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Career-Life Times, Issue #35--7 Reasons Why Youíre Not Finding A Job
March 10, 2007
Ready to GET HIRED, GET NOTICED, and GET AHEAD? Read on...
Youíve got the perfect resume, skills, knowledge and experiences to get you that perfect job Ė you are an employerís dream candidate. So why is it youíve been searching for a job for almost a year and there are no prospects in sight?
One thing you may consider is that itís 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. Youíre 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 donít see that finding a job is a numbers game. When it comes to interviews, itís all numbers: the more interviews you get, the better your chances of getting called back; the more times youíre called back, the better your chances of landing a good job.
2. You havenít 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 arenít 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 arenít the most fruitful activities.
5. You donít 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 donít prepare and practice presentations on themselves with others. One of the biggest problems I see is that people arenít able to showcase themselves in a way thatís 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. Youíre not selling yourself.
The vast majority of people going into an interviewing situation simply donít 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 donít express their interest for the job.
7. You give a bad impression of your previous employer.
Whether itís 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. Theyíre 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.
Iíll leave you with this quote by a famous football coach: ďChance favors the prepared mind.Ē óVince Lombardi
Jane May is a founding partner of CareerRamblings.com: "Your Professional Development: Steps to a Successful Future." This blog is sheds light on multiple areas graduating college students, new professionals and even companies looking to hire should keep in mind. To read more of her articles, go to www.CareerRamblings.com.
Getting a new job isnít easy, but the process itself seems relatively simple. You send your resume; someone reads it; they either select you for an interview or they donít, then they let you know. If you get the interview, you show up and do your best; they make their decision, and then let you know whether or not youíre hired. Next you either start your new job, or continue looking.
Simple, right? So why does it take so long?
Here are the three most common reasons.
In many cases, bureaucracy takes over and does what it does bestóadds time-consuming, complex layers that turn a simple process into a long and complicated one. This is especially true for large companies, government and public agencies. They (and their legal departments) have many rules and regulations about the hiring process. Most of the extra steps and delays occur before the recruitment actively begins, but others continue throughout the entire process and bog everything down.
For example, they may require that a minimum number of qualified candidates apply before interviews can be scheduled. If the job isnít particularly appealing for some reason and enough people havenít applied by the deadline, the organization may extend the deadline, or halt the recruitment process until they figure out how to attract more applicants (i.e., modify the position or increase the salary).
2. Rapid expansion.
If a company is growing quickly, its HR staff may be overwhelmed by the number of ongoing recruitments. If that growth spurt is expected to be temporary, the company will be unlikely to expand the HR department. Instead, recruitment actions, application reviews, interview schedules and everything else in the process will simply pile up and take much longer.
Probably the most common reason for a slow hiring process is the procrastination, absence or indecisiveness of people along the chain of command who make the decisions. In large organizations with several layers of management, this can be excruciating. Again, most of the delays will occur before the interviews begin, but some may cause the process to drag on for months after the interviews are finished. No matter how eager the hiring supervisor may be to add you to her team, her hands may be tied if her boss is unavailable, busy with higher priorities, or just slow to make up his mind and approve the supervisorís selection.
Most of the delays in the hiring process have little to do with the job candidates, and are beyond their control.
If youíve applied for a great job only to find yourself stuck in the middle of such delays, hereís what you need to do:
1. Be patient. It doesnít matter how perfect you are for the job, how badly you want the position, or how eager you are to start. Becoming frustrated will not help and in most cases, thereís nothing you can do to speed things up. (Rarely, threatening to accept another position may get action, but donít count on itóthis will probably backfire; no one likes to be threatened.)
2. Stay busy. Follow-up by sending thank-you notes and calling once in a while (not too often) to politely check on the status. Most importantly, continue your job search activities. Who knows... maybe while you're waiting to hear whether you've been chosen for job A, job B will appear and be even better!
Are you underpaid? Overpaid? Or paid an amount that's ďjust right?"
Thereís an easy way to find out.
All you have to do is go to Payscale.com, anonymously provide your detailed salary information, and read a report that tells you what others in your type of job are making.
Payscale.com is different from other salary comparison sites which obtain their payroll data from large companies (the salary numbers they produce tend to be somewhat restrictive and stale). By contrast, Payscale.com is highly interactive. It collects real-time salary data directly from employees and provides them with a report showing what their occupation is really worth.
At the site, you go through about 10 screens of multiple-choice questions about your salary, benefits, employer, work experience, and education. This process takes about three minutes. The information you provide is added to what Payscale.com claims is the ďworldís largest database of salary information.Ē
In return for giving them all this free data, theyíll give you detailed salary information for positions that match your job.
Having this information may come in handy during salary negotiation time!
In addition, Payscale.com allows you to compare salaries based on city, making it easier for you to weigh the pros and cons of a relocation.
The basic service is phree. You can get even more detailed information for a phee. (Yes, I intentionally misspelled those "f" words so this newsletter won't be misidentified as ssppamm and get trashed by your email filters.)
Hereís the link if you want to see how your salary stacks up: www.Payscale.com.
