It is famously said, “The first step toward change is awareness.” If you have been aware of being in a long-time rut and you can’t find a job, it’s time to dig far and wide into your attempts at landing interviews as well as your interview experiences. Being aware of the reasons behind your failures will provide you with the fastest route to getting back on track.
Jobs work on the simple economic law of demand and supply. Companies have demand for skills and you have a supply of skills. It’s a simple exchange of value. For some reason, in your case, even though you can provide the supply, companies don’t seem to want to take it. The challenge now is to figure out why this is happening.
So, why can’t you get a job?
There could be various reasons. Some of these will be things you can change, tweak, and improve in some way. However, there will always be factors beyond your control. In any case, it’s important to understand what’s what so you know what to do to change your circumstances and get a job.
Factors You Can Control
This is the most important part of the reasons behind you not getting a job, simply because you can change these things. More often than not, the roadblock in your way of getting a job offer is you. By objectively looking and understanding the reasons behind not finding a job you can change your approach to job hunting. Here are all the factors you should reconsider:
- Your Résumé
This is the document that sets your first impression in front of interviewers. As the old adage goes, “First impression is the last impression.” Needless to say, this is easily the most critical document you have in your job hunting kit. It has to be impressive enough to warrant a phone call from the interviewer.
It is imperative to have a strong résumé even if you have absolutely no work experience. Everyone starts out somewhere, right? You can’t always have relevant experience. So how do you make an impressive résumé without work experience?
It’s simpler than you might think. You must have done something during your college years that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. So, sit and jot down everything you’re interested in and everything you’ve done in your spare time that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. The key here is relevance. Remember, what interviewers are looking for is a chance that you may be on the same page as them. The more relevant things you put on your résumé, the greater the chances that the interviewer will want to call you and find out more.
If you have a fair amount of work experience, chances are that you may not be highlighting the right parts of it in your CV. Make sure that the work experience you put in your CV is worded in a way that shows the interviewer that your knowledge and experience is well-suited to the job you’re applying for. Irrelevant work experience, no matter how extensive or well-done, will not get you a phone call from the interviewer.
CVs have the singular objective of getting you a phone call from interviewers. Use them as a marketing tool to sell your knowledge and services. They should use the most appealing language to position you in the best light and make you seem like the most relevant, confident and highly skilled candidate in your field.
Everything you write on a resume should be written with the undertone of “I am an achiever.” Although written in a praising manner, it should continue to be genuine. If you can afford it, we strongly recommend having your resume written by a professional resume writer to bring out this appeal for you. You can find great deals for professional resume writing services on the Monster portal.
- Type of Jobs You Apply for
Applying for jobs is a skill in itself. There appears to be a trend wherein people will apply to any and every job with a given title, irrespective of industry, company size, job requirements, etc. This seeks comfort in numbers – if you apply to enough jobs, maybe some will call you back. Right?
Well, no. Wrong.
Seeking safety in numbers is a highly volatile and uncertain approach when it comes to job hunting. There’s no guarantee that anybody at all will call you back. It makes a lot more sense to apply for specific jobs at a handful of well-chosen companies. This affords you a number of benefits. Firstly, it lets you customise your profile for each job you apply for. Secondly, it lets you check whether your profile matches what the job requires, and lets you justify or maneuver any difference that may exist. Lastly but most importantly, it gives you a chance to follow up on every application you’ve made.
Finding the right jobs to apply to is paramount. The best way to do this is to head over to Monster and use the extensive range of filters available to narrow down the jobs that fit you best. Monster’s automatic recommendation system shows you available jobs that are fit for your profile. In addition, the portal gives you the advantage of narrowing it down further as per your preferences.
Apply all relevant filters like education level, skills, years of experience, role, etc. You can also set filters for your preferences like location, salary, timings, etc. Find the perfect jobs and only apply to those that you genuinely like.
- Your Skill Set
Suppose your Monster-created résumé works its magic and you do get that coveted interview call. What next?!
Well, this is where your skills actually come into play. Writing down what skills you have is easy, demonstrating them may not be that simple. Consider working on sharpening the skills you already possess, not just to get better at what you do, but also to get better at showing off your skills.
