Kate Lorenz is one of my favorite career advice writers, and a great piece she released recently is on the most common reasons you might have been on the market for a year or more and still don’t have a job in hand. I see this problem all the time. Most people have unreasonable expectations as to what an effective job search involves. They think they can simply spend an afternoon writing a resume, post it on a few job boards, get invited for a handful of interviews…and voila. And when things don’t go their way immediately, they get disillusioned and de-motivated.
Kate’s source for this article is Tony Beshara - president and owner of Dallas-based job placement firm Babich and Associates and an occasional contributor on The Dr. Phil Show. According to Beshara, here are some issues that might be preventing you from landing that offer.
- You're not making finding a job a job itself! Many people don't adopt a committed, passionate, failure-is-not-an-option attitude and don't recognize that finding a job is a numbers game. When it comes to interviews, it's all numbers: the more interviews you get, the better your chances of getting called back; the more times you're called back, the better your chances of landing a good job.
- You haven't developed a system of finding a job. The system should entail everything from goals and intentions that dictate planned activity to role-playing of interviews.
- You have an unrealistic idea about the market for your skills. There is a tendency for people to over-inflate the ease of their ability to find a job, based on a distorted view of the marketability of their skills. This can lead to frustration and disappointment when the job search takes longer than expected.
- You aren't acknowledging the psychological and emotional stress that changing jobs entails. By denying this reality, people operate out of fear of rejection. They confuse activity with productivity and focus on minor things that appear to be job-finding activities, but aren't the most fruitful activities.
- You don't prepare well for interviews. Most people are either not confident in themselves or act arrogant in the interviewing process simply because they are not as prepared as they should be. They don't prepare and practice presentations on themselves with others.
- You're not selling yourself. The vast majority of people going into an interviewing situation simply don't sell themselves very well. People neglect to do everything from dress properly to focus on what they can do for a prospective employer. And worst of all, they don't come right out and ask for the job.
If you’ve been job hunting for a while with no results, perhaps you should try to look at yourself objectively and see if any of these applies to you. Realizing that there's an issue is the first step to getting on the right track!