Here at LiveCareer, we often receive different versions of the same basic question from our visitors: Why haven’t I found a job yet? Here are a few different answers based on different sets of circumstances.
“I was fifty-one years old when I was laid off from my administrative assistant job with a local government office. I’ve been searching for work for the last two years, and I’m running out of hope and patience. Meanwhile, my savings won’t hold out forever. I’ve been submitting more than twenty resumes a week, every week. Why isn’t my strategy working?”
There are several reasons why you may be having trouble, but these two are the most likely: First, your age and experience suggest that you may be overqualified (or perceived as such) for the jobs you’re pursuing. Second, your approach seems patient and determined, but at this point, instead of patience and determination, it may be time for a little flexibility. Instead of chasing the same kinds of jobs over and over, expand your reach a little. Let go of rigid thinking and entrenched expectations. For example, there are many jobs in the manufacturing sector that require brief training and pay starting salaries in the $50,000 range. But if you just can’t picture yourself operating a forklift (or drawing blood with a phlebotomy certification, or starting your own business), recognize that you’re missing out on a vast range of opportunities.
“I graduated a year ago, and I don’t have a job yet. I’m frustrated and confused. What am I doing wrong?”
It’s time to stop making the same fruitless moves over and over again. It may take a little trial and error to find out what isn’t working, but it’s time to begin this experimentation and start making some changes to your application strategy. If your resume is already tightly written, clear, organized according to accepted business standards, and focused on your employer’s needs instead of your own, then you’re on the right track. The next move (after you’ve taken care of these others) is to add a link to your resume, a URL inserted into the contact information section. Use the link to take readers and viewers to your webpage or blog, where you can post a more detailed and unique presentation of your credentials. Include photos, videos, graphs, and a portfolio of your greatest work and accomplishments.
“I’ve been submitting hundreds of resumes for the last six months. I’m glued to my computer screen all day long. But I still don’t have a job. Why?”
Sometimes even the most brilliant resume can’t do the job all by itself. If you’re staring into a screen all day, it’s time to vary your strategy a little. Call or email some of your contacts and arrange a meeting, possibly over coffee, to ask them for advice. Actively reach out to individual people to ask them if they have any leads for you. Keep your friends and family in the loop, and encourage them to keep an eye out for anything that might represent and opportunity. Be bold and remember that best way to get what you need from others is to ask directly. Meanwhile, even though a strong resume alone won’t do the trick, it’s a great place to start. Visit LiveCareer for an easy-to-use resume builder, templates, samples, and tips that can help gain an edge over your competition.