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Unemployed Need Not Apply - How to Find A Job

Updated on September 3, 2012

Break the Unemployment Cycle Now!

Yep. It's a tough job market out there, and of course, you do want a job. With the official unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent and millions actively seeking a job, there's plenty of competition for the few available jobs.

But despite the grim stats, some jobs are available. If you are still struggling in your job search, review the following ten reasons why you can't do what you want to do and find a job.

1. Your Marketing Image is Unprofessional

In this job climate, you absolutely . . . positively . . . have to stand out as a candidate. Start out by taking inventory of your experience, interests, skills, attributes and weaknesses. Know what you're looking for in a job and what you bring to the table.

Your marketing arsenal should include a well-crafted resume. Include a job objective. Have it professionally written or at least attend one or two resume workshops for guidance and assistance. Errors will relegate your resume to the bottom of the candidate pile.

Print some business cards with your name and contact information on the front and specific marketing skills and/or your job objective on the back.

2. You're Flunking Networking 101

Networking is hard for many, but try not to fly solo for this search and rescue mission. Since well over 50% of new job hires are attributed to networking, this is a tool you cannot afford to overlook.

Become a joiner and get involved. Reach out to former employers, instructors, classmates, friends. Get in the habit of telling everyone that you are looking for a job. It may not be something you want to share while standing in the checkout line or riding the subway, but you're increasing your odds of hearing about a potential opening.

3. Your job search is Unfocused

"Man, I just want any job." Certainly, you've heard this nowadays. Perhaps, you've even spoken it yourself. In reality, sometimes you have to "take just anything" to get by. But, don't let your temporary layover, turn into a long-term diversion.  After all, don't you want to leverage your job search into a better position?

Conduct targeted research -- industries, companies, jobs -- and gear your search for specifics not generalities. "I'm looking for a position in the healthcare industry, as a project manager at John Smith Company." Employers want to know that you picked your occupation and their company for a reason.

4. You Don't Interview Well

Maybe you've landed a few interviews only to have your hopes dashed a week or two later. What went wrong? A number of items could have led to your rejection. After all, they could have just found a candidate better suited for the position.

But, remember . . . when the organization offers you an interview, they are fairly certain you meet the qualifications for the position. Quite frankly, in this job market, the employer had many qualified individuals to peruse. And, they chose to bring you and a select few in for the determining interview(s).

Consider the job yours! You've got to take it by presenting an irresistable package. Know yourself, know your marketing resume, know the industry and know the company. Practice the interview. Dress well. Arrive early and with pertinent questions. Be yourself. But if your normal is not nice, be the best actor possible. And, don't eliminate yourself by providing unflattering information.

And, don't forget to follow up with a thank you note.

5. You're Unemployed

Supposedly, it's always been easier to find a job if you are currently employed.  Now, the buzz is, if you don't have a job currently, don't bother to apply. Some employers are refusing to consider unemployed candidates. So, if they see a break in employment history, red flags wave and your resume is tossed to the wind. Unfair . . . yes. Illegal . . . no.

So, how do you combat the "unemployment gap." Consider becoming a consultant in your field and/or start a small business. Then, update your resume accordingly.

6. Your Occupation Has Become Stagnant

Some fields are saturated with applicants. Looking for an assembly-line job at an auto manufacturing plant? Many of these positions are gone, and, unfortunately, may not return for years, if ever. And, while special education teachers are in demand, physical education teachers are not needed in many areas.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the best paying jobs will be in nursing, nursing and other medical roles, business administration and information technology. The BLS predicts 28% of new jobs will be created in the health care field with nursings and health care aides in hot demand through 2020. Check with the Occupational Outlook Handbook for information on hot careers.

Consider obtaining training or returning to school to increase your chances of finding a job. In many cases, you don't have to change course completely. If you enjoyed your position, try to find a job with similar attributes that you can take on with limited training. But, don't jump into training for something you have little interest in or attribute for. Look for job compatibility. Also, consider taking a second language; bilingual positions are harder to fill so this will give you a heads up.

