6 Reasons You Don’t Have A Job

by Rich DeMatteo on June 21, 2011 · 116 comments

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Many unemployed folks usually don’t understand why they’ve been out of work for so long.  Their obvious scape goat is the economy and the other billion job seekers that are their competition.  This excuse is completely warranted, but I can’t let them off the hook so easy.  It’s just not happening.

Here are 6 reasons why you most likely haven’t found a job yet:

You Don’t Know What You Want

This is brutal.  It’s just absolutely brutal.  If you aren’t clear on the specific opportunity, company, or industry you’re targeting, then you’re setting yourself up for disaster.  A job search without purpose and passion is one that will only lead you on a wild goose hunt.  

Imagine being on a job search site, going through hundreds, if not thousands of postings.  If you don’t know EXACTLY what you want, then you’ll open up most postings, and find yourself unsatisfied with ALL of them.  What also happens is that you may just apply to EVERYTHING, which more so than not means your resume and cover letter are not set up for that specific position.  It’s a poopy sandwich.And you’ll never find your goose.

What to do: Come up with a list of 50 things you want from a job.  Write down characteristics about the industry, benefits, supervisor, salary, skills needed, and many others.  Write down the things that you NEED from a job.  This will help you clear up where you should spend your time looking and how to change up your resume/cover letter to suit that specific type of job.

You Really Don’t Want A Job

Honestly, I’ve been there.  When I was unemployed for 17 months, there was a time when I just didn’t want a job.  Corn on the Job was still growing and I was happy with unemployment and the promise of growing my new blog.  I was lucky, and I’m not proud that I slacked off for a longer period than I should have.

Many people pretend to be looking for work, when really they just feel it’s necessary to half ass and just look casually.  Certain financial situations can call for more laziness in the job search than needed.  No matter how much work they put into their search, if a person doesn’t want a job, then they won’t get one.  Even if they pass an interview, their lack of enthusiasm will halt them at the interview stage.

What to do: Go take a walk downtown and check out the homeless folks.  Not saying this will happen to you, but you’re still employable and they’re not.  Don’t take it for granted.

You Only Use Big Name Job Boards

Using a big name job board is OK, and many people find work from them.  The problem here is that EVERYONE is using them.  Employers are bombarded with resumes from a single posting and you may never be found.  If your only source of searching for a job is one of the more well known sites, then you’re in trouble.

What to do: Start using a niche website for your industry.  Try out the Linkedin job boards.  Network.  Make personal business cards and drop them in random places.  Just add more strategies to your search.  It’s more work, but it’s needed.

You Have a Poor Resume/Cover Letter

The format sucks.  It’s tough to read.  Grammar is disgusting.  Too much color.  No clear purpose.

Readers of your job search communications can’t identify what you’re looking to do, what makes you the shiznit, and most importantly, why they should hire you.

What to do: Hire me!  I’ll take your existing resume/cover letter and totally make it what they WANT to read!

You Don’t Interview Well

Whether it’s the phone screen or in person interview, many job seekers don’t live up to their full potential when it comes to an interview.  Whether it’s just nerves, not being able to sell oneself, or something else, it’s very common that the most skilled person for the job doesn’t always land the job.  If you happen to be the most skilled person for the job, you should damn well be hired for it.  If you feel this is happening often, then you might need to look into developing your interviewing skills.

What to do: Hey there, you can hire me!  I’ll set up a mock phone interview with you so that we can practice interviewing together.  I’ll act as the company you want to work for, and I’ll ask questions that I think they’ll be targeting.  When we’re done, you and I will talk about what you did good and bad, then look for ways to improve.

You Don’t Know Anyone

It really is like you’ve heard.  It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  Shit, I hate writing that just about as much as I hate hearing it, but it’s true.

In our world today, you should make networking a constant part of your job search.  Too many people are out of work, and unless you’re an employee referral, a recruiter might not even give you a 5 second phone call.

What to do: Whether it’s online through Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking sites, or through live networking, spend a few hours a week simply networking and getting the word out about your unemployment.


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