I just read an excellent article about reviewing resumes from an employer's perspective. Here's how it starts:
"The terrifying reality regarding your resume is that for all the many hours you put into fine-tuning, you've got 30 seconds to make an impression on me. Maybe less.
"It's unfair, it's imprecise, and there's a good chance that I make horrible mistakes, but there's a lot more of you than me, and while hiring phenomenal teams is the most important thing I do, I'm balancing that task with the fact that I need to build product and manage the endless stream of people walking into my office.
"But here's a glimpse. I'm going to walk through the exact mental process I use when I look at a resume. I don't know if this is right or efficient, but after fifteen years and staring at thousands of resumes, this is the process."
Then the author provides detailed tips and examples. I don't necessarily agree with them all (some depend on the job and the circumstances), but there are definitely golden nuggets in the article that anyone can use to dramatically improve their resume... and chances of getting hired.
I highly recommend that you read this article, which is posted on the Rands in Repose blog (and don't forget to read the comments posted by other people). Just click here: A Glimpse and a Hook.
Competency-based interviews are intended to get the best from you, the candidate, whilst also fulfilling the needs of the organization to get the very best person for the job. There are some easy steps to make the most of yourself and have a much better chance of success.
Prepare well, but keep it sensible.
As long as you know the job you are going for, ask for details of what you will be measured against. Ask for a set of competencies. Ask for a job description. This sets you up to succeed, not just because you are better informed, but also because you have asked--which will impress the decision-makers, before you even get there!
To read the rest of this great article, please click here: Competency-Based Interviews.
U.S. Department of Labor--Information for Job Seekers. A wonderful online resource that provides information on topics like these:
Here's the link: www.DOL.gov
Job Interview Success System. This is a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to help you ace your next job interview. It's helped hundreds of job seekers, and it can help you...guaranteed. For more info, go to Job Interview Success System.
GiveAwayOfTheDay.com. This is a cool site. Every day they give away a phree software item. Commercial software. It's not pirated stuff; it's not normally phree. Some recent examples are Audio CD Burner, FlashSpring Pro 2.0, Nature Illusion Studio Professional Edition and Hard Drive Inspector. They also have a freeware library. Check it out here: www.GiveAwayOfTheDay.com.
StumbleUpon. I read about StumbleUpon.com in the latest issue of Business 2.0 magazine. I shouldíve known better, but my curiosity got the better of me so I checked it out. Then started ďstumbling.Ē And got hooked!
Basically, you fill out a little form about what you are interested in, then download a toolbar for your browser. When you're in a exploratory mood, just click on the Stumble! button and you'll be shown a site that matches your interests. You can also give each a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" rating. StumbleUpon makes surfing the 'net and browsing websites much more interesting and funÖ which means Iím spending WAY too much doing that when I should be working on my own websites!
Here are a few quick examples of fun sites I just stumbled uponÖ
Somebody STOP me before I STUMBLE Again!!
Just in case YOU want to stumble (why should I suffer alone?), hereís the link where you can find out about it (donít worry, itís phree): www.StumbleUpon.com.
More Phree Articles. If you haven't visited my website's article directory in a while, you might want to check it out. I have tons of articles on a variety of career (and home-based business) topics. See what's there by clicking here: Article Index.
Instant Job Search System. This is an exciting tool that promises to get you the job of your choice--and make the money you dream of--within just 30 days. Guaranteed. Plus it includes five special bonuses. Check it out here: Instant Job Search System.
The problem is expecting otherwise and
thinking that having problems is a problem."
Four brothers--Milton, Marvin, Michael and Melvin--left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers and prospered.
Some years later, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who lived far away in another city.
Milton said, "I had a big house built for Mama."
Michael said, "I had a $100,000 theater built in the house."
Marvin said, "I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her."
Melvin said, "You know how Mamma loved reading the Bible, and you know she can't read anymore because she can't see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took 20 preachers 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a year for 20 years to the church, but it was worth it. Mamma just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it." The other brothers were very impressed.
After the holidays Mamma sent out her Thank You notes. She wrote:
"Milton, the house you built is so huge I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway."
"Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound, it could hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead, I've lost my hearing and I'm nearly blind. I'll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same."
"Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. But thanks anyway."
"Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you."
An 8th Reason: In the first article of this newsletter, "7 Reasons Why You're Not Finding a Job," the author, Jane, provides some excellent points. I agree with all of them. And I'd even add an 8th reason: You have unrealistic ideas about why you arenít being hired.
Some people have an unrealistically high opinion of their skills and abilities. These people rarely believe 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 donít take any steps to evaluate and improve their job search or interview tactics. Of course sometimes there ARE reasons for not getting a job that have nothing to do with the candidate, but those are much rarer than Jane's 7 reasons.
So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com
Please forward this to your friends!
P.S. To prevent your email service provider's spam filter from interrupting delivery or this newsletter to your email inbox, please add Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com to your address book or "safe list."
P.S.S. I apologize for the glitches (especially in links) you may see if you receive this as straight text. If you can receive your email in HTML format, choose that and it'll look a lot better.
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