There are many people all over the country looking for work at any given moment, and it’s true that sometimes, it does take a while to find something that’s suitable for you. Many roles are inundated with applicants, so it might be impossible to please everybody; not finding a job for a while could just be a case of bad luck.
However, there are plenty of things that you can do to make the job search a little easier. These range from getting more qualifications and experience, to practicing interview skills and niching your job search a little more. Let’s look into these!
Why Can’t I Get a Job? Reasons Why
You aren’t correctly qualified
Your bad luck with finding a job may just be because you are looking for jobs that you don’t have the specified qualifications for. Many jobs will require certain qualifications; and while some may consider applicants without them, candidates with them will be favoured.
If you want to work in a certain field, but don’t have the correct certifications or experience, consider taking some courses to get there. These can range from official tertiary education, which you can get loans for, to free online courses that prove your interest and aptitude. Often, showing an interest through optional courses will suffice in lieu of official certifications.
If your job is more vocational, consider doing some volunteering – for example, if you want to become a social worker, you could look at doing some volunteering with vulnerable people to get some experience and show that you are perfect for the job.
You aren’t looking in the right places
There are many places to find jobs nowadays – online platforms like Indeed and Monster, careers advisors at places of education, job centres, in the windows of businesses, or on their individual websites. Some businesses may advertise in one place but not others – so be sure to check all of them before applying.
Most business websites have a ‘work for X’ section where you can see current listings, so make a list of all of the businesses that you would like to work with and check their websites on a regular basis.
If you are actively wanting to be recruited with a particular company, there is no harm in sending them a personalised email address, stating who you are and what you could do for them.
They might not have opportunities right at that moment, but will appreciate your initiative and may well be in contact when they do have appropriate opportunities. Doing this will show that you are a pro-active, forward-thinking individual, which many employers look for in the hiring process!
Your CV isn’t good enough
If you are struggling to get interviews, it may be because your CV does not stand out in a sea of applicants. You need it to be a document that concisely expresses your skills, experience, qualifications and attitude to work.
Many people look for lots of different information in CVs; not just relevant work experience, but also hobbies and interests. You’ll need to portray yourself as a balanced, well-rounded person who will fit into the team well.
Consider the job that you are applying to. If it is an art or design role, you might wish to make your CV stand out a bit by designing it differently to normal. If you are applying to a writing job, you could send in a sample piece of work with your CV. Do be sure to concisely list anything relevant to the role as well. If you have volunteering experience that is more beneficial to the role than your current job, be sure to highlight it.
Most people just have one CV, but there is no harm in tailoring it for individual jobs – this shows that you care enough about the job to take the time to portray why you want it.
You aren’t applying for enough jobs
As mentioned before, some jobs are very high in demand – and it’s important to realise that while you may have fantastic experience for a certain role, you might not get it, for a myriad of reasons.
These can be that there were more suitable applicants for the role – someone might be relocating to that area having had exactly the same role somewhere else – or even that the employer didn’t reach your application before hiring someone. This is a shame, but unfortunately can easily happen.
However, if you are persistent, and keep on trying for different jobs, you will be able to find one that you love and has availability for you. Don’t let any setbacks stop you, keep on applying and pursuing your ideal career, and you’ll eventually get there.
You need to work on your interviewing skills
If you are being invited to interviews but aren’t being taken through to the next stage, consider how you appear in the interviews.
Some things to think about are:
- Do you give off a professional persona? Do you give people a friendly handshake upon meeting them, speak in professional language, and sit tall and straight?
- Do you wear the appropriate clothing? For interviews, it is better to be more formal than informal (unless you have been specifically told to dress casually). It’s also really important to look generally clean and tidy, so make sure you spend some extra time getting ready before an interview.
- Do you market yourself? Do you talk about your skills and what you are proud of yourself of?
- Do you also admit your shortcomings, and not come across as too braggy?
- Do you seem friendly and like you would fit in well in the work environment?
- Are you asking relevant questions about the job that shows your interest?
It’s easy to be put off by nerves in the interview process. Many people struggle with finding a line between talking about their attributes and coming across as arrogant, however interviewers know this. Their questions are specifically targeted to finding out what you can do for the company.
The best thing to do is to look at both yourself and the business in a positive light. Talk about yourself, sure – but also ask lots of questions about the business, and don’t just discuss why you are perfect for the business – tell them what you think the job could do for you.
There are many reasons why you might be finding it difficult to get a job – the good news is that there are many ways around these difficulties! Follow the five steps listed above to make sure that your applications are niched, sincere and professional and you might find the job process a whole lot quicker and less stressful.
But remember, even if you are finding it is taking a while to get a job – sometimes this is due to the market not being good. If the nation is experiencing a recession, there might naturally be less jobs available. There will still be something out there for you, it might just take a while to find it.
Don’t give up, keep applying, and in the meantime, try to develop your professional skills and qualifications. Your ideal job is out there, and the stress of applying will all be worth it once you’ve got it!