"Why am I still unemployed?"
At Work It Daily, we're asked this question a lot. The reality is, the reason is different for everyone. The good news? Whatever is holding you back from getting hired, you can overcome.
Here are five reasons you're still looking for a job:
1. Your Resume Isn’t Job Specific
While it's good to have a strong resume with all of your professional skill sets, your resume can become generic when all you do is send the same resume to every open position you find.
The Solution: Customize your resume for each job you apply for. By taking the time to customize your resume with relevant skill sets and specific keywords that are in the job description, you'll be more likely to land an interview, and therefore, will have more viable job opportunities.
2. You’re Overqualified
This problem is common among older workers looking for a career change. But this can happen to anyone who has a lot of experience and is trying to get their foot in the door at another company.
The Solution: During an interview, make it your mission to connect with the employer. Tell a story. Let them know you aren't just running out the clock. If they ask about your 5-year plan, don't mention retirement. Your career isn't over yet.
3. You’re Underqualified (Or Lack Exposure To The Professional World)
On the flip side, you could be unemployed because you don't have enough experience or the right skill sets to do the jobs you've been applying for. Maybe you're a recent college grad, and at this point, you're just begging someone to give you a chance. Whatever your situation, employers are making it very clear you aren't qualified.
The Solution: Take classes or earn certificates to try to develop new skills. Volunteer or intern to get the type of professional experience employers are looking for. Focus on the skill sets you do have, and learn how to quantify those skills on your resume to stand out to hiring managers.
4. You've Stopped Being Proactive In Your Job Search
If you really want a job, your actions have to reflect your attitude. As the weeks (or maybe months) drag on and you still haven't found a job, you may find yourself getting into a dangerous job search routine. You apply for half a dozen jobs every day and hope for the best. This strategy rarely works. If you want quality job opportunities, you need to be proactive.
The Solution: Make networking a priority. Go to job fairs. Reach out to employees at companies you'd love to work for on LinkedIn. Start compelling, professional conversations with them. Remember: you're a business-of-one. The better you actively market yourself to employers, the more job opportunities you'll likely receive.
5. You've Lost All Urgency
It can be easy to get into a job search rut. Time goes by differently when you don't have a set routine. The longer it takes for you to find a job, the harder it is find the motivation to get a job. You may begin to lose confidence in yourself and your skills as a professional. When your career is suddenly on hold, your life can feel like it is without purpose or direction.
The Solution: Set goals and work towards them—even if they're just small goals. They could be career-related goals, or not. Maybe you want to get in better shape. Maybe you want to learn a new skill. If you set goals for yourself, you'll regain that sense of purpose—and better yourself in the process.
Being unemployed is tough. If you follow these tips, you'll have the tools to overcome the challenges you face in the job search process.
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This post was originally published at an earlier date.