Why Are You Struggling to Land a Job?

Nancy Anderson
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Are you sending out resume after resume and still not landing a job? Whether you're unemployed with the hopes of starting your career or just looking to find a new, more challenging position, it's time to diagnose the cause of your unsuccessful situation. Consider these eight reasons you may be having trouble getting an offer, and find out how to adjust your strategy and land a job.

1. Applying to the Wrong Jobs

You don't just want to get any job, you want to land a job that matches your skills, qualifications and experience, so adjust your job search if it's too broad. Before you even send in an application, research the position and the company to make sure both are a good fit for you.

2. Sending Generic Resumes

Resumes are not one size fits all. Each resume you send should be customized to the position for which you're applying. Scan the job description for keywords, and sprinkle a few throughout your resume to get the approval of applicant tracking systems.

3. Unprepared for the Interview

You can't expect to land a job if you're showing up to interviews unprepared. Research the organization thoroughly prior to your interview, bring several copies of your resume and references, and practice your responses to common interview questions.

4. Not Putting in Enough Effort

You're not likely to land a job by simply posting your resume on a few online job boards. Don't wait for the employers to contact you. Keep up your search, reach out to hiring managers and continue to submit applications for jobs that match your skill set.

5. Wasting Networking Opportunities

Don't just sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Get out there and meet others in the industry. Attend job fairs to meet potential employers, connect with former colleagues on LinkedIn and other career sites, and ask friends for job leads.

6. Lack of Confidence

Hiring managers want to know that you're passionate about the job, so let go of your nerves during the interview and let your confidence shine. Demonstrate the value you can bring to the organization.

7. Making a Poor First Impression

If your appearance at interviews leaves a lot to be desired, make the correction immediately. Make sure you're dressed professionally, and pay special attention to hygiene on interview day.

8. Failing to Stand Out

To land a job, you have to stand out from all the other candidates. Sell yourself to the hiring manager by emphasizing your skills, touting your achievements and following up with the interviewer right away.

The search can be frustrating, especially when you're sending out resumes and going on interviews but not hearing back from employers. Rather than get discouraged, determine why you're having trouble, and resolve to fix the issues and so you can land a job.


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  • Robert Curran
    Robert Curran

    Thanks John, but the near-sighted "Blanks" out there are more interested in the numbers on your birth certificate than your previous sales number. The Tampa Bay market is an open sewer for job seekers.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @John Scinto thanks for your comment. We have all been there! Yes I have looked for a job as you should always be looking for your next gig. Reaching out to hiring managers is sort of a 50/50. Sometimes they are receptive and might even do a semi interview with you on the phone. Others will say - thanks for the call. I will get back in touch with you if you are one of the top choices. As for job fairs - they advertise way in advance so make arrangements for a personal day. That way you can meet with as many companies as you can to discuss possible new adventures. I have never known of a job fair that didn't advertise at least 30 days in advance. @Benjamin M I am with you except that I hate having to do my own taxes. That's one of the downsides of being a contractor with some companies. It is a bit disheartening, too, when your counterparts are getting paid for the holiday but you are not - especially when you are not able to work that day, either. But other than that - I love it, too. A lot more freedom than you have in a traditional job and the opportunity to work from home and set my own hours can't be beat. I am always available when they need me even if I have already put in my day. Oh - one other downside is having to pay for your own healthcare plan. But the freedom that I have far outweighs a little bit of convenience!

  • John Scinto
    John Scinto

    The author of this article apparently has never looked for a job. Reach out to hiring managers? Have you ever done that? I have. They tell you if you have submitted your resume, if they are interested they will contact you. Job fairs? They occur almost always during the day, so trying to attend these fairs while you have a job is difficult.

  • Benjamin M.
    Benjamin M.

    As a successful contractor I can highly recommend the lifestyle and I do recommend that people move away from the permanent job. Yes, contracting has its downsides like traveling away from home, you pay for your vacation time and other off-time, and you probably won't have that regular weekly or bi-weekly check coming in. Oh but the upsides far outweigh the aforementioned downers. A major upside to me is that the $$$ is far better than being an employee usually 2 to 3 times better. You make your own schedule within reason that is acceptable to you employer. On some gigs you get to work from home remotely as I have learned more about my cats and dogs lately than I ever knew. You get to plan your retirement and save for it - lets be real that fixed pensions are a thing of the past. For me, even at an accelerated age of moving into 60 in a few yrs, the most important aspect of contracting is that companies hire contractors for what they know but they also expect you to learn new stuff. I love learning new stuff in the computer programming & technology field.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @George Waldon thanks for your comment. No, it's not necessarily a "bad" thing but it may make it harder to find a new job. Companies know that they can't give you what you have had for 30 years such as salary and benefits. In addition, working for the same company all of your career might have limited your growth potential wherein employers would consider you entry-level instead of management material. You need to make sure that you are up to date on the skills required for the job you are seeking. Make sure that you indicate your willingness to learn new concepts and new ways of doing your job. Good luck.


    Just Curious, if a prospective Employer sees that youve worked on one job for 30 years is thst a bad thing to put on your Resume.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Kathy B thanks for your comment. Sounds like it's been awhile since you were a job seeker. Things have changed a lot - just in the past few years. Yes there is a system that looks for keywords. It's called the applicant tracking software (ATS). When your resume is received by the hiring company, it goes through this system based upon the job for which you are applying. The company sets it to look for certain keywords (usually contained within the job posting) and it scores your resume based upon that. If you score high enough, it moves on to a human for review. If not, it goes into a resume bank within the company and is usually maintained for 6 months after while it is deleted. That way, if another job is posted, the system will look through the job bank to find qualified applicants. As for achievements/accomplishments - most of us have them but don't really think about it because we just consider that it's part of our work. Have you ever received an email from someone thanking you for the work you do? That's an accomplishment/achievement. Have you completed an assignment ahead of time? That's an achievement. Even the little things count. Make sure that you are only including about the past 10 years of relevant work on your resume since that's what companies are looking for. Every company is looking for a "team player". What the interviewer is looking for is something over and above just being a member of the team. I hear what you are saying about computers working against us but you know - they are here to stay. And so is the ATS until something else is created to take its place. This is the world we have right now and we have to do the best to conform and comply when it comes to something as life-changing as a getting a new job. So, for your resume, make sure you are including the keywords that you see in the posting. What I normally do is to find about 3 like job postings and compare them. When I see words common to all, I have my keywords - or at least some of them. Check the qualifications and make sure that you have them covered in your resume. Hope this helps @Kathy B. All the best.

  • Kathy B.
    Kathy B.

    All this is good advice but what if the position you have been working in hasn't allowed for special achievements or management accomplishments? When your are a team player, its hard to "tout your horn" to the interviewer - unless they are looking for a team player. I am finding this out in the past few interviews and not sure how to handle it. Also just had a "resume expert" review and advise me on mine which was quite an eye-opener! I had no idea that there was a system that looks for key words and pulls them out of your resume. I hate to say I wish computers were never invented, they seem to be working against us instead for us!

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