Still Unemployed Despite a Lengthy Job Search? Think About These Factors
It’s been six months or more, and I’m still unemployed. What am I doing wrong? Am I that undesirable as a candidate?
My wife and I left the Bay Area in 2015 and moved to the Foothills east of Sacramento to escape Bay Area prices and be closer to family members. In doing so, I left a well-paying, complex position with a company for which I had worked nearly 20 years.
I thought I’d get hired quickly somewhere, anywhere. But it didn’t happen. I spent countless hours submitting my résumé, applying for all kinds of positions and doing whatever I could. All to no avail.
Sounds frustrating, right?
The job search can be more than challenging. Even the most qualified of candidates can have a tough time finding employment. And with each passing day, unemployed candidates run the risk of losing relevancy in this ever-changing work environment.
If this describes you, and you’re one of many vying for a new job, don’t give up hope. A new job is out there. You just have to change up your approach a bit.
As Dr. Phil often says, “If you don’t have a job, your job is to find a job.” All too often, I see candidates passively looking for employment. They might have a LinkedIn or Indeed profile set up and a few résumés floated over to Craigslist ads.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of not actively looking. Or maybe you’re putting all your efforts into just one or two positions you’re really hoping to land and not really branching out.
Don’t stop there. If you’re not working, you should spend your eight-hour days checking out job boards, applying to various companies, going to job fairs, dropping off applications and more.
Make the most of your time and watch as those opportunities begin to open up.
You might be an expert in one particular field or business. And you naturally think that’s the kind of position for which you’d be an excellent fit moving forward. You’ve applied countless times to jobs for which you think you’d be a great fit. And still nothing.
Yet your own skills might translate over into different industries. Perhaps some of the other things you did at previous positions might be relevant to other job postings.
Don’t limit yourself. Consider applying for jobs outside your comfort zone. Widen your commute radius and be open to accepting a decrease in pay – get in there and show a company why you’re worth more!
It’s also OK to apply for basic, entry-level positions too. Working somewhere is certainly better than not working at all. And just because you’ve found yourself in a relatively basic position doesn’t mean you have to settle on that for your career. It’s just a stepping stone to the next great thing.
Chances are you’ve heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
A passive job search would involve the normal emailing of résumés or setting up an online profile with a company’s recruitment website. But there’s so much more to it than that, especially in today’s network-minded workforce.
As Katherine Hansen, Ph. D, of LiveCareer.com wrote, “Job-seekers today can’t rely on passive methods of job-hunting. You have to meet people and tell as many of them as possible that you’re looking for a job (be specific).”
This means being social – going out and introducing yourself to as many people as possible. A friend of mine, earning nearly six figures a year, told me he never went through traditional channels in landing a job. He found each one of his jobs through active networking.
Talk to people. Let them know you’re on the job hunt and actively searching. Don’t be afraid to join job forums, like those on LinkedIn and Indeed, where you can interact with both employees and hiring managers of different companies.
Employers can easily determine which candidates definitely want to work for their company and those going with more of a “shotgun approach” – sending out résumés to every place possible with the mere hope of landing something, anything.
We’ve all done it – applied to a position we knew, deep down, we had no chance to get.
Instead, comb through a list of open jobs you know you can do well. And remember, you’ll have to convince employers you’re the best candidate for the position. This means tailoring your résumé and identifying your relevant skills in a cover letter in order to make you stand out.
Remember, employers are quick to determine whether or not you have enough experience or the right kind.
For more information on tailoring résumés, click here.
After months of trying on my own, I elected to get myself registered with Blue Ribbon Personnel Services. I’m glad I did, as I was hired internally.
Staffing agencies are in the market to find qualified candidates for businesses. That’s what agencies do and do well. Just think, even if you’re doing everything possible to find an opening somewhere, you can’t possibly be on top of every company’s search for its next great employee.
Putting it simply, a staffing agency is another set of ears on the ground. They know what the job market looks like, who might be hiring and where a good skill set might be applied. Best of all, they can get you what you need most – a foot in the door.
But don’t just register with one or two staffing agencies. Get on board with as many as possible in your area. That way, you’ll have options and a better chance of landing something quickly.
And be sure to continue your own vigorous job search in the meantime. Remember, you are your own best asset.
So you’ve sent dozens of résumés and applications out to various companies and job postings. But you hear nothing back, aside from the occasional rejection letter you’ve gotten oh-so used to by now.
You almost want to throw your hands up and admit defeat, right? What else can you do?
The key thing to remember here is perseverance. You might need some encouragement, which is why networking can be so crucial, but continuously remind yourself you have what it takes to land a good job.
Let your own motivation be a deciding factor in your job search.