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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  •  Angela A
    Angela A
    this is valuable information because career searching today is so non-personable that job seekers can easily be sabotaging their future unintentionally.  Thanks for this important information.
  • Anthony W
    Anthony W
    Supply and demand. I hired a professional coach months ago and the above information is straight out of the same manual.  Fact is I need to focus on my good things and not the "lack of's"  Good luck in your search's
  • Debbie M
    Debbie M
    I have seen and heard it all before. If it is not age which by the way is illegal then you are either over qualified or some lame excuse. Way too many people looking in the same ares for any kind of work. problem: They will do a background check which I can pass. If they want to do a credit check, they that needs to STOP right then and there. I am applying for a job not a credit card. Big difference!
  • Sulaiman K
    Sulaiman K
    Viable comments that can strategically provide a niche' in job search.
  • Richard C
    Richard C
    I was intrigued by the elevator speech. I also like the idea of making friends not just connections. I kind of wish I was REALLY passionate about one specific type of work.
  • Susan W
    Susan W
    Many companies do not have experience with hearing impaired  people so I think they should know the law that hearing impaired people should work for the companies.  They should train hearing impaired peopleto do the job.  No matter how they are doing.  Refusal to hire hearing impaired people is wrong.
  • Elzabeth A
    Elzabeth A
    This article is very realistic and quite true.You have to sell yourself but be brief and concise.That applies to any job position sought.
  • Martha H
    Martha H
    The online job boards in my area have little to offer.  They try to put me in another category - usually sales.  I am so not a salesperson.  
  • berinda t
    berinda t
    I want to thank you, for your advice. this is good for young people, with no job experience how about people with 4 yrs of college age 67, and 40 yrs. wk. experience where and what is good for us. These people don't want experance. they want GED or HIGH school. so what do you do with that. Again thank youBelinda   
  • Janetta W
    Janetta W
    I know this to be true as I have made no friends and no job as of yet but I am still trying
  • Dawn S
    Dawn S
    Not very helpful, was hoping for more insightful advice.
  • MillicentA
    Good article. I expected more advice base on  the title.
  • Bill C
    Bill C
    Certainly some vaild points.  From my experience, have a short pitch with 3-4 selling points that summarize your achievements and/or results and why you'd be a great fit at "ABC Company". I've found from experience, that hiring personnel will not remember a long winded pitch, so keep your pitch to the point! Remember to sell your skills and results. I too have experienced young HR staff people that parrot "the overqualified" statement.  I've learned to turn this around by asking "exactly, what is the issue that you have with my qualifications?" Essentially, you want the person interviewing you to state what the issue is, in order to address perceived objections held in making the hiring decision.   
  •  Francine D
    Francine D
    This is great I was wondering why I was not getting very many offers. thank you.
  • Allison B
    Allison B
    Great article!!!  Very helpful!!!
  • Ricardo H
    Ricardo H
    Very interesting article that has given me renewed hopes to find my job.  Thank you.
  • Leo G
    Leo G
    Thank you for the great article. I think the elevator pitch is great if you are at a seminar or job fair however what I am most often asked is "tell me about yourself" which needs a different response
  • Teddy C
    Teddy C
    Pithy and valid advise.
  • anna B
    anna B
    all i want is chance i can prove that im right for the job
  • Gerald D
    Gerald D
    Ms Harper,Is it common for employers to do financial checks during the resume evaluation/initial thought process?  I have been out or work since 2008 and have applied for several jobs that I am qualified.  Most of the time, I hear nothing back from the person that submitted me.  
  • George G
    George G
    I am finding that the elevator speech recommendation is right on target
  • Louise C
    Louise C
    i like the elevator speech idea  i agree regarding being over 50 but it may have more to do with the fact that older means more experience which commands a higher salary  they can hire a younger less experienced person for less money   i actually received phone calls where the recruiter actially said they were only hiring a licensed master social worker when i am a licensed clinical social  worker with an R which is the  highest level of licensure in my field  at that point they had no idea of my age
  • Michael R
    Michael R
    My problem is finding a job for which I am qualified, according to their stated requirements, and sifting through thousands of inappropriate leads in each day's e-mail. What would most help is better filtering by the job-hunting websites.
  • Charles N
    Charles N
    Mary this is an excellent article, and you have stressed on vital points that are and can be useful for the job seeker.  A lot of the responses submitted, I can relate.  In today's job market employers are looking for specific needs and experience that come with years of experience, yet are not willing to hire persons as myself with several years of experience.  Most want fresh crop, rookies, recent grads,  where salaries are less than what experienced people are hoping for.  I value your recommendations highly for all job seekers.  Sure there will be rejections by the dozen, but these I take as practice for my next possible interview.  Along with persistence, determination and faith will we all be successful in acquiring our place in the workforce.

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