10 reasons why you haven’t found a job yet

10 reasons why you haven’t found a job yet

When I ask my clients to name the main reasons why they believe they have not yet found a job, two things often come up: the first is the ongoing effects of the economic crisis, and the second is their language ability. 

When we drill down to the core of their job search, however, we often discover that there is much more to it than just the economic situation and their linguistic skills.

Based on my career coaching experience, I have made a list of the top 10 reasons why job seekers are still looking for a job. Take a look and see if you fall into these traps too - and find out how not to.

1. You don’t have a job-hunting strategy

“Do I really need a strategy to job hunt?” I hear you ask. Yes, you do! Having a job-hunting strategy means that you are crystal clear about what kind of job you are looking for, where you can find it, and the steps that are necessary in order to get the job you want.

Having a strategy means that you are not searching in the dark, but are pursuing your goal with full awareness and control. Only then you can adapt other tools such as your CV and LinkedIn profile so that these support you in your search.

Having a strategy in place enables others (recruiters, friends and colleagues) to understand what you are looking for and help you find a position.

2. You are not consistent in your job search

As well as having a job-hunting strategy, you also need to work to apply it consistently. That means that every day, week or fortnight you repeat the same steps, over and over again. 

Only then does your strategy have a chance of working. If you have only tried once or twice to arrange an introduction interview and it didn’t work - that’s normal. You need to do it many, many times.

First of all, that increases the probability of arranging one, and secondly, you get better at it through practice, therefore increasing again your chances of getting invited.

3. You’re not customising your CV and cover letter for jobs

Many many people out there - including many of my clients - have just one CV that they use to apply for all different kinds of jobs. They will normally customise the cover letter for each role but leave the CV exactly the same. That’s a missed opportunity! 

Often recruiters will look first at your CV and then read the cover letter, so you need to grab their attention immediately. What you want to show via your CV is that you are THE candidate for the job.

When you send a standard CV, you leave room for interpretation by someone who might not always have the time or the willingness to make the effort to imagine how you would fit.

4. You don’t have a clear, up-to-date LinkedIn profile

You probably already know how important it is to have LinkedIn to support your job search. I cannot stress this enough. Your online presence is very important to your job-hunting success.

Make sure that your profile is complete, your photo professional and your summary appealing. You will then appear higher up in the LinkedIn search results and contribute positively to your online brand. Yes, when you are looking for a job, you are your own brand; your best product that you want to sell.

5. You don’t network online

Your LinkedIn profile isn’t just an online version of your CV - it can become a tool to help you forge connections. Once you have your profile, it’s time to get out there and get yourself noticed. 

The best way is to join groups on LinkedIn and contribute to the discussions. You can also start your own discussions.

6. You don’t network face-to-face

Face-to-face networking can be intimidating, especially if you are new to the country and aren’t super confident in your language skills. I experienced this myself when I started my own business. 

I know, however, from my experience and from my clients who got a new jobs via networking that there is nothing like personal contact. It is said that people first need to know you, like you, trust you, then they will buy from you or, in job-hunting terms, hire you.

So go to different networking gatherings and follow up! Schedule meetings, coffees, lunches: the works. It works!

7. You don’t commit time to your job search

Many of my clients admit to me that they spend only around one or two hours per day on their job search. For some, it’s as little as a couple of hours per week. 

If you are already employed and looking for a new job, then this might be understandable, but if you don’t have one yet, finding one should be your full-time job. You need to spend five to six hours a day on your job search.

8. You spend too much time on your computer

By that, I don’t mean spending hours and hours sitting at your computer sending out CVs. You need to utilise your time effectively. Sitting at home might feel safe, but to maximise your chances of landing a position, you need to be close to the fire, not far away from it. 

This ties into point number six, regarding networking. You need to get out. Think of scheduling interviews with hiring managers and headhunters. Even going out to a social event, unrelated to your job search, and talking about your situation can be much more effective than sitting behind your computer. Ask other people for help so that they can support you in your job search.

9. You struggle to “sell” yourself at interview

Landing an interview is a real achievement, but it’s not the end of your search. Especially if you have been searching for a long time, it can feel like so much is riding on that short conversation that you get so stressed and worried that you don’t present your best side. 

My best advice is to prepare yourself really well for an interview. Ask a friend to role-play it with you. Be confident and aware of your strengths. Interviewing is like dating: if the recruiter sees you are desperate, he or she will subconsciously think you are less attractive than the other candidates, who may be less strong based on other factors, but more confident in themselves.

10. You don’t have a positive mindset

When it comes to job hunting, a positive attitude is everything. Looking for a job can be a very demotivating and frustrating process in itself. I know that from personal experience. Maybe you have been looking for a job for a long time now and are feeling frustrated and depressed.

This is when you need to remember that this will not last forever; eventually you will find something. Having a positive mindset helps you along the way. It helps you to regain your courage and energy after getting negative responses and encourages you to keep going.

The best way to maintain a positive frame of mind is to formulate an empowering sentence that you repeat to yourself a couple of times a day like a mantra.

It can be: "I will get a job! I am learning from these experiences." The mantra that helps me to grow my business is: "Never give up!"

Good luck! And give me a shout if you need help with any of the above.

Dorota Klop-Sowinska


Dorota Klop-Sowinska

Official Member of Forbes Coaches Council. I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am the author of the book Career Jump! How to Successfully Change Your Professional Path...

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