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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  • Patrick D
    Patrick D
    Good article, but thee is a flip side.."They get snatched up by insiders"...though reality, that is the problem..if they want to hire, then hire. If they want to promote or cross train within, then don't advertise to the public. In some cases applications are not even looked at. 2 months in a row, on a different career site, it shows I applied for 16 jobs in 30 days...30 applications submitted for the month to applications looked at by employers...ZERO...that is shameful on the HR departments. At least take the time to look at it. All that tells me, is that they already had someone to fill the position, so the job listing was worthless....
  • Billy R. H
    Billy R. H
    What do you do when the person hiring has low self esteem and has no self worth? What do you do if your intelligence intimidates the person doing the hiring? What do you do?
  • James F S
    James F S
    Helpful--Thank you!
  • Richard S
    Richard S
    Does not address all the current realities of the job market - companies are still "buying on the cheap".
  • william T
    william T
    if over 65, suggest a partnership by being on the payroll at $18/hr for n18 hours and putting the balance of 22 hours + backing the specific project you'll be working on. When successful. employer can slip in a couple of $million in the paycheck.....WT
  • Robert M
    Robert M
    Thanks for this helpful article! I got asked the "elevator speech" question in a recent interview and didn't have a concise, compelling 30-second reply.  bummer!
  • Dave D
    Dave D
    excellent food for thought. Job seekers need to continue to update their approach if not getting any call backs
  • Mary Nestor-Harper
    Mary Nestor-Harper
    Thanks for the comments.  Feel free to share the article with friends and co-workers.
  • AdrieneH
    I found that article to be very helpful.Alot of good tips.              Thank you! Adriene.
  • julie a
    julie a
    I totally agree with what you said so many people try 2 get the big bucks right away. I feel it is something that must be proven and earned.
  • Mary Nestor-Harper
    Mary Nestor-Harper
    Thanks, Morgan.  Glad it was helpful.
  • MorganY
    Very informative and thought provoking article.

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