Overcoming Barriers to Employment & Career Development
Helping Clients Remove the Reasons
They Get Screened-Out

Welcome4 (Welcome talking head video!)

Welcome to this course on helping students and clients overcome barriers to employment. (More words on why this is important….what are the stats about employment difficulties, who is most affected, what are the compelling reasons career development professionals need to know what you are going to tell them and what skills they need to learn, etc.)

This course is intended for career and workforce development professionals in all organizations and private practice. This includes those who serve clients in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. This includes school counselors, career coaches, workforce development staff, HR professionals and others.

The focus of this course is helping clients identify the barriers that get them screened-out from landing a job, then create solutions that produce immediate and lasting positive results for their careers. The ability to notice and resolve the big and small issues that can stall their job search or career development is an important skill for anyone who wants to achieve long-term employment success. This course will give you a simple, reliable process and practical, proven approaches to help your clients overcome any employment barrier they face.

Of course, as important as the ability to overcome barriers is, it does not exist in a vacuum. Alone, overcoming barriers is not enough to create long-term career success and satisfaction. These practices must be combined with other important pieces of the job search and career development puzzle. So, as we begin, I want to a knowledge the bigger picture in which these practices sit.

In this course we will review a simple and reliable 3-step process and 6 tools proven to overcome any employment barrier, from over-qualification, to criminal convictions, to age discrimination and never having worked, and everything in between. The strategies are designed to help clients at all levels, including those facing significant barriers, to remove anything that could stand in the way of getting a job, or a better job.

The course is organized into 7 different parts or sections.  For each part, there a video, some readings, a handout to process and apply what you have learned.  You will also answer some questions on what you have learned in each module. 

When you are to read text, watch a video, or answer questions, this will be listed in red.


At the end of this course you will be able to:

1.Think like hiring/screening employers using a quick, reliable framework (LO1)

2. Identify what concerns and distracts hiring/screening employers (LO2)

3. Understand the client’s unique perspective on each potential barrier so they craft solutions that work for the individual (LO3)

4. Use six (6) flexible, proven tools to overcome barriers (LO4)

5. To create solutions that work for the client and the employer (LO5)

WorksheetBefore you jump into the course, download this worksheet which you will complete as you move through each section. Click the button to download the worksheet and save it to your computer. After each module or part of the course you will complete the corresponding questions on the worksheet. You will be asked to complete an evaluation at the end of the course. One of the questions relates to the time it took you to complete the course requirements. Please be sure and keep track of the time so that we have an accurate reflection of the workload. At the conclusion of the course, email the completed worksheet to the course instructor. Your worksheet will be reviewed by the instructor and once found acceptable, you will receive a certificate of completion for xxx clock hours.

The materials in this course are copyrighted and are for your use only during this course.


This course will focus on helping clients identify barriers that get them screened-out, and create immediate and lasting solutions. For clients to achieve long-term employment success, practitioners and clients must be able to identify and overcome issues that can stall the client’s job search or career development. This course offers a simple, reliable process and practical, proven approaches to help you and your clients overcome any employment barrier they face. 

Helping clients overcoming barriers is vital to their job search and career development. However, overcoming barriers alone is not enough to create success. The practices in this course must be combined with other important pieces of the job search and career development puzzle. As we begin, let’s acknowledge the bigger context in which these practices sit.

WATCH THIS VIDEO Six Steps: Helping Clients Make A Successful Career Move

Let’s dive into the “Overcoming Barriers to Employment & Career Development” course and learn to help clients remove all the reasons they get screened-out. Are you ready to begin?  Great!  Let’s go to part 1.

