7 Reasons Why You’re Not Finding A Job


You’ve got the perfect resume, skills, knowledge and experiences to get you that perfect job�– you are an employer’s dream candidate. So why is it you’ve been searching for a job for almost a year and there are no prospects in sight?

One thing you may consider is that it’s not all about your credentials, your attitude and confidence tells the employer almost as much as your responses.��You will�need to have the right attitude to land you that job.� Consider the following�7 reasons as to why you are not finding a job:

1. You’re not making finding a job your job!
Many people struggle with being�committed, passionate, and having a failure-is-not-an-option attitude while on the job search.� They�don’t see 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.

2. You haven’t created a system or matrix�of finding a job.
The system should entail everything from goals and aspirations to role-playing of interviews.� The more you have set a as a routine in finding a job, the more effective you will become in preparing for it.� I make sure I do a ritual every time I interview for a position.� I do research 2 weeks before, I do mock interviews the week of, I do a site visit the day before.� The way I prepare is automatic and is mostly the same with each interview.

3. You have an unrealistic idea about the marketability 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. One of the worst things that can happen is that this distortion will create�frustration and disappointment when the job search takes longer than expected.� Be honest and fair with yourself.

4. You aren’t acknowledging mental stress that changing jobs brings.
By denying this reality, people operate out of fear of rejection. How many people do you know that�confuse activity with productivity and focus on minor things?��I see this all the time with new professionals trying to find a job; they�appear to be doing job-finding activities, but aren’t the most fruitful activities.

5. 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.� One of the biggest problems I see is that people aren’t able to showcase themselves in a way that’s clear, effective, and succinct.��You can easily change this by practicing in front of�others and hearing their feedback.��The impressions these people get from your role-playing will only be amplified when you do the real thing.�

6. 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 express their interest for the job.

7. You give a bad impression of your previous employer.
Whether it’s why you left your last employer or why you want a new job, most people present the reason for leaving their previous job from a selfish point of view. They badmouth and criticize their current or past employers and justify their own convictions, thinking that a prospective employer is going to identify with them. They’re wrong!

Keep these reasons in mind the next time you are on the job market.� Having the right atittude and work ethic will help your chances of getting that interview and maybe that job.��

I’ll leave you with this quote by a famous football coach: “Chance favors the prepared mind.” —Vince Lombardi


29 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why You’re Not Finding A Job

  1. This is a great post I’ve already sent to a lot of my non-working friends and they have already said that they’re guilty of multiple points.

    1. Gary,
      Thanks for the love! I keep hearing from friends how they hate their jobs and can’t find a different one…this post had the same affect on them

  2. Hi Jane,
    I did a quick search of your site on applications / application forms and didnt really find anything (only a quick search so sorry if I missed it).
    That was always my failing, until I met my wife who taught me the secrets of a killer job application.
    I will write a post of my own on this at some point, but its a bit off topic for my blog at the moment, Im sure you could write one your readers would find useful.
    Sorry if you have and Ive failed to find it

    1. I haven’t covered job apps very much yet. But it’s on the list of posts to write.
      If anyone wants other topics, throw them out here and we’ll be sure to include them. I often get ideas from our readers.
      Thanks guys.

  3. Hi Joan,
    Great article! Having been in the job search business for over 16 years, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve found in job seekers of all stripes is that they don’t realize their search is a job in itself. Many start off with the feeling that it won’t take long to find a good job and are crushed when, weeks, even months later, they’re still in job search mode.
    As I have advised many job seekers:
    job searching will probably be the hardest job you ever have.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. You’re absolutely right! The job isn’t going to fall on your lap very often, if at all. Those that find the jobs they want are those that search, prep and present well.
      You were in a 16 year job search???

  4. A lot of people have great skill sets for getting the job done, but finding the job in the first place is not always high on that list.
    Sometimes it’s good to get the pros involved.
    A friend of mine has a masters in Chem Eng. Whenever she’s looking for a new job, she networks with 2 or 3 headhunters. She usually ends up taking a job she found herself, but the HHs give her new avenues and industries to explore that she wasn’t thinking of.

