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Why you're having trouble finding a job (and what to do about it)

Why you're having trouble finding a job (and what to do about it)

Searching for a job can be an exciting but exhausting prospect. It's thrilling to think of what your future may hold, but it takes just a few rejections to take the pep out of your step. If you have trouble finding a job, don't just sit around and mope about it. We're here to help you figure out why, and what you can do about it. These are some of the common reasons people have trouble finding a job:

Not spending enough time searching for a job

Many experts say you should spend as much time searching for a job as you would in full-time employment. You get out of your job search what you put into it, so if your efforts are half-hearted, you're unlikely to get the results you want. Make sure you're devoting 40 hours a week to your job search while you're unemployed. If you're looking for a job while you're still employed, 40 hours is unrealistic. However, you should still devote time to your job search in the mornings and evenings. Here are some of the activities you could spend time on:

  • Create a profile so employers can find you
  • Update and edit your resume
  • Apply for jobs
  • Research companies and roles you're interested in
  • Prepare sample interview answers
  • Practice your interview technique
  • Attend interviews
  • Network online and offline

You apply for everything

If you apply for every job available, it stands to reason that someone will hire you, right? However, when it comes to job applications, quality often trumps quantity. A more selective approach encourages you to only apply for jobs that match your qualifications, experience, skills, and interests. When you apply to fewer jobs, you'll have more energy to research each role. Your initial research helps you tailor your application to the role and prepare for the interview that hopefully lies ahead.

You submit the same resume for every job

No two roles are the same, so you can't expect to get a job submitting the same resume every time. Customizing your resume shows an employer you have the specific skills, experience, and qualifications they're looking for. Using the same terms as the job ad also helps your resume pass through any applicant tracking system the employer uses to create their candidate shortlist.

You're relying too much on job boards

Job boards can be a great tool for job seekers because they bring job opportunities to you in one central location. However, they're just one of the available tools you can use. Broadening your horizons can increase your chances of securing work. Some other ways to find work include:

  • Visit the websites and social media pages of companies you admire and see if they've posted any jobs.
  • Cold call or visit businesses you want to work for and ask if they have vacant positions.
  • Ask people you know if they've heard of any available jobs in your field.
  • Look on community noticeboards for vacant position fliers.
  • Attend job seeker events and speak to businesses about the possibility of working with them.

"If you're having trouble finding a job, it's time to shake up your job search and try something new."

You're not networking

Don't underestimate the power of networking. Through your network, you might learn about a job that's not yet advertised or get the inside scoop on what an employer is looking for. Contacts can also vouch for your skills and dedication, giving you an edge over other candidates. Contact former classmates, employers, colleagues, family members, and friends and let them know you're on the job hunt. The best networking relationships work two ways, so be sure to offer support and advice to the people you know when they need it.

Your social networks aren't professional

It might surprise you to know that two-thirds of employers use social networking sites to research job applicants. More than half of those employers have found content that made them reconsider hiring the applicant. If you haven't got a job yet, perhaps your social media content is to blame.

The good news is that it's never too late to clean up your social media. You might set your profiles to private and only make public posts that show you in a positive light. Of course, you want to lock down those photos that show you in an unprofessional light, but you may also want to reconsider any divisive political or religious commentary.

If you're having trouble finding a job it's time to shake up your job search and try something new. Be persistent and it's only a matter of time before you land a job you love.

More advice about getting a job

Learn how to impress employers when answering situational interview questions.

Not all buzzwords are created equally. Learn which buzzwords to add to your resume and which ones to avoid.

Make the best first impression and land the job you want with these resume tips.

Help your job application get short-listed with these top cover letter tips.

Don't let nerves derail your chances of getting a job. These tips can help you keep calm and ace your job interviews.