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Posted by on Jan 24, 2013

4 Reasons No One Will Tell You Why You Can’t Find a Job

4 Reasons No One Will Tell You Why You Can’t Find a Job

I was reminded again of the frustration that job seekers face for a number of reasons when a husband of a job seeker sent me an email this week.  His wife has a three year job gap because she was taking care of their children.  She’s applied for a number of jobs over the last 60 days and still can’t find entry level work.  This work as a mother and primary caregiver is important.  In fact, it’s the most important job you can have.  As a mother to a 4 year old, I know this from personal experience.  The challenge with the job search is that it’s subjective and it’s your job to fill in the blanks for your prospective employer.

Help! I Can’t Find a Job

There are invisible factors you will never be told about that keep you from landing a job which is the benefit of having a resume or career coach to help give you insights where employers will not.  Your prospective employer is not in the business of giving feedback.  Unlike a career expert, this is not how they pay the bills.  They are looking for the best person to fill a role they have open.  And they don’t have a vested interest in giving information, insights, or suggestion to help you in your job search.

Where to Get a Job

When it comes where to get a a job or at least getting a job interview there are only a handful of factors that are keeping you from landing that first point of recruiter or hiring manager contact:

  • Social Profiles Paint You in a Less Than Positive Light.  Whether it is photos of you taking tequilla shots, tweets where you are complaining about your job, or outdate information, social media might be hurting more than helping your job search.  Recruiters look to social sites more than ever before to survey the candidate even before the initial interview.
  • Applying for Positions You Are Not Qualified For.  Recruiters are inundated with hundreds or thousands of resumes and applications for a single job opening with upwards of 90% of them not qualified for the job.  Unless your resume and experience dictates that you are qualified for the position, you should not be applying for the position.
  • Your Resume Needs A Lot of Updating. Your resume is the single most important marketing document you have in your job search.  One, that recruiters on average spend less than 6 seconds viewing.  Each job you apply for should have a customized resume that highlights a very particular set of skills, experiences, and characteristics.  The wife of the husband who sent me the resume this week was applying for a clerical position.  The resume was one page long and highlighted only her experience in child care and working at a photo lab.
  • There are No Job Openings That Fit Your Specific Expertise.  While this falls along the lines of applying for jobs are you under qualified for, if there are no job openings that fit your expertise, consider taking on a temp job or a short term assignment that might provide you extra skills or experience.  Maybe this means spending some time in classes at your vocational center to gain extra skills.  While I’m not a professional graphic designer, I have better than average skills which I learned through a vo-tech class and lots and lots of practice.  These “extras” have come in handy in blog design, working with my clients, and my own business marketing materials.

The Job Search is a Personal Marketing & Branding Campaign

If you can’t find a job or minimum even score an interview after 60 days and applying for more than 20 jobs, you need to re-evaluate your current job searching methods.  This means taking an honest look into what you are currently doing and make a change.  The job search is a marketing campaign.  It’s a personal brand and marketing strategy where you are selling you.  What are you going to change and do to help you find a job and change your life?

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About Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is workplace technology and social media strategist. She's the founder of and mom to @ryleighmerrell. Follow her on Twitter, @blogging4jobs.

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