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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  • Juliene J
    Juliene J
    I have been unemployed for almost 2 years. I am 63 yrs. old and have applied for 174 jobs since 12/11. I have the job requirements including certifications. I have had seven interviews, each one promising, but I think my former employer is sabotaging my chances. I am sure of it. So I just keep applying and hope for the best. Advice: Non-profits are not the people to work for.
  • Matt C
    Matt C
    Good article.  However, the economy is stalling again.  last month, over 61% of new jobs were temporary or part-time.
  • J Bauer
    J Bauer
    It is called your elevator pitch, not speech. Since 1980, I have always been asked for my elevator pitch. Never once have I heard elevator speech.
  •  Nancy P.
    Nancy P.
    Great info. I have given my elevator speech and nothing.I keep reading 1 to 2 years experience required. Which company is willing to hire me so I gain the experience. I worked in manufacturing administrative area for 16 years. I feel that experience should work for medical or financial offices. All I get from temp agencies is I am not sale-able for those types of places. I just keep trying.
  • Kristin YD
    Kristin YD
    I have given up on my job search.  I have applied for many safety positions in two states and around the country, but when it comes down to the telephonic interview, apparently I just don't have what they want.
  • Joanne S
    Joanne S
    What do you suggest for people, willing to be a Consultant or Permanent,salary flexible, who have worked over 40yrs but want to still work and their age is over 60?
  • Bienvenido B
    Bienvenido B
    Thank you verymuch Mary for a great imformation.
  • Shelia D
    Shelia D
    I guess you're right but I only applied for the job that I have experience in.
  • Debi k
    Debi k
    This is good, but like you kind of said,.... It's who you know.  I went office career to stay at home mom.  Now I need to get back to work but hey look at "stay at home mom" status and pass me up.  Temp agencies won't even look at my résumé.  So it's a shame what the work force is passing up.  Even target will hire an 18 year old looking like @@@@ over stay at home mom.  I'm not against teens, obviously they also need work (I have 3myself) but its hard to be erased because of being a mom
  • James F
    James F
    Sounds good I've done some of these things. Is ther some way reverse the damage?
  • Janice O.
    Janice O.
    My problem is that I have a lot of experience and skills but because I've been self-employed for 10 years, I was told by some 20 something HR person that I'm irrelevant. Really? This leads me to believe that a lot of the recruiters are very inexperienced and don't have a good knowledge of what skills are needed for jobs. This has been confirmed by hiring managers approach me directly saying HR is sending undesirable candidates. I also don't appreciate that the pay scale is ridiculously low these days... it's a slap in the face that I have to jump through hoops for a job that pays the same or below what I made 22 years ago.
  • Susan A
    Susan A
    If you are on unemployment, you are required to search and apply for 5 jobs a week (or more).  This is why you are seeing the desperate/careless individual applying for more than one position within an organization.
  • Randal T
    Randal T
    good things to consider,thanks
  •  Bob H
    Bob H
    I am consistently being told that I am overqualified, even to high jobs such as CEO, VP, etc... I even lowered my experience, and lowered my high school diploma to no education to overcome their reason but still got no where!
  • Valerie D
    Valerie D
    I find your article very interesting. However, I have to agree with Donna J, who states that she is being overlooked because of the fact that she is over 50. I,too, am over 50 and overqualified for most of the positions that I apply for. They usually send me a rejection e-mail stating that they chose someone else, or I don't hear back from them at all.
  • KIRK T
    KIRK T
    Very helpful. Need to start working on my elevator speech
  • Ekere A
    Ekere A
    Thank you Mary for your precise summary of the tips a jobseeker needs to know.All the points mentioned are really very fundamental factors for securing a good career job that provides opprtunity for growth.However, my question is how is it possible for a prospective jobseeker to established a one- on- one contant or link with an insider in a compay?.
  • Michele M
    Michele M
    Thank you...
  • John C
    John C
    Solid Professional advice.   Thank you ,                   John
  • Lorraine M
    Lorraine M
    right now i have followed all of the following ...right not i think its just pure luck , with hundreds of resumes being sent for the same position its just luck if they have time to read the first 10 or 20
  • James G
    James G
    Excellent article.
  • Rondal C
    Rondal C
    I can tell you why my job search has failed , it's because I am 100% disabled and have a past felony record and cannot do physical work , I need a job that will accept past felons whom are disabled  !                    Thank  You                  Rondal
  • Aiesha A
    Aiesha A
    Very helpful
  •  KScotty
    Totaly informative and should be helpful to any job seacher.Because it sure is helpful to me.
  • Sean K
    Sean K
    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.

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