Landing your dream job is a lot of work –– and you aren’t even getting paid! Job searches can be exhausting. Worse, they’re often humiliating. Sometimes it feels like you’ve asked a crush for coffee and gotten only laughter in response. Don’t get discouraged. In many cases, it’s not you –- it’s them. Companies have enacted barriers that make getting hired even more difficult. If you’re wondering why is finding a job so hard, here are seven reasons.
1. The Job Doesn’t Exist
Many postings are for positions that aren’t really open. Instead, hiring managers hope to collect resumes so when a job is available they can quickly fill it. Which doesn’t mean submitting won’t help you down the road. It’s just not a lot of comfort if you need a job now.
2. The Position Will Be Filled Internally
Another answer to the question of why is finding a job so hard is similar to number one. Companies often post for positions they plan to fill from within. There are numerous reasons for this from corporate policy to the outside chance that an outside hire will be better qualified. It doesn’t change the fact that anyone working for the company has a serious leg up. In fact, surveys reveal that 50% of all openings are filled by internal candidates before the jobs are even posted. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to know if the company will only promote from within (just as you can’t know that a hiring manager is just harvesting resumes). The only solution is to keep submitting.
3. Your Resume Has Been Culled
Around 75% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. Instead, they fall prey to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Employed by over 90% of Fortune 500 firms, ATS uses proprietary algorithms to weed out applicants without the desired skill sets. The problem is you may have the talent but you’ll never get an interview if your resume isn’t keyword optimized. So, instead of sending dozens of submissions that will get discarded, devote a day to perfecting your resume. Make ATS work for you.
4. Your Resume is Dated
Although anyone can have a resume that doesn’t reflect current trends, this issue is more likely for older applicants. If you have an objective just below your contact deets, then chances are your resume needs some modernizing. Go online and check out some successful resumes. Consider hiring a firm or a coach to polish your prose. If the only thing standing between you and your dream job is a resume, it’s an easy fix. Take the time to fix it.
5. You’re Undisciplined
Train your brain. How? Do the same task at the same time, every day. Successful authors across genres all write first thing in the morning. They are conditioned to create at the same time and the same place. It can work for you. Prioritize your job search and devote an hour or two every day to the effort. You’ll be more successful if you set aside that time daily rather than doing a laborious search for five hours once a week. If it matters –– and it should –– then do it before the day gets in the way. For some reason the unemployed seem to have even more distracting demands than full-time workers.
6. You Aren’t Networking
Getting that perfect position is as much about who you know as what you can do. As many as 80% of jobs are filled through professional or personal connections. Historically this is why so many top management positions went to White males. While that situation is slowly improving, it doesn’t change the fact that no matter who you are, you need to access everyone in your network –– personal and professional. If you’ve built up an Intsa following then you know exactly what you need to do. Everyone –– friends, relatives, former colleagues –– should be employed in the quest to find you employment. And they need to reach out to their connections as well. You never know where a solid lead will come from.
7. Way More People are Looking for Work
This is a tough one. The COVID-19 pandemic sent unemployment soaring to almost 15% last year. Jobless numbers don’t reflect people who stopped looking for work –– many of whom are now reentering the job market. You’re competing with millions of people who were working two years ago when the unemployment rate was below 4%. This isn’t meant to be discouraging. It just means you need to double down on your efforts.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Armed with facts, you’ll know how to tailor your search to the marketplace.The discipline you’re developing will not just help you land a job. It will improve your performance when you start working.