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In today’s job market, it’s very easy to become frustrated by the lack of response to your resume or application submissions. The fact is there is about a 6:1 ratio of job applicants for each available position. What does this mean? It means you have to stand out, head and shoulders, above the rest of the applicants.

Potential Reasons You’re Not Getting Hired

It means you have to have the perfect resume and cover letter, tailored for each position that you apply for, that easily shows that you have the background (or potential) for the position. Let’s assume you have all of that, and you’re still not getting calls. There may be some reasons why you're not getting hired:

You Have Not Fully Grasped The Reality

...of today’s market and the massive economic upheaval that is occurring. All of the fancy degrees, past experience, and so on just isn’t enough today. These things DO matter - it’s just the applicant pool is full of people with these backgrounds. Thus, the competition is much more stiff. Nothing in this job market will come easily. Some positions will come more easily than others, but they may be positions for which you feel you’re overqualified. The “gem” positions will typically take much longer and be harder to get.

You Don’t Apply

...because you don’t like to be rejected, and if you don’t apply, you can’t be rejected. This is circular logic, and self-fulfilling (and self-defeating) behavior. You don’t know until you try. In the marathon that is today’s job search, you’re going to be rejected until you’re not. It’s a fact of life. We’ve all been there. It’s not personal; it’s just business. It is unlikely this reflects on you as a person (unless you had an interview and you totally bombed – in that case, instead of focusing on the negative, learn from the experience, and go forward better prepared the next time). You may have been a great fit for some positions – someone else may have just fit a little bit better. In an employer’s market, this happens. When the tide changes, and it will, this will be less of an issue.

You Don’t Take Your Job Search Seriously

If you’re unemployed (or underemployed), your job search should be at least 30-40 hours per week – responding to ads (low value return, but necessary), resume and cover letter customization, and networking, networking, networking (did I mention “networking”?). If you are employed and are looking for a new gig on the sly, at least 10-20 hours per week would be appropriate. Watching daytime television and hanging out with friends is not likely to get you a new position. Looking for a job is a job. Treat it like one. What’s listed above falls into the category of “bad habits” for lack of a better label. These habits are very easy to break – with focus and discipline. By getting into good habits, your position search should be that much faster and more fruitful. However, that totally depends on you.

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