There are millions of pieces of sage advice that can help job seekers optimize their search for future employment. And a lot of it is absolutely FREE. Most of this FREE advice is sufficient enough to eliminate or at least reduce time-wasting activities and growing frustrations from not hearing back from the prospective employers. Although on paper (I mean on the internet), it appears that there plenty of jobs available and some employers complain that there aren’t enough qualified job candidates on the market, the reality for those who are desperately looking for their next paycheck seem to be gloom.
According to NCSL - National Conference of State Legislature, National Unemployment Rate was at 4.0 percent through June 2018. It is an increase from 3.8 percent. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 213,000 jobs were created in June 2018. NCL reports that “employment increased in professional and business services, manufacturing, and healthcare, while the retail trade sector lost jobs.”
After hours of reading FREE advice, completing application after application, and updating resumes and cover letters for every job, all the activities are just not yielding any positive results. Job seekers get frustrated and even depressed, since all they hear is crickets or the roaring sounds of automated rejection emails. Luck has left them temporarily since they lost their last job. If they are still employed but unhappy in the current situation, any prospect of luck to get out of there is looking bleak.
So, what is going on? Why can't they get an interview? How to turn the unlucky situation into a lucrative employment opportunity?
There many reasons why the "unlucky" job seekers aren’t getting interviews. I will list just a few here:
1. Your Resume/CV is nothing but a list of job responsibilities. You might have simply copied and pasted your last job description and thought it was a great idea. Please reconsider your approach. People are hired for results not job duties.
2. Your resume and cover letter have no indication that you are qualified for the jobs you are applying. You know deep down in your heart that you are amazing and can do a job. You’ve convinced yourself that you are not your resume. You are uniquely qualified. (Yes, I had clients telling me this. I couldn’t make that up and suggest you look at it from a different angle. Your resume has one purpose – to get you an interview, even though it doesn’t define you!)
It’s great that you know this, but how would a stranger who has never met you before determine that your greatness is worth a paycheck? Remember, you are in a furious competition with over 7.6 billion people residing on the planet Earth. Build your resume and a cover letter to demonstrate your past results as they relate to a future job. Tie your results to a company language, mission, potential challenges. If you are unable to do this, then perhaps this is not a job you want to go after.
3. You do nothing (no networking, follow ups, etc.) but fill out an application online, hope for the best, and expect for a phone call from a recruiter to follow.
4. Your social media profiles are not indicating that you are an expert in the field of work you are trying to enter.
5. You are applying for the jobs that don’t exist! This point isn’t always obvious. Even if you have a perfect "tailored for the job" resume and cover letter, you miss one very important step – RESEARCH! Here is what happens at times when a job seeker is attributing luck to the process of job applications but comes up empty handed.
You go on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, Monster, Twitter, ZipRecruiter, etc. and read the job title and job description. You get excited as the job looks absolutely perfect for your skills, education, and experience. You may look at the other fields briefly and then start the grueling process of filling out yet another long application.
Look at the below screen shot from a job post I found on LinkedIn. Do you see anything alarming?
If not, let me point your attention to how long ago the position was posted? “Posted 1 year ago”. Does that sound slightly suspicious? Is this job really available?
Recently, one of my clients found a job on Glassdoor that looked like a perfect match. Before updating her resume and a cover letter, I looked on a company site and the job didn’t appear in my search results. Then, I went on LinkedIn and had the same outcome. No job posted! I dug a bit deeper and discovered that a person with the same job title and in the same geographic area was hired two months ago. Would it be possible that they have more than one opening for the same exact job? Or, maybe a new hire isn’t meeting employer’s expectations? Yes, of course. Anything is possible. The only way to find out is to ASK that employer. In the digital world, no one with the internet access could have a problem finding a phone number for a company.
Job search is becoming more and more like a forensic investigation. You need to be a bit of a detective before applying for non-existing positions and investing your time and energy into something that isn’t there. In closing, I want to encourage job seekers to not rely on luck only but spend a few minutes to research the existing information. It takes less time and costs you less money. When unemployed, your time is money you are not earning. Spend what you have in your savings funds wisely. Don’t apply for the jobs that don’t exist.
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About the Author: Alexandra Aberle, President and Founder of XCaliber Coaching & Consulting LLC is a certified professional and executive coach, workshop facilitator, keynote speaker, and resume writer. She is on the mission to build a better world of leadership.