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You’ve ended up here because you are frustrated by your job search. You may even be afraid that you are never going to get a job.
You aren’t alone.
I hear over and over from job seekers that they are unable to find a job, feel “stuck in a rut,” or that “no one wants to hire me”.
I’m sorry. Finding a job is painful and will take longer than you want, even if you are doing all the right things.
I’m going to provide honest feedback here. Something you don’t get very often.
7 Reasons You are Never Going to Get a Job
These are seven behaviors or missing knowledge I’ve witnessed that prevent people from getting a job!
1. You’ve got nothing to say
Your communication skills are so important to landing a job. From networking to interviewing for a job, if you can’t make conversation, you’re sunk.
I’m an introvert and I know how difficult making small talk can be. But you can fix this! Here’s a bunch of conversation starters and ways to end a conversation. Networking Conversation Starters
Read the news and keep up-to-date on current events. You have to have “conversational currency” as Keith Ferrazzi calls it. This means you add value to a conversation by sharing what you know. The fix is pretty simple. Read your local newspaper daily, subscribe to industry newsletters and blogs, and pick up a book! If you are looking for articles about your industry, check out SmartBrief or try searching AllTop.
2. You are waiting for people to get back to you (hand you a job)
I’ll admit, employers aren’t very good at responding to applicants. Let’s just all agree the process is broken.
You are the job seeker, and while it sometimes feels like you have little control over the situation, you have more thank you think!
Pursue each opportunity until you get some sort of response and ALWAYS ask when you should follow up again. Take ownership of this hunt. One email isn’t enough. One phone call isn’t what I’m talking about. You have to prove you are interested in the job, be persistent, follow up.
3. You are an “old fart”
What I mean by this is you are coming across as:
- Too expensive (your salary expectation are out of wack for today’s job market)
- Unwilling or unable to adapt and work in a fast-paced environment with constantly changing priorities
- Behind the times (your skills or knowledge are not up to date)
Who created this perception of being a “old fart”? You did.
Change this by making sure that on paper and online you are perceived as contemporary. Use examples of times you’ve had to adjust and adapt. Learn how to use social media and other new technology. Enroll in training to keep your skills updated. These are some of the obvious solutions.
4. You are a young whipper-snapper
The flip side of being too old is being too inexperienced. As any new graduate realizes, it is hard to get experience without some prior. This is not new.
So how do you fix this? Recent graduates who were involved in activities or internships are much more likely to get hired. These activities provide great hands-on experience. That’s really what employers want to see. Line up some internships, use skills you’ve learned in college and document your experience on your resume. (And you should have a LinkedIn profile too!)
The other thing you should realize is that you may need to start at the bottom and work your way up. Get your foot in the door, gain some real work experience so you’ll have something to build upon. FYI, starting at the bottom also means a lower salary than you might expect.
5. You don’t know how recruiters work
Recruiters do not find you a job. They work for the employer. Don’t expect more from them than they are able to provide. Both inside recruiters and 3rd party recruiters (agencies) don’t have time, nor are they paid to advise you on where you will fit in the company. They work sort of like a seller’s real estate agent- looking out for the best interest of the seller, not the buyer. Unfortunately, there aren’t any reputable buyer’s agents for job seekers. That’s all you.
Here’s a post about the differences between a recruiter, hiring manager and HR: HR, Recruiters, Hiring Managers…they all have different missions.
6. You haven’t realized this isn’t about you, it is about the employer
If you are still obsessing over what you’ll say about yourself in your elevator pitch and using the same resume and standard cover letter to apply for every job, then you are missing the boat. This isn’t about you.
Employers want to know how you fit the requirements and if you can solve their problems. Put everything you say and write in terms that will benefit others. No one cares about what you’ve done and where you’ve been. And make it interesting.
7. Your attitude sucks
You’ve met these people. They complain, criticize and blame others. They are negative and exude a dark black cloud. Don’t be this person.
Take ownership of your mistakes, be pleasant and stop complaining.
The really good news about these seven problems is that they are all easily fixable. First, you have to admit which are yours.
Here are some articles I’ve written that may help you with the job search process.