Have you been looking for a job for six, eight months even a year and still haven’t found anything?
Have you sent out hundreds of resumes and no one is calling?
Have you been on countless interviews only to be told that someone else got the job?
If any of these apply to you, it’s time to examine what might be the issue.
So where do you start?
Take a second look at your resume. You might think it’s great; however, the recruiter and hiring manager might think differently. If you have the opportunity, ask a recruiter their opinion of your resume. Most recruiters will give you pointers because recruiters really are jazzed about getting you the job. If you can’t ask a recruiter ask a former supervisor to take a look at it. You don’t want to ask a friend because friends don’t always tell us the truth fearing they might hurt our feelings. Another option is talk to a staffing/employment agency. They’ll give you honest feedback as well. You want someone to review your resume who has had a lot of experience looking at plenty of resumes.
Finally, make sure to tailor your resume to each job. No longer does one size fit all in the world of resumes.
It’s time to practice your answers to interview questions. If you can remember some of the interview questions you’ve been asked, write them down and then write down your responses. There is plenty of help on the internet related to interview questions and responses. I’ve also included a list of some of the more common interview questions with responses HERE. Remember to keep your answers brief and to the point. As you practice, time your responses. If you take ten minutes to answer a question, try again. You want to keep your answers less than ten minutes. Also, keep your responses related to the job the company needs to have done. Review the job description and write down examples of how your experience meets the requirements of the job. Don’t bring up examples of experiences that have nothing to do with the job. Find someone to practice with, perhaps a previous co-worker.
Sometimes salary requirements can prevent you from obtaining employment. If you’re standing firm on a particular amount and you know it’s too high or you’ve been continuously told your requirements are outside of the range, perhaps it’s time to lower your expectations. Doing so depends on how long you want to be employed. Sometimes companies will hire you at a lower rate and then once you’re employed and they see how much you can do they will adjust your salary. This has happened to me on occasion. Be sure to conduct your research to make sure that your expectations are market rate for your skills. Just because you were making the amount at one company doesn’t mean another company has to pay you the same.
Applying to Jobs that You’re Qualified to Do
Over the years I’ve seen applicants set themselves up for failure and frustration applying to jobs they weren’t qualified to do. If you truly are qualified, make sure that your resume reflects your qualifications. But if you know that you aren’t qualified don’t apply. Spend your time wisely applying to those jobs that you’re qualified to do. If you want to make a career change, consider accepting a position that you can do while you train to make the change. If you’ve been training, then make sure you explain in the cover letter why you are applying and what you’ve done to qualify for the position.
Unexplained Gaps in Employment
Does your resume show gaps in employment without any explanation? If so, you need to correct this immediately or you’re only setting yourself up to not be contacted. Explain either on the resume or cover letter why there is a gap. The majority of the time gaps are explainable and no big deal. But if you don’t explain them recruiters aren’t likely to take the time to call especially if they have plenty of other qualified applicants.
Are You Only Looking on Indeed?
If you’re only using one source to look for open positions you might be unemployed for a very long time. Companies don’t use one source to post their jobs. Many companies don’t post their jobs at all. You’ll need to conduct a search of companies in the area and start looking at their websites. The local Chamber of Commerce is a good source to determine companies in the area. Other sources to use to look for jobs include professional associations, networking groups, and social media especially LinkedIn.
If you have already followed all the guidance above and you’re still having trouble, it might be time to consider relocation. Sometimes the market for certain jobs changes. In this case you’ll need to consider changing professions or relocating to where the jobs for your skill sets are.
My point here is that if you’re having trouble finding a job there are things you can do to help yourself find employment again.
And don’t forget – stay positive and persistent!