Despite the economic recovery the job market has been experiencing over the last few years, job hunting is still hard. Even if you follow the standard job search advice to the letter, you can still strike out. If you've been looking for a job for a while now with no success, here are six things you should try.
1. Ascertain The Problem
If you aren't able to find a job, chances are there is some element of your approach that is lacking. Unfortunately, pinpointing the problem can be very difficult. Read up on job searching advice to see if there is anything obvious that you are missing or doing incorrectly. For example, your problem might be poor performance in interviews if you get a lot of interviews but no job offers. This could be for a number of reasons: you may not be wearing the right clothes or you may be giving the wrong answers to questions. You may get lucky and get an answer about what you did wrong from a hiring manager, although this is relatively unlikely. Companies tend to be tight-lipped about rejections because of legal fears.
2. Reevaluate Your Career
You should consider reevaluating your career if you are having a hard time finding a job. Perhaps you are not looking for the right type of job, or perhaps it might be time to change careers altogether. It's possible that you have hit the ceiling in your current role and there is no further room for advancement, even if you seek employment outside your current company. This is a frequent problem for paralegals, for example, because the only way to advance if one wishes to do so is to become an attorney. If you've come to the conclusion that you do want more out of your career than your initial choice can provide, then consider looking in other fields.
3. Use A Career Coach
Career coaches are there to help you when you're struggling to land a job. They can help you map out your career when you are uncertain about where you stand and where you are going. They will prepare you for interviews and give advice about your resume. They can offer you pointers on how to improve your cover letter writing skills. They are also useful in identifying red flags in your employment history and giving you advice for how to overcome them.
4. Change Up Your Resume
A flawed resume is a very real possibility of why you have not seen success in your job search. Steer away from generic words and phrasing on a resume, such as "hard worker" and "detail-oriented." These vague terms turn off hiring managers because they don't really tell them anything about you. Instead, give examples that show how you spearheaded projects and pleased clients. There are plenty of services out there that provide templates and can help build your resume for you.
5. Get Additional Education
One option to consider is acquiring additional education. This varies in commitment - you could simply get certified in relevant tech skills or you could go back to school for an entirely new degree. Be sure that you have a plan in place before deciding to invest in additional education. Do not just get a master's degree, for example, because you think it will look better on a resume. Instead, consider how that master's degree might be helpful in launching you into the job you want.
6. Consider Temping
You have likely come across job listings in your search that are actually through staffing agencies. Temp work can be a great way to get your foot in the door at a company. Think of it like a trial run - the company tries you out and if they like you, you could very well be offered a full-time role. The agency will look for open positions for you and, because they want a successful match too, will give you advice and help you make adjustments to stand out. There are specialized staffing firms so you can choose one that is in your industry. This way, your temp job can be in your field and give you valuable experience.
It can be discouraging when you hit a wall in your job search, but don't give up. There are a number of things you can try to improve or change to land a job you'll thrive in. Try different things and in different combinations, and eventually you will come up with a winning formula that will get you the job.