Part 1Identifying Barriers by Thinking Like the Employer

Focus Of Part 1:

. Three Steps to Overcome Any Employment Barrier

. Identifying Employment Barriers

.. Three Keys to Thinking Like the Employer

.. Two Things That Get People Screened-Out

. Understanding the Employer’s Perspective About These Issues

Learning Objectives:

1.Think like hiring/screening employers using a quick, reliable framework (LO1)

2.Identify what concerns and distracts hiring/screening employers (LO2)


It won’t matter how talented a person is if they get screened-out in the early stages of the ‘hiring’ process. We all face barriers to employment, but if your clients have significant barriers, major distractions, and/or some extra explaining to do, they may be screened-out first! Unless they can successfully avoid being screened out until the final stage, all the qualification and preparation in the world won’t help them get hired, because the decision-maker will never see it.

Here is a simple three-step process to help clients avoid being screened out:

1. Identify it! — Discover What Gets (could get) The Client Screened-Out
2. Get Perspective! — Understand the Employer and Client Perspectives
3. Overcome it! — Create Solutions That Eliminate (or reduce) the Impact

The video below reviews and provides more details on the three step process I recommend you use with individuals who may experience difficulties in securing a job. 

WATCH THIS VIDEO – A Simple 3-Step Process for Overcoming Employment Barriers 

In this course, step one is covered in this first part of the course, step two is covered in the second part of the course, and step three is covered in parts three through seven as you learn to use six practical solutions tools to overcome any barrier.


What is a barrier to employment? Who decides? How do we discover what will (or could) get someone screened-out? There are two parties who decide if something is a barrier — hiring employers and the clients themselves. Understanding their perspectives is a vital step in developing effective solutions. In Module One, we will explore the employer’s perspective.


Here are three ways for you and your client to reliably think like the employer.

#1: Look to PADMAN!

In the end, all the reasons a person gets screened-out (or hired) can be distilled into six categories — Presentation, Ability, Dependability, Motivation, Attitude, and Network, or PADMAN for short. Everything that concerns an employer, constitutes a bad hire, and/or could cost them most can be found in these six areas. Consciously or sub-consciously, employers are looking for potential problems in these six areas. Review this video and overview to understand how PADMAN helps you think like the employer.

WATCH THIS VIDEO – PADMAN: Thinking Like the Employer

READ the following information on  PADMAN: Six Places to Look for Barriers (link is correct) identifying employment barriers.

#2: See the Constant Dynamic of Concern & Need

To be hired, a candidate must both reduce the employer’s concerns about hiring them and prove they meet the employer’s need. One without the other is not enough to get hired. And, every reason a person gets screened out (for an interview, offer, promotion, etc.) comes down UNMET Needs and UNRESOLVED Concerns. 

WATCH THIS VIDEO – Concerns & Needs: Thinking Like the Employer to better understand the employer’s focus on concerns and needs.

3: See the Bottom-Line Connection

Employers naturally see the connection between even the smallest incident/behavior and the company’s profit margin. Candidates who understand and help build the bottom-line are more attractive to employers.  

WATCH THIS VIDEO VID4 – The Bottom-Line: Thinking Like the Employer which relates to the employer’s focus on concerns and needs.

Every reason an employer screens a candidate out can be boiled down to the negative bottom-line impact of an unmet need(s) or unresolved concern(s) in one (or some combination) of the PADMAN area. Period.

WATCH THIS VIDEO VID5 – Introducing The PADMAN Plan to learn ……………………


PDF4 – Additional Resources

COMPLETE this exercise on the employer’s perspective. It is important for you to complete the exercise, but you need not turn this in to the instructor.

READ the following information on identifying employer concerns.

COMPLETE is exercise on what the employer doesn’t want. It is important for you to complete the exercise, but you need not turn this in to the instructor.

READ the following information on understanding the employer’s perspective.

If you have finished Part 1, answer items x – xx  on your worksheet before going on to part 2.

Part 2Overcoming Barriers by Accessing Resources



Part 3Overcoming Barriers by Adjusting Client Outlooks 



  1. Overcoming Barriers by Learning New Skills
  2. Overcoming Barriers by Crafting Good Answers
  3. Overcoming Barriers by Adjusting the Employer’s Perspective
  4. Strategies for People with Criminal Backgrounds
  5. Strategies for People who are Homeless
  6. How to Say ‘the Hard Things’