7. You're Not Really Looking

Well, maybe you're looking. . . just not too hard. If you want to snag a job, you have to move your job search up on your priority list. Maybe you've been looking for some time now, you're just tired or discouraged.  It's understandable, but only you can remedy your situation.  Take a break if need be, then return and continue to push!

Eliminate distractions to your job search. Divide your workday into quarters and establish daily goals. Use your lunch to run errands and attend to non-work related appointments (just like you did when you were working). Join a professional organization or two and get involved.

Guard your valuable worktime; once the word is out, you will be recruited for every odd job and errand. "Gary's not working; he can help, babysit, go get it, etc." Help out if you want or must, but remember your goal is to get a job.

Commit time to sending out resumes, hitting online jobsites and touching base with your network. Say "no" to garage sales, automobile tinkering, and Jerry Springer. Instead spend time at your local WorkForce or Unemployment division.

8. You Consider Yourself Semi-Retired

This is a kissin' cousin to Point No. 7. If you plan to and can afford to retire, go for it!  But, if not, you're doing a disservice to yourself for listening to that faint voice of resignation that pops in your subconscious periodically, "well, I guess I can always retire." Even worse, don't pass this on to your neighbor or friend. If they do hear of a job opening, they won't pass it on to you. After all, you're retired.

9. You've Got Some Savings

Another relative to No. 7. Having a safety net is great. It will keep the wolf away from the door . . . for awhile. Don't let your savings accounts lead to complacency. And, don't your nest egg eliminate a sense of urgency in your job search. The money will run out and then what. Look hard now and conserve your savings if possible. Consider your IRAs, 401Ks, and pensions untouchable money; you'll pay hugh penalties for withdrawals.

10. You're Being Discriminated Against

Forgive the bluntness . . . but do you reek of cigarette smoke when you approach a potential company contact? Even if you haven't smoked in a week or so, your clothes may still retain the odor. Most companies are promoting non-smoking environments, so don't send up smoke signals. Employers will look at you and visualize frequent smoke breaks and increased medical costs.

What about your smile? If you avoid smiling or know you don't present a pleasant picture when you do, consider some dental work. Some dentists offer payment plans or visit a local teaching hospital for low cost dental care. You don't need a complete overhaul, just do what's necessary to present a better image.

Do you need a wardrope, hair, grooming, etc. makeover? If you're not sure, ask someone you trust and ask for honesty. In these turbulent job seas, you need to have every advantage.

14 Million and Counting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 14 million workers actively seeking gainful employment. But there's no safety in these numbers. To secure a new job, you must eliminate any factors hindering your job search efforts. Conquer these ten in 2010 and snag that new job. And, if you have a friend or relative engaged in their own job search battle, pass these ten steps on. Stay focused and you will be able to do what you want to do, find a job and count yourself among the employed!


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    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Mike. When you find a job you have an interest in, try to get the name of the hiring authority. For example, if the job is in the Financial area, call the Company and ask for the Financial Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Comptroller, etc. Try to arrange an interview directly. They made tell you to send the info to HR. Do so, but also send a resume to the hiring manager. Follow up and even if you do not get the interview, ask the Financial Manager for an informational interview to try to get your foot in the door. If he/she declines, ask for just 5 minutes over the telephone. Be proactive and semi-aggressive. Best wishes!

    • profile image

      Milton Stafford 6 years ago

      I've looking for a job. No matter how long I look the available job is taken. What advice can anyone give me to snag a job?

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Anyone coming off unemployment, I could use your help. QCing articles for me. $1 per article.... Hubpagers in particularly wanted!


    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks for visiting and your comment, MarianG.

    • profile image

      MarianG 7 years ago

      Very great tips in this challenging market which we can all use right about now!

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks, Billyaustin. I hope that 2011 will see a recovering job market and dimished unemployment claims.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Great tips in an ever depressing job market - each weekly jobless claims comes in much higher than expected and the the Non farm payrolls were dismal last month thought he private sector is at least hiring.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks for visiting. I'm glad this information was useful. I appreciate your comments, Prasetio30!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good information and great tips from you. I am glad the first person to know this hub. I'll bookmark this one. Thank you very much. Keep on giving valuable information like this. Vote this Up.