I shouldn’t be writing this given what I do for a living, but sometimes I have clients insisting that I can help, yet I know that me simply writing a resume is not the best or only solution for them.
We end up having long discussions on other things that can help.
There are certain times in your life when your super snappy CV or amazing LinkedIn profile will only take you so far.
Of course there’s always benefit in having compelling marketing material, don’t get me wrong.
However, if you’ve persisted and persisted and you still can’t find a job, it’s likely there are a whole host of things happening.
Take a look at this list for a start.
1. There are just too many of you in the market place.
This might be the case if you’re a graduate or the other senior end of the career ladder, where there are too many generals and not enough wars to fight.
2. Your industry is dying.
Your skills are not in demand. You haven’t kept up to date with technology, or the latest trends that employers are asking for.
3. You are only relying on replying to advertisements to look for a job.
That’s probably roughly only 20% of the job market. If you persist with this approach you’re simply not playing the numbers in a way that’s going to help.
4. You don’t grasp the main purpose of the role, so you’ve been applying for the wrong roles or missing the mark.
Narrowing your focus correctly can often be difficult to do, as many advertisements are difficult to translate. Or the real skills the employer requires are hidden amongst the many “nice to haves” on the advertisements.
5. You do not actually have the skills for the role, but you don’t know this.
Many organizations are risk averse. In performance reviews managers can describe things such as weaknesses as “development areas.”
That’s a fine term if it is possible you may develop the skill they describe.
But it’s misleading if you have no potential or real desire to develop that talent. If you are given feedback about your performance in a role, make sure you ask for examples around what that feedback means. That way you can understand yourself better and know if you are on the right career path.
6. You are doing something painfully annoying when you speak to a recruiter or the employer.
Perhaps you don’t listen. Or you talk too much or talk too little. You’ve not prepared for the interview or you show no interest in the role.
7. You have a “fixation” and you think it’s everyone else’s problem, and it shows in the interview.
You don’t get job offers and you blame it on an issue that is undeniable, but probably not the real reason you are missing out. By this I mean thinking that the issue may solely be your age/gender/nationality and so on.
Yes discrimination exists.
But before you blame your lack of success on these, make sure you have everything else in order. Ask for some honest feedback on how you’re coming across in your marketing materials – are you highlighting your value and strengths in the most compelling way possible?
I say this because fixations can be blinding.
They can get in the way of you accepting the real truth about the problem. You may react badly to simple questions from an interviewer or see questions as meaning something different from the way the questioner intended.
Then you get defensive. Your mind can play amazing tricks on you when you think the world is biased. Don’t fall into that trap.