  5. Great article and comments! As an image consultant, I can�t emphasize enough the importance of dressing properly mentioned in #6. Often times, job seekers fail to project the quality of their skills and capabilities in how they present themselves. Our appearance and image certainly isn�t the most important thing we have going for us, but it is what people notice first. Whether they�re right or wrong, interviewers will form an opinion about us based on what they see. A job candidate wants their image to promote a positive interaction with their interviewer and not be the road block to landing the job.
    Each and every one of you has the ability to affect the image and impression others form based on the choices you make in what wear and how you behave. Everything sends a message.
    Best of luck to all you job seekers out there.

  6. Networking skills are important. Networking is a very good way to find a job. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.
    I always keep track of good people that I meet or have worked with to call on in the future when I need the skills they have.

    1. Shane,
      I use that quote all the time…”it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” In terms of networking, you don’t know how much this hits home.
      I can say I know Michael Jordan from working one of his basketball camps, shaking his hand, and taking a picture with him, but does he know me…probably not!

  7. Good points ! – Also remember to stress “positives” when interviewing
    (this goes for reviews also). Present your opinions (or critisisms) more
    as “constructive observations”. Don’t bring up your old job, unless its
    in a “good light”. Look ahead not back. People will always remember
    those who “got the job done” and have good work ethic. It’s never
    too late to start with your “new” job. – Good Luck!

  8. Quote by Vince Lombardi? I believe that was said decades earlier by Louis Pasteur. I may have also heard it attributed to Blaise Pascal, which would make more sense.

  9. Too true on #7. Common sense should tell a person that one but in almost every case, they have something negative to say about the former. I’m going to try something new. The next brilliant candidate who walks into my place for an interview is getting hit with this question right off the bat, “How would you rate the performance of your most recent employer?” Negative? SEE YA. What about truly terrible employers? C’mon, what’s the average? Great blog by the way!

  10. What if you are doing all the above and you still don’t get it? This is constantly happening to me. Maybe I am anxious or too eager. I just found out I lost one although I can very honestly say I did follow all the good points above. I would like to go back to the employer and ask them why but I am afraid they will probably not give me an honest answer. What do you think? I am frustrated and utterly lost.

    1. MLC,
      If you’re doing all the above then we need to talk. Send me your resume to see what your sending out there and I can give you my impression. It’s important to note that resumes, interviews and applications should all be written and conducted in accordance to their desirable qualifications.
      I would suggest you wait about a week and feel free to contact them. You want to make sure you are very tactful when contacting them. You tell them how much you appreciate the opportunity to have interviewed with them, it was a learning experience, and you are trying to improve in terms of presentation and professionalism.
      It’s a touchy subject because some employers arn’t comfortable giving that feedback while others are very open. You’ll have to feel it out in terms of comfortability for each of you.
      Hope this helps.

  11. Great article, Jane!
    All of your points are right on target. I think #3 is a biggie. Perhaps a 3.a. could be “You have an unrealistic idea about why you aren’t being hired.” People who have a distorted view of their skills (and how wonderful they are) rarely think their nonselection has anything to do with THEM. They tend to blame it on favoritism, office politics, sexism, the phase of the moon or whatever… so they don’t take any steps to evaluate and improve their job search or interview tactics. (Of course sometimes there ARE reasons that have nothing to do with the candidate, but those are much rarer than your 7 points!)
    Would you mind if I sent your article to my newsletter subscribers? With your name, appropriate Resource Box links and whatever other credits you would like, of course. I know my readers would enjoy it as much as I did!

    1. Bonnie,
      Feel free to share this with as many people as you would think would benefit from it. And the appropriate sourcing you mention would be just fine.

    1. Thanks Bonnie. We welcome new readers at all times! I appreciate your feedback.
      Have a great day!

  12. Jane,
    great advice and questions for the job seeker to ask themselves.
    It’s always tough to do this self-evaluation, what we think or believe how others are perceiving us, can be very different from how they really are.
    I’d suggest reaching out to your closest and trusted network to get some honest and open feedback.
    Sometimes the hardest part of changing yourself is hearing it.

