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I Can’t Find A Job: A Complete Guide

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Many people hit the “I can’t find a job” wall, but not everyone knows how to overcome it.

Today’s article explains the reasons you may be having trouble finding a job, what you can do to land a job, and how to deal if you can’t get a job you like.

Keep reading to also discover some tips on how to stay motivated and conduct a successful job search.

Why Can’t You Find a Job?

Job searches take time, but that’s just one reason why you may be having trouble finding one. Below are some practices that can delay landing a job.

Your Resume Isn’t Tailored to the Position

A crucial part of submitting your resume for a job application is to include information relevant to the position you’re aiming for.

If the skills, past experience, education, etc. on your CV can’t be linked to the job title in question, you may not make it to the interview stage.

You Are Sending Form Cover Letters

Cover letters are a great way to attest to your competence as a professional, be it practical or behavior-wise.

However, if you’re sending out generic cover letters that reflect nothing specific to your performance in your previous post, the lack of personalization can fire back as a rejection.

You’re Not Applying for Enough Jobs

The more jobs you apply for, the higher the chances you’ll get a response from one of them. Although this is a simple fact, many job seekers overlook it.

You Have a Gap in Your Employment

If your resume shows a gap time in your employment with no explanation attached, you may not hear back from the recruiter.

Make sure you account for any gaps in your employment to let the reviewer know what you’ve been up to (studying, traveling, etc.)  

You Are Over or Under-Qualified

Being under or over-qualified is a valid reason for rejection from a certain position. When applying for any job, be sure to carefully review the listed requirements to see if they’re a good match for your skills and experience.

The Job Market is Flooded With Qualified Candidates

When competition for a certain job or in a certain field is fierce, it means there are a lot of candidates sharing more or less the same level of qualifications.

This can hurt your chances of getting accepted, but you can get around the issue by highlighting unique skills or credentials that set you apart from the others.

Your Job Search is Too Narrow

If you only focus your job search on a couple of companies or websites, then its range isn’t wide enough and it’s very possible you’ll end up missing out on tons of opportunities.

Your Interview Skills Need a Boost

One more serious reason that can keep you from landing a job is poor interview skills. You could have all the right qualifications and still get rejected because your responses didn’t make the desired impact.

What to Do When You Can’t Find a Job

Now, let’s talk about what you can do to turn your unemployment status around.

1. Start a Side Gig to Relieve Financial Pressure

Landing a full-time job can be a real challenge and you may not have the privilege of not needing money till a position comes along.

Doing a side hassle such as babysitting, bartending, or ride-sharing can bring in some income while you look for your dream job.

2. Take a Break from the Search

Sometimes you’re too immersed in a task that you start losing your edge. This can easily happen when looking for a job.

Taking some time off of the search mission could give you the fresh perspective you need to refine your job hunting.

3. Reach Out to Your Professional Network

This is a good time to call upon your professional network. Not only can reaching out to others help widen your scope of employment, but it can also cut your search duration significantly.

4. Move to a Different Area

A new place where you can tackle a new job market could be the gateway to the career opportunities you’ve been waiting for.

Before you move, research the area to get a better idea of the employment situation.

5. Work on Your Online Presence

Your online presence on social media platforms can greatly boost your professional life. Staying connected and putting yourself out there can attract a job offer that you didn’t expect.

6. Hone Your Resume

Refining your resume meanwhile searching for a job is a smart action. It allows you to keep growing professionally and add more skills/credentials to your list of qualifications, further improving your chances of getting employed.

7. Go to School or Learn a New Skill

Another way of developing your qualifications for jobs is to fortify your knowledge arsenal. Taking classes or learning new useful skills is a practical way of using the wait time.

8. Change Your Strategy

Your current approach to finding work may not be the best way to get a job. Your search scope may be narrow, your interview skills may be lacking, or you may be submitting a weak resume.

Shake up your job search strategies and see if that makes a difference.

9. Practice Interview Skills

I already mentioned how poor interview skills could cost you a job even if you’re perfectly qualified. Preparing a list of possible questions and rehearsing your answers can be a massive help.

10. Find the Issue

You know yourself and your shortcomings better than anyone. If you’re having trouble landing a job, reflect on your skills, credentials, experience, personality, and any other aspect that could be causing the hiccup.

Finding the problem is the first step to solving it.

11. Use the Available Resources

Make sure you tap into all the available resources to increase your odds of landing a job. These can be job-posting websites, social media platforms, former colleagues, people within your circle, etc.

What to Do When You Can’t Find a Job and Need Money

Not being able to find a job while burning through your savings is a situation no one wants to be in. Here’s what you can do to overcome it:

  • Get a Temp Job: If you’re experiencing confusion about which career to choose, you can go for a temporary job to pay the bills until you figure out what you want to do. Temping is also a good chance to learn a lot of skills and gain experience in various roles within a short period.
  • Get a Restaurant Job: Most restaurant works are jobs with no experience requirement, so they can be pretty easy to land so you can quickly start bringing in cash.
  • Start a Side Hustle: Earning extra money is possible through a side hustle. Examples include driving people, online tutoring, delivering food, taking surveys, joining a focus group, and selling items online.
  • Get Help: As a job seeker, there’s nothing wrong with asking for support when you need it. Turn to people you trust (family, friends, mentors, and so on) for some help.

