33 Reasons Why Job Seekers Find It Difficult


  1. Information asymmetry is often present as the job description provided to the jobseeker is not detailed enough and he is unable to prepare adequately for the interview or know what he is getting himself into eventually. 
  2. Information asymmetry is also present when the jobseeker does not know what the company culture is like. Even if he tries to learn about it from his friends in the organization, it is just a form of third-hand experience and might not represent how he may feel once work commences.
  3. There will be the tendency for the interviewer to only reveal the good aspects of the job to the jobseeker and hide the negative aspects. There might be an expectation mismatch for the jobseeker once work commences.
  4. From the jobseeker’s point of view, it is extremely difficult to plan and anticipate questions that might be asked by the prospective employer during the interview.
  5. In Singapore, there are only a few jobsites which jobseekers typically frequent (Jobstreet, JobsDB, Monster, efinancialcareers etc). This can potentially lead to a huge level of competition from other jobseekers for roles advertised.
  6. Unless the job seeker is very patient in his job hunt, he may have to settle with a job which is not his top choice. This might also be a job which he are less comfortable with and will eventually regret partaking in.
  7. Many of the better roles are not advertised on the job websites listed in point 5 above as companies prefers hiring internal transfers or using their own employee referral scheme. It helps if the jobseeker has connections with someone in the organization.
  8. It is highly advantageous if the jobseeker knows someone within the organization he is planning to enter. However, if he has a small social circle or if his friends are not in the same field he are planning to enter, tough luck.
  9. There is a risk that the actual job duties may differ greatly from the job description as advertised or as described by the interviewer.
  10. More often than not, the prospective employer’s organization is not stated in the job website and the job seeker will only learn about it during the job interview. However, at that stage, he might realize it’s not a company which he planned to enter in the first place. This is a waste of both the employer’s and jobseeker’s time.
  11. Employers use various job portals and have varying job application details. From the jobseeker’s perspective, applying to organizations directly is time consuming as the same data has to be separately keyed in to multiple employer’s websites.
  12. Recruiters might be slow to revert to emails and offer positions that are not commensurate with the jobseeker’s level of work experience and requirements. There is an incentive to do that as the recruiter stands to earn commission for any successful matching of jobseeker to employer.
  13. The moment the jobseekers turns down a few of the above job opportunities, the recruiters are less likely to contact him again for other openings. This is often frustrating for the jobseeker as it lowers his chances of finding a suitable role.
  14. Some recruiters like to arrange for interviewers with the jobseekers but fail to revert to them subsequently about suitable openings.
  15. There are cases whereby the prospective employers seek the help of multiple recruitment agencies to advertise one particular job opening. For the jobseeker, it is not ideal. Even if he sought out more recruiters, they might all offer him the same particular role.
  16. Recruiters tend to sign a non-disclosure clause stating that they will not reveal the employer’s name until the jobseeker has been shortlisted for an interview. This serves to waste the jobseeker’s time as he needs to wait for the employer to revert before he can decide whether he is interested in the role.
  17. Job hunting is seasonal, just like hunting for game in the wild. Therefore, if most employees are waiting for their year-end bonuses, a job hunt in November/December is unlikely to yield much success.
  18. Job hunting is also cyclical and dependent on the performance of the economy. For instance, during the 2008 financial crisis, banks were laying off staff instead of hiring more.
  19. For a jobseeker, he needs to highlight his achievements and to focus on the positive aspects of his experiences. Sometimes, even if he lacks the relevant skills in a particular area, it would be useful just to come across to the interviewer as having known them 
  20. Prospective employers take varying durations to respond to jobseekers’ job applications. The role that a particular jobseeker prefers might receive a delayed response from the organization. Therefore, he might already have shortlisted other companies instead and promised not to go for further interviews 
  21. Often, many employers do not have the habit of updating the jobseeker on his application status. This is very frustrating as it gives him ‘false hope’ and the heightened sense of anticipation. Waiting is an opportunity cost for the jobseeker. The jobseeker could have sought out other roles in the meantime.
  22. Prospective employers are not obliged to reply jobseekers whom they have rejected. From a jobseeker’s perspective, this is bad as they are unable to learn from mistakes or brush up on their experiences/soft skills so as to better prepare them for future interviews.
  23. Even if the prospective employer verbally offers the jobseeker a role, they can choose to reverse their decision and withdraw the offer. Therefore, jobseekers have to wait for a written offer before everything can be finalized.
  24. Even if the jobseeker has an offer in hand, the employer that selected him will usually give him up to a maximum of 3 days to revert on his decision. However, if the jobseeker is still waiting for other offers from other organizations, this will put him in a difficult position.
  25. A jobseeker will lose negotiating power over the prospective employer if he chooses to quit his current role before finding another job. He will also have to explain why the push factors persuaded him to leave his previous organization.
  26. In a nutshell, job hunting is like a long, waiting game. The jobseeker’s current work might be too draining to the point where he is reluctant to allocate enough resources for the job hunt.
  27. There are hardly any career fairs/trade shows that jobseekers can attend to improve their chances at landing a job. Career fairs are also a great way to prove jobseekers’ worth to prospective employers.
  28. Often, certificates like CFA, CPA are highly desired by employers. However, for the jobseeker, it is expensive to upkeep and fulfil the training hours of such certifications. In addition, there are very little perks/rewards for being a member of such associations.
  29. It is very difficult for jobseekers to know all the good companies in the industries that they are planning to enter. There are rarely any database of companies of a specific industry available online.
  30. Some roles out there might seem interesting to jobseekers. However, there is the possibility that these roles might be outsourced to a cheaper nation anytime. In the event of that happening, the jobseeker would be out of a job.
  31. Once the jobseeker’s current boss finds out that he has intention to leave the firm, he/she might not care much about him anymore. If he chooses to stay with the firm and not leave, it might affect the jobseeker’s appraisal at the end of the year. The boss might see him as someone who is not very committed in his desire to serve the organization.
  32. A jobseeker’s motivation levels for his current job will drop if he keeps up the active job hunt for too long. His mind will be less focussed on his current role but rather on the job hunt. This might have consequences in his year-end appraisal as well.
  33. Lucks plays a huge role in a job hunt too. If the jobseeker is hitting a purple patch, he might be discouraged during the search process.

All the best to the jobseekers out there! Keep searching and don’t give up! 🙂



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