  13. In business, its location, location, location. In jobs, its network, network, network.
    Once you get past that you’ll get to negotiations. I’ve got a blog entry on it on my site, but shortly let me say that negotiations share some qualities with getting a job, namely the interview.
    I recommend joining groups. Look in the paper and find some community activities, go out more. You have to be where people are. Write something and contribute it on the web. Make a nice personal website outlining your accomplishments. Don’t have offensive material out on your myspace. You’ll be surprised how many employers will google you. Noone needs to know about how many women you “hooked up” with on Spring Break. Assume everything is available to your employer and think twice.

  14. Great points.
    RE: #5, I’ve touched on the interview process a bit on my own blog. As an employer who interviews both internal and external employees for positions, it shocks my how unprepared candidates are for their interviews. Mock interviews with friends/coworkers, researching the new company and position, compiling a list of talking points about your accomplishments and history… all of these things done in advance will help you in the interview. It never hurt anyone to be over-prepared.

  15. Seven Reasons Students Aren’t Finding Jobs When They Graduate…
    You’ve got the
    perfect resume, skills,
    knowledge and experiences
    to get you that perfect job
    – you are an
    employer’s dream
    candidate. So why is it
    you’ve been
    searching for a job for
    almost a year and there
    are no …

  16. Regarding that comment from a fellow employer as to how they’re surprised that so few candidates come prepared, it’s worth looking what other employers have done to exacerbate this.
    First, not many interviewers get training in interviewing to begin. They treat them like casual conversations. It’s very challenging for a candidate to politely say he came to talk about business and not lose points on “fit.”
    Second, some do indeed prepare. They visit the company’s Web site, do significant research about company’s mission and product lines, never to be asked anything about that. Instead they are greeted by puzzles made famous by companies like Google and Microsoft of the “why are manhole covers round”-kind rendering company research is useless.
    Third, many employers have fallen in love with behavioral interviews, all about speaking what you did for somebody else. I’ve spoken to candidates of how disappointed they are to have really prepared to show their next employer how they’ll make an impact, only to never have the employer demonstrate equal interest in the present and future.
    Fourth, some candidates who do prepare and show that come across as a threat to both managers and peers. They never had to do as much research to get in, and they don’t want anyone to outshine them.
    Finally, history is replete with examples of those who misjudged others and their potential. (Think of the Fox executives who orginally said a British show about singers on a stage would never sell in the United States the next time you vote on American Idol.) Rarely does an employer track those it rejected to see if they actually turned out to be good. An employer can make a lifetime career out of turning away capable applicant after capable applicant, and no one will ever call him on it, especially when so many companies dread making a hiring mistake.
    I propose a similar article be written with 7 points of how fellow employers must continuously evaluate themselves and their hiring practices, if only for their profitability. It’s easy to say it’s all up to the individual, never to consider the organization has its flaws too. An employer can be seen as a place to work by simply showing they have their act together more than their competitors.

  17. I have been looking for a job for what seems llike forever. I think I have been doing all the right things, I do, however seem to lack the confidence in myself. I have a very mild disability, my speech and handwriting are affected. I have also been a stay at home mom for a lot of years. I recently got my certificate in Office Administration. I feel very fustrated. I want to stay positive, it has been kinda hard.

  18. This is a great post! Many people simply underestimate the amount of time and effort it will take to focus on finding a new job.
    The only thing I might add to your list is lack of focus. Many job seekers I work with want to find a new job, but don’t really have a clue as to what they’re really looking for. Taking the time to understand your own values, expectations, and strengths will help you align your focus to concentrate on finding jobs and companies that match your own values and skillsets.
    I look forward to reading more, thanks for your insight!

  19. My key to success was always to apply to as many jobs online as I can, following the advice of Robert Kyosaky (well, he was talking about Real Estate, but I’ve managed to apply it to the job hunting :)). Then I weed them down, and then I have at least 2-5 job offers from 50-100 jobs applied. Sounds crazy, isn’t it? Well, it takes about 2 weeks, but I was never unemployed longer then that time…
    Good luck!

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