“Why can’t I find a job?” Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try, you can’t land a job offer. Continue reading for five reasons you may be struggling to land a new role, as well as solutions to speed up your search.
Before diving in, if you’re just starting your hunt for a new role, please know that the average job search length currently hovers around five months. Moreover, if you’re an executive, the search can take significantly longer, since fewer roles are available and the interview process is more involved.
While you can’t change the job market or the number of available roles, there are countless steps you can take to speed up your search and find a position faster. The focus of this article is on those areas of the job search that are within your control. So, let’s dive in.
5 Reasons Your Job Search Is Taking So Long
1. Your target is undefined.
One of the most common missteps I observe among job seekers is too broad of a target. If you’re trying to market the fact that you’re qualified for multiple roles, you’re doing yourself a disservice, since companies tend to want to hire highly qualified specialists.
Solution: Get specific with the types of companies and roles you’re targeting. This doesn’t mean that every role needs to be in the same industry or at the exact same level. However, since you only have one LinkedIn profile, you need to be relatively specific.
Specificity is your friend and will help you land a job faster in today’s hyper-competitive job market.
2. Your expectations are impractical.
Another common issue I see among job seekers is having unrealistic expectations for the type of job they’ll land. These expectations may be the type of company, the level of role, or both. As a tech career coach, many of the job seekers I speak with want to work for one of the tech giants. While it’s great to shoot for the moon, you also need to be realistic regarding the current labor market.
Solution: Ask yourself how your experience and skills align with the required and preferred job duties listed in your target role. Because top tech companies have their choice of candidates, you want to ensure your qualifications match as many of their requirements as possible.
If you’re not in alignment with a vast majority of the requirements in the job posting, consider targeting a ‘lily pad’ role.
3. Your resume isn’t doing you justice.
Your resume is often the first impression a company has of you and your career story, yet it might be failing to effectively communicate your ability to drive value to an organization. If this is the case, it might also be blending in with other applicants’ resumes and failing to showcase what sets you apart.
Solution: Take time to craft a resume that is results-driven and showcases your fabulousness (unique value proposition). I recognize that it can be difficult to write about yourself, so you may find it helpful to record yourself talking about your accomplishments then listen back to it. Also, spend time customizing your resume for each role you apply to using relevant keywords from the job posting, as this helps the recruiter connect the dots between your experience and their opening.
4. You’re skimping on networking.
Your job search efforts shouldn’t stop after you submit your resume. Unfortunately, many job seekers move on to the next opportunity after submitting an application. If this is the case for you, you’re missing out on an opportunity to increase your chances of landing additional interviews.
Solution: Express your continued interest in the role after applying. For starters, you can send a follow-up email to the recruiter using this script I shared in Business Insider. Additionally, you can use LinkedIn to network with prospective colleagues. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when reaching out, either. One of my coaching clients connected with recruiters on Instagram, while another client set up informational interviews with people at his target companies by contacting them via Reddit.
5. You’re struggling to convert interviews to offers.
If you’re landing interviews but not receiving offers, it might be your interview preparation or storytelling skills that are standing in the way of you finding a new job. Although it might be due to luck if you’ve landed one or two interviews but not received an offer, three or more meetings without a new job is a trend worth noticing.
Solution: Start by developing your key talking points and learning how to answer behavioral interview questions. Then, practice answering both common and curveball interview questions using your talking points. You might also consider hiring an interview coach to guide you in taking your storytelling skills to the next level.
A modern-day job search can feel overwhelming and sometimes never-ending. If you’re still not sure why you can’t find a new job, please feel free to schedule a consultation. You’ve got this!