What to Do When You Can’t Find a Job You Like

If you’re having trouble finding a job you love, you should consider the following strategies:

1. Find a Job You Don’t Like at a Company You Like

Often than not, working in a good company can help you overlook the lack of love for the job.

Companies that offer attractive packages or ones with supportive colleagues can be a nice match. You should also look into smaller companies as they tend to offer positive work environments.

2. Be Patient

Don’t rush into judging a job. Only after putting enough time into doing it and analyzing its pros and cons can you accurately decide whether or not you like the position.

3. Reflect on What You Want Out of a Job

The issue may not be that you don’t like the job as much as that you’re judging it against the wrong criteria.

As a job seeker, you need to take a step back and think about what you want out of a job. Are financial aspects your main concern? Do you want to learn a lot and climb up the ranks? Are you looking for flexible hours?

4. Consider Further Education

If you can’t get your dream job with your current credentials and skills, it may be a good idea to study for the job you want. There are plenty of courses and programs in just about every field you can think of waiting for you to discover.

5. Find Comparable Jobs

If you can’t get the exact job that you like, try looking for other jobs with similar responsibilities or within the same line of work. You just may end up loving the “second best thing” more than the original.

6. Reach Out to People

Take the initiative and seek out people who can connect you to the line of work you want to join.

Whether it’s former colleagues, professional acquaintances, old friends, or ‘someone who knows someone you know’, putting yourself other can help you find a job opening.

How to Stay Motivated When You Can’t Find a Job

It’s important not to lose your drive while searching for a job. Here are some tips to help you keep your motivation alive:

Establish a Routine

Creating a routine for your mission of job hunting can help you stick to it.

For example, if you follow the same daily order of browsing job listing boards, looking at open posts on some companies’ websites, and then checking emails, you’re likely to continue doing so on days when you don’t feel very motivated.

Take Breaks

Giving yourself some time off of the hunt can be a good idea. That way, you can come back to search with a fresh outlook that could help you improve your strategies.

Be Patient

Keep reminding yourself that finding a job doesn’t usually happen overnight.

Most job seekers don’t just stumble upon great posts that pay well, things take time (especially good ones) so try to have patience.

Set Achievable Goals

“Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” isn’t always the right move when looking for a job.

You’re more likely to land an entry-level job as a graduate than end up a manager. If you aim for a manager position with no previous work experience, you’ll end up discouraged from the job hunt.

That’s why it’s important to set realistic achievable goals.  

Look for Opportunities to Volunteer

While looking for a job, it’s good practice to keep busy and have a positive attitude to preserve your drive.

Doing volunteer work isn’t only a great way to stay active and help others, but it can also open doors for professional opportunities.

Focus on What is Within Your Control

Getting accepted in a job isn’t ultimately up to you, but continuing the search and not giving up is your decision to make.

Focusing on what you can control and acknowledging what’s out of your hands is crucial to staying motivated.

Get Help

One of the best ways to keep your drive is by having someone to report to. Find a friend or a family member who you count on for support and have them check in on your progress regularly.

How to Be Successful in Your Job Search

The following are tips to help you land a job:

  • Follow Best Practices: Effective best practices for job seekers include remaining positive, updating your resume,  joining networking groups, and more. Following such guidelines is sure to bring good results.
  • Get Help With Your Resume: Your resume should reflect your skills, credentials, and true potential. If you’re not confident you can make it as such, look for help online or get a more experienced friend or colleague to examine your resume and suggest modifications.
  • Change Your Strategy: Combining multiple job search strategies is the best approach. For example, strategies like widening your search scope, improving your interview skills, and refining your resume work better together than only one of them.
  • Write Tailored Cover Letters: Make sure you’re sending out personalized cover letters that specifically address the career or position you’re aiming for.
  • Hone Your Interview Skills: Boost your interview skills by preparing a list of possible questions and rehearsing your answers.
  • Don’t Rely on Job Boards: Looking for jobs on boards alone may not be enough. You should also consider other resources such as looking for vacancies on companies’ websites and asking around your professional network.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Harder To Get a Job the Longer You Are Unemployed?

The chances of getting job interviews are often lower the longer the candidate is unemployed.

Why Can’t Millennials Find Jobs?

The main reasons are the shortage of employment opportunities and the crowded labor market. Other factors such as skill mismatch, student debt, and negative attitudes also share the blame.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, a detailed guide to the possible reasons you can’t find a job, what you can do to land a job, and how to deal if you can’t get a job you like.

As always, leave a comment if you have any questions.

To land a job, you should hone your resume, reach out to your professional network, learn a new skill, work on your online presence, practice interview skills, and use all the resources available.

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