take classes to add to your skillset.
We all know the job market is tight, tight, tight right now so I advise identifying and dismantling any potential barriers to employment. These can include sharing your name with another person. Recently, there was a case whereby a woman was denied credit because a credit report agency listed her as prematurely dead.
Also, if you do have any "issue" with scratches on your credit history or background, it is best to proactively deal with this information and be upfront with potential employers. I advise that you be aware of any issues and take steps to deal with them before the potential employer turns you down for reasons unknown.
Good luck! -- Laura in Denver
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