4 Surprises You’re Going to Find in Your Job Search

If it’s been awhile since you’ve been on the search for a job, hold on to your hat: The winds of change have blown across the landscape! It’s a completely new environment out there, and it’ll look a lot different from the last time you were in the market.

Here are four surprises that we’ve gathered from job seekers around the nation.

1. There’s a lot more competition now

It’s not necessarily better competition, so that’s the most important thing to remember. But the unemployment rate doesn’t really tell the entire story, because it’s been gamed and altered to the point where it represents only a fraction of the people who are truly unemployed.

You’ve never seen anything like what you’re about to see out there — trust us!

2. You’ve got experience now

When you start to realize who you’re competing against in many of these interviews, you’re going to see a few people older than you, and a whole bunch of people who are younger. In both instances, when you get to talking to people at either end of the spectrum, you’ll realize you’ve got a unique array of work experiences, in contrast to everyone else.

And if you’re able to focus on what you do have (instead of what you don’t), it should give you a surprising confidence boost, when you least expected it!

3. You might be overqualified, underqualified, or who-knows-what

You’re going to hear a variety of reasons for not landing the job now, so prepare yourself to hear some very odd things. One is the concept of being “overqualified,” which sounds absurd. Worst of all, prepare for the new way that you get dinged: no response at all, after an interview.

But keep your head up, because you’re going to find something perfect if you keep trying!

4. There are strategies for every step of the process now

Because it’s been so competitive out there, people have emerged as consultants for virtually every stage of job searching, from resume preparation to landing an interview, studying interview techniques for the second interview, and beyond.

Soak up as much of this wisdom as you can, and if the stakes are high enough, hire some help to give you that extra edge you need to land your dream job!

Drew Hendricks is a professional business and startup blogger that writes for a variety of sites including The Huffington Post, Forbes and Technorati. Drew has worked at a variety of different startups as well as large advertising agencies.