Your skill set speaks to your ability to perform and excel at the job you are applying for. By skill set here, we mean the actual skills required for the job — like familiarity with content management systems and knowledge of SEO for a content marketing position. Interviewers will test your knowledge and skills through various tests or questions. If your skills seem rather average,
Develop your hard skills through workshops, online training and courses. This will instil deeper confidence in your abilities and also improve your chances of winning over your competition.
- Unrefined Soft Skills
Companies now more than ever, emphasize finding the right cultural fit for themselves and look for someone who can adapt to the demands of a modern workplace. Soft skills are highly sought after in the modern workplace and being weak in skills like active listening, verbal communication and body language can prove to the interviewer that you are not the right fit.
Continually interact with people and observe how people communicate to practice verbal and nonverbal communication. You must also work to develop other key aspects of your soft skills such as collaboration, organisation and interpersonal communication through practice.
- Poor Interview Skills
The entire probability of scoring a job offer depends on whether you can persuade the interviewer into thinking that you are the perfect candidate for the job. Ineffectiveness in answering questions with distinct confidence and failure to communicate your skills impressively in your interviews can render your selection chances to nearly zero.
Prepare with common interview questions, read people’s interview experiences who were in similar roles in your field and conduct mock interviews using family or friends, even ask them for prompt questions based on your answers. This will help you cultivate a better command over your communication, prepare thoughtful answers to common questions and increase your ability to think on your feet. For assistance with this, you can also check out the Monster Blog, they bring you their two decades of experience through exclusive interview tips from experts and common interview questions from experienced people, all for free.
- Unimpressive Mindset
Your mindset is continuously reflected in your answers. In fact, interviewers are trained to ask you questions which bring out what you think. If your answers are pointing to a mindset of being defeated, cynical, nervous or self-doubting then the interviewer will be quick to pick up on them and immediately red flag you as a candidate.
Cultivate a mindset of positivity, opportunity and competence. Remember, they are not only hiring skills, but they are also hiring a person who will bring in new energy and influence their team.
Factors Beyond Your Control
If you have been doing everything right — having the right resume, applying for the right jobs, following great interview etiquettes, delivering a great impression but you are still finding yourself at the end with a politely worded mail of rejection, then you can attribute this to circumstances which are out of your control.
Below are some reasons which are out of your control and the minimum solutions you can apply to mitigate them:
- Economic Slowdown
Economic slowdowns often happen cyclically after periods of impressive growth. When an economic slowdown happens it often occurs globally and results in fewer jobs being created. This increases competition and makes it significantly tougher to triumph over the crowded competition space.
In such a situation, skilling up to match the competition as well as doubling down effort on your end by increasing the volume of jobs you apply to can increase your chances.
Your location may have a scarcity of vacancies for your job role or most of the vacancies may have already been occupied. This would result in fewer chances for interviews and very high competition for remaining vacancies.
Your best bet in this scenario is to go where the jobs are. You can decide to relocate to a new city, state or country with more opportunities for your job role. This will usually be in industrial cities with more job opportunities. You can use the Location Filter on job portals like Monster to quickly see the number of jobs in the area you are planning to relocate.
- Competition Pool
At the time of your interviews, you are competing with the set of candidates who have applied for the same job. In this competition pool, if there is someone with more experience and a better set of skills than you, they will become the more suitable and preferred candidate for the role. This is a fair loss which is out of your control.
The most straightforward solution here is to try to excel at your job and be objectively better than your competition. However, in the slim chance of standing a fighting chance against an objectively better candidate, you could prepare a list of the best reasons to hire you and highlight them to the interviewer.
- Hiring Budget
Sometimes all can go well and you and the company may find the perfect fit in each other but the salary package they offer you according to their hiring budget is below your expectations and what your experience deserves. Negotiation doesn’t help either.
In such a case, it is up to you to decide whether you want to settle for less or move on.
Job hunting is a skill, being aware of what you can and cannot change helps you dodge unemployment. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses arms you with a strategic plan to target the areas where you need to focus. This will acutely increase your chances in the job market and help you in landing a job.