Six Reasons Your Search Has Stalled

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If your job search has stalled, it may not be the economy or job market or the lack of new jobs in your area, profession or industry.  Entrepreneur magazine reported that companies are beginning to hire again.  Companies are hiring, but they might just not be hiring you.


An article in, “6 Subtle Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Job Hunt,” suggests that job seekers do things, consciously or subconsciously, that can turn off a prospective employer.  Or, they don’t do the things that can help them the most.


You may be spending a lot of time networking, but all your efforts may be working against you.  It’s one thing to attend a networking event, work the crowd and hand out as many business cards as you can.  You may feel good at the end of the event, but how many real connections have you made?  As the article suggests, you need to make friends--not just connections--with people at your dream company or those who have some real influence with the company’s hiring managers.  Having a prominent insider pass your resume to a manager or bring up your name in a conversation is golden.  An unsolicited recommendation is even better.


Another self-sabotage is applying for jobs you’re not qualified for.  The best way to ruin your chances is to apply for just any job at your dream company.  What’s worse is applying for several at the same time, or in quick succession.  It makes you look desperate or careless, two impressions to avoid.  You’re wasting an opportunity and the HR manager’s time.


Reading the want ads and checking career sites like Nexxt are good ways to find job leads.  But you can’t overlook a more proactive approach.  Many of the best jobs are never advertised.  They get snapped up by insiders or aggressive job seekers who let employers know what they are looking for.  Those are the jobs you learn about from friendly connections you’ve been cultivating.


How would you answer the question, “What do you do?”  Would you recite your job title or would you have a concise, compelling 30-second synopsis of what you do and the affect it has on an organization?  A memorable “elevator speech” can make a quick impression that lasts for a long time.  Spoken with poise and confidence, elevator speeches sum up what you do and the value to an organization.


Sooner or later, you’ll have to answer the dreaded question, “What are your salary expectations?”  Be careful.  You can price yourself out of a job if you don’t do your homework.  There are many sources of salary information.  Do some research.  Ask around.  Be realistic.  Consider your experience, skills, the industry and the local job market.  Sure, you want the most you can get, but it’s better to be at mid- or slightly above mid-range than at the top of the scale.  You can get top dollar, but lose out on raises or upward mobility.


Before you apply for any job, put aside the job boards and ads and put together your elevator speech.  Figure out who you are, what you have to offer, and why you want the job.  What are your “must-haves?”  The “nice-to-haves?”   What is your bottom figure?  Work out your finances, crunch some numbers and know your true salary requirements.  No sense taking a job if you can’t pay your bills or live the life you want or one you’re willing to settle for in order to get where you want to go.  Stop putting roadblocks up between you and your next dream job and start building bridges instead.


