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10 Reasons Your Job Search Isn't Working

If you’ve been searching unsuccessfully for a new job, or if you’re about to start a job-search, you’ll want to review the 10 reasons for an unsuccessful job search below. These 10 reasons are derived from the thousands of people we have supported in their career transition, many of which have unexpectedly experienced roadblocks in finding a job. The good news is: there is a job out there for you! However, you may need to adjust one or more things to conduct a successful search. 

Your Search has been delayed


1. “I don’t know what I want to do yet” 

Most people had no idea what interested them until, surprise! - a new job opened their eyes. New jobs are fertile places to learn about employers, industries and organizational cultures.


2.  “I was online all day posting to job sites” 

Online isn’t a job search. It’s a needle-in-a-haystack approach to finding work. Hundreds, even thousands, of resumes can be submitted for one job. To make matters worse, most resumes are electronically screened before a recruiter even glances at those that make the first cut. If you want a company to hire you, do your homework and contact a live person there who will talk with you.


3. “Everyone says I need to network to find a new job. I don't

     want to bother people” 

Anyone who has gotten anywhere in life networked, so you may as well start now. It wasn’t necessarily called networking “way back then” but it was networking nevertheless. Then, as now, an uncle or aunt, a neighbor or close family friend stepped in to make introductions which led to opportunities. It is that simple.

4. “I’m only applying at the big employers that everyone wants to work for” 

Everyone else is applying there, too. Go where everyone else isn’t. Check out small, growing companies where you can make an impact. Apple, Facebook, McDonald’s, Walmart were all small companies once upon a time. The people who joined early on and weathered the ups and downs grew wealthy over time.


5. “I’ve got the wrong major” 

You are not alone. Many experienced workers will tell you that their “whatever” degree only got them in the door. For most jobs in today’s economy, any major will do if you present yourself as smart, easily coachable and a lifelong learner. Opportunity abounds if you only look for it and put your efforts into the work of your employer.

Fumbling the Interview


6. “They told me they’d let me know…” 

Employers look for interested candidates, not wait-and-see types. Demonstrate initiative by calling or emailing after conversations and interviews. You can wait a long time, maybe forever, if you wait for the busy HR recruiter or hiring manager to call you.


7.“I’ve sent him three emails and he hasn’t gotten back to me"

This excuse is dangerously close to whining. Ask anyone working today and they are likely to say, “I have ten thousand unopened emails. I’m overwhelmed with information.” Pick up the phone and call. It’s still the best way to get someone’s attention.


 8. “I forgot to research the company” 

Let’s hope this is never said aloud. Most people have spent their lives online and it is as natural to them to search online as it is to brush teeth. Forgetting to investigate a potential employer is not an option. Period.

Blocking the Offer


9. “I deserve more money than they’re offering” 

This argument can work in some cases. But you need to know the average starting salary for the type of work, industry and location before you start negotiating or declining an offer. Saying no or holding out too long for the job that pays you what you think you’re worth may prevent you from getting experience that can pay dividends later.


10. “It isn’t my dream job, so I’m not accepting the offer” 

It is fair to say that not every job offer will be the one for you. And if the reasons for rejecting an offer are concrete, that is one thing. The myth of a “dream job” has caused more than a few candidates to miss real opportunities to build knowledge, skill and experience that are invaluable later in a career. Only through real work experience will you learn what the perfect job for you will be.

 Credits “Job Search Derailers" by Karen Kodzik; "Myths That Derail a Job Search” by Ralph Dise