In struggling economies and highly competitive fields, finding a new job can be a real challenge.
In fact, some might even say that finding a job is harder than doing a job. And if you’ve been applying for multiple positions with no luck, it can become downright exhausting.
So what’s preventing you from landing the position you’re looking for?
Are you doing something wrong?
To help all of you job applicants out there, today we’re revealing the 5 things that hamper new job searches.
1) Your Resume Isn’t Up to Par
If you’re applying to jobs all over town and not even getting responses, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your resume.
There are a few common mistakes that will instantly put your resume into the dreaded “NO” pile, so it’s time to make sure your resume is up to par.
If you want to be taken seriously by employers, you need a strong resume and a strong cover letter, both of which need to be grammatically correct and error-free. Submitting a resume with typos will only emphasize your lack of attention to detail — and no employer wants that quality in an employee.
Before you submit your resume, have a friend or colleague proofread it to make sure it looks good!
Your resume should be an honest representation of your experience and skills. So don’t lie about what you’ve been doing for the past ten years!
Previous employers, dates, and schooling are easily verifiable, so there’s no point in lying about any of those things just to get an interview. You can be sure those lies will be uncovered during the hiring process!
Make sure your resume highlights your actual skills. If you’re sending it everywhere and not getting any interest, it’s time to change the language and alter the way you’re describing your experience.
In addition, having one resume isn’t enough. Instead, create a master one then tweak it a bit for each employer.
Every application should be tailor-made for each specific job.
That goes for every cover letter as well.
A cookie-cutter cover letter won’t help you stand out from the pack of other applicants.
Make sure your cover letter includes the job title you’re applying for and makes a brief mention of some of your most relevant skills. A good rule of thumb is to mention three of your strongest skills from amongst those required in the job description.
2) Your Social Media Accounts Don’t Look Professional
If you’re applying for a new job, or a first job, it’s time to clean up your social media accounts.
Delete any photos that show you partying and drinking. Delete any pictures or videos that show you smoking or doing any sort of drugs. Delete controversial tweets or any photos or statements with an overtly sexual tone. These will NOT help you land a job!
Once you’ve cleaned up all of your compromising photos, tweets, and posts, create a strong LinkedIn profile. Make sure it highlights your experience and your professional skills.
And remember: your LinkedIn page is not the place to describe your personal passions and hobbies.
A strong LinkedIn page should read like an extended version of your resume. It’s the perfect place to include all sorts of little details about your previous jobs.
To make your LinkedIn page even stronger, ask former colleagues or associates to write a recommendation that says just how great you were at your old job! You can thank them by writing a testimonial for them in return.
3) You’re Limiting Your Search
When you already have a job, you can be a bit more selective in the positions you apply for. But when you’re unemployed, you have to make your search as broad as possible
Don’t sell yourself short by assuming that you’re not qualified for a certain job. It’s fine to apply even if you don’t have one or two of the exact qualifications they’re looking for. You may have useful soft skills that they would prefer even more.
You can also broaden your search by taking advantage of your network. See if any of your LinkedIn connections are hiring. Having a personal connection to someone, even if it’s only online, can help you get your foot in the door.
Don’t forget about recruiters — there is a whole industry of hardworking people who are in the business of placing workers in new jobs. Contact a recruiter or two to see if they can get you a position that’s a good fit.
In some cases, a recruiter may even be willing to give you tips and pointers on how to improve your resume.
Make sure you expand your include various industries.
Focus more on the job and less on the industry and you may be surprised at how many additional opportunities are out there.
For example, if you have experience as an HR manager at a pharmaceutical company, look for HR positions in all fields. You may not be able to find a new job within the pharmaceutical industry, but you may be able to find one in tech, fashion, or manufacturing.
4) Your Interview Skills Are Lacking
Unfortunately, you’ll probably never land the job you want if you don’t know how to conduct yourself in an interview.
Having the best resume and the best qualifications isn’t enough. You’ll have to ace the interview to get hired.
Before your next interview:
- Take the time to prepare.
- Bring copies of your resume.
- Research the company and prepare a few questions to ask.
- Dress professionally.
- Show up early.
And always, always be respectful and polite.
- Don’t show any signs of aggression.
- Don’t act like you know everything.
- Don’t speak with a sense of entitlement.
Exhibit any of these behaviors in an interview, and you’re almost guaranteed not to get a callback.
What you do after the interview is just as important as what you do during it.
The best way to prepare yourself for those next steps is to end your interview by asking when a decision is going to be made. You’ll need to know that detail in order to know how to handle the follow-up process.
The first stage in the follow-up process is to send a thank-you note within 24 hours of the interview. Be genuine, thank your interviewer for their time, and reiterate your interest in the position.
The second part of the follow-up process is to check-in.
If the interviewer said it would take two weeks to make a decision and you’re into week three, send an email to check-in and show that you’re still interested.
5) Your Salary Requirements Are Too High
It’s possible that your salary requirements are hindering you from having a successful job search.
Be flexible in how much money you’re willing to earn, especially if you’re just starting out in your career or switching to a new field.
It’s always important to know what a position pays, but don’t ask questions about salary too early on in the process. If you’re the perfect fit for the job, your salary can almost always be negotiated.
In addition, don’t pass on jobs just because the salary is a few thousand dollars less than you would like. There could be other benefits that might compensate for a lack of pay.
For example, the company might offer an excellent health insurance plan. The employer might offer a 401k contribution. Maybe they’ll give you more vacation time or the option to work from home. These are all valuable benefits that can more than makeup for a few thousand dollars in pay.
When applying for jobs you have to know your worth, but you have to be flexible about it.
Other Reasons You Might Not Be Getting the Job
The five reasons listed above are usually the biggest hindrances to finding a new job.
But there are some other reasons you might not be getting the job you want.
Are you planning to move to a new city or a new state?
If you’re applying for jobs far from where you currently live, let the employer know that you are in the process of making a permanent move. Otherwise, it could seem like you’re sending resumes to hundreds of companies and not even paying attention to where they are.
Do you have major time gaps in your resume?
If there are large periods of time missing or unaccounted for, explain why in your cover letter. It’s better to address this issue head-on than to try and ignore it.
Do your references really have your best interests in mind?
Just because a former boss says she’ll give you a reference doesn’t mean she’ll give you a good one. If you don’t trust someone 100%, do not include them as a professional reference.
If you’re having a hard time getting a job, there’s a good chance you’re doing something wrong.
So start doing things right:
- Perfect that resume.
- Clean up your social media accounts.
- Broaden your search to include other jobs in other industries.
- Practice your interview skills.
And don’t let your final decision come down to money alone.
After all, having some money and more experience is always better than having no money and no experience at all.