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  • Jesse H
    Jesse H
    I'm not even getting called. My experience (age) comes through. In my field the younger set is getting the jobs.Whatever happened to hiring someone with a solid record and srong work ethic??AGEISM....
  • Robyn J
    Robyn J
    I am completely nonplussed by this kind of 'advice'. Every situation is different and they never take blatant discrimination into the equation. If you aren't sitting in the room with me during my interview (I have had two in the past two weeks) then you have no idea what goes on. I recall a situation where the six-year-old that they put in charge of hiring was VERY intrigued by my phone voice and eagerly wanted to interview me. I was qualified and available for the job. But as soon as he saw me in person, his hopes visibly fell. I am old enough to be his mother and I no longer look 'stunning' in a pair of tight jeans, (casual dress environment) so I was no longer in the running. I could cite numerous similar situations... it's not always, in fact it is seldom the prospective candidates fault that they are not being hired, in my opinion. I have had a few interviews that lasted well over an hour, where they practically assigned a parking space for me before I left, and still didn't get the job!! Too many shady things occur behind closed doors to be able to pin down one or two reasons why you get passed over. But I DO agree with the rudeness of never hearing a single word from most places, they don't even acknowledge your existence. VERY LOW CLASS.
  • chris m
    chris m
    What do I think?  I think reading your article was a waste of my time.   The best way to ruin your chances is to apply for just any job at your dream company.  What’s worse is applying for several at the same time, or in quick succession.  It makes you look desperate or careless,What if you ARE desperate?   what if you are qualified for multiple positions in company?  you should not apply because it might make you look desperate?   Ridiculous.  how about I really want to work for this company and am willing to take any position so I can prove myself?  NO?   you people with your pretentious BS articles.  I need a job.  I have a Masters degree.  yes, Im desperate, so what?   who isnt nowadays?  
  •  Brad O
    Brad O
    Hackneyed stuff. Yeah, I'll go find an insider with a company that will help get me a job. What an extraordinary idiotic article.
  • Ioana M
    Ioana M
    I would love to see someone showing up out of nowHere in a company and "make friends" in order to get a job when everything goes by appointments and through all kind of security. Ha, ha...that's a good one! Can you come up with something realistic?
  •  tim f
    tim f
    great article, thanks!
  • Marquerite D
    Marquerite D
    It is all very good info.It makes me think more and I hope make a better impression when I am in an interview. I appreciate the articles this site puts out.
  •  Mary A.
    Mary A.
    Age is definitely a factor even though it is illegal.  My last job was outsourced and after applying for a part-time job in my field, haven't heard anything.  I believe they do hire internally.  I have 40+ years experience and know I can do the job.  Employers should realize that an "older" employee isn't going to call in "sick" and are most likely dependable, will show up and do the job.
  •  Debra C
    Debra C
    I found the article to be very helpful. I will put these ideas to work. I have never considered an"elevator speech" .
  • Valerie S
    Valerie S
    All I want is a chance, and that I'm not getting. Everybody wants this top dollar experience and some may not have it, but your going to be trained for the job. Even if you have some of the qualifications it should count for something!!!
  • carla s
    carla s
    Good comments on making friends inside the target company you are seeking employment with. I have a problem with past employer references in light of the fact that past supervisors are long gone as are any employees I would have worked with. My last  job I spent 8 years working alone with very remote supervision. 5 brief supervisors in 7 years. They can't tell any prospective employer about my talents and abilities. Any suggestions for this problem at interview?
  • Joe B
    Joe B
    Not that any or all of the above points are not true, but the article is trite to say the least, and simply a rehash of so many other articles on the same topic. "Make friends with people at your target companies?" Seriously? If so, then "duh!!"
  • Carole F
    Carole F
    Very Helpful.
  • Travis W
    Travis W
    You don't address the problem of "False Advertising", meaning companies that call you in for an interview when, in reality, that position has already been filled by an internal applicant. Companies want to look like they are hiring but they aren't. It has happened to me and I don't like being "USED".
  • Fred A
    Fred A
    would be helpful to get advice on , how to handle the " AGE " issue ?I have seen many job opportunities , that I could do in my sleep , but my age is pretty easy to figure out from the resume, and I'm sure , the reason I'm not offered the job , or at least an interview, is the "Age "
  • ShaRetha C
    ShaRetha C
    Intrigued by elevator speeches never heard of they that. I picked up a lot of things I was doing wrong. Very helpful article.
  • Lane D
    Lane D
    This article is true from my experience. I too am interested in the elevator speech. I know I've made a lot of mistakes during my interviews.Thank you for this helpful information.
  • Elvira S
    Elvira S
    Thanks alot, I thought i was doing all the right things when i was searching for a job. But it makes all the right sense. I apperciate it
  • Paul W
    Paul W
    I like this article, I thank this is one of the best articles I have read. Thank you
  • LisaD
    I think anyone could have written this article.  I got nothing new from it.
  • Orestis L
    Orestis L
    Would be nice to give out an elevator pitch/speech.  The problem is that I never get the chance BECAUSE THEY NEVER EVEN REPLY BACK!Not even a "sorry but you're not qualified" message.  That just shows that they're not really looking at applications at all.   They're ignoring them.The statement that someone else said earlier is spot-on :"My first response is a question: Is the writer a hiring manager or a freelance making $32,000 a year?My second response is to confirm that many postings are filled internally with a particular candidate in mind. However, company rules demand that a job be posted openly, even though there is less than 1% chance of an outsider being added onto that company's payroll.">>>> Exactly.  First, who actually typed this up 'cause it sounds more like an OPINION piece on what to do than anything else.  And finally, hirings almost always occur within the Company.  This is very disconcerting to many who are trying to "get their foot in the door" here.
  • Karen J
    Karen J
    This is a nice article for persons under the age of 35-40 yrs or fresh out of college with no experience.  What about people that are over 40 yrs old with plenty of experience and a solid work history?
  •  Eric T
    Eric T
    Why? Because I look younger than the boss and I have more work experience,that could fill a phone book Resume. Screw 'em. I'm 54 . Whatever.
  • clara s
    clara s
    I appreciate this information. I feel I have been providing the appropriate information.Thank you.
  • Pradip S
    Pradip S
    Today, the job market is very interesting, shall we say?  I have had job offers with salary that would not pay basic living expenses, let alone leave any discretionary income? The employers knew it, but expected me to take the job.  I did not.  Most of the points above are common sense.  I was hoping to see something that would make me sit up and take notice. Sorry.  

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