Why can’t I get a job? 5 reasons why you may be unemployed

Have you heard yourself saying, “Why can’t I get a job? I put out a lot of resumes, there is always talk about a need for more workers but I’m not even getting a call back…what’s going on?”

Well, you are not alone. It is a sad fact that many of us were never properly prepared to look for work. We come out of school with some basic skills and for the most part an ill-equipped resume. What do we know? Months and years go by and still we struggle to figure out how to establish a career path, what courses to take and how to job search. Information may be coming from other sources, like friends, family and even the media but is what they are saying of any value to your personal situation? Do you know how to evaluate that? Probably not.

Client complaints about not finding a job is something career counsellors hear all the time but once we begin to work with an individual the reasons can become quite clear. Outside of extreme economic downturns there are likely other factors that may be hindering a persons employment.

Here are 5 reasons why employment opportunities might be eluding you:

1. The industry you are interested in isn’t growing. As I have talked about before, there is something called the labour market. Like any market there are highs and lows so understanding first how to assess the labour market and protect yourself from expending needless energy in a field that has limited to no growth you may want a little counsel and resources at your finger tips.

2. Too many applicants not enough positions. Companies receive a lot of resumes but the amount of positions are often minimal with mass hiring only occurring during start-ups or peak seasons . Some jobs become so popular that everyone and their dog is trying to get a foot in the door but unless you know how to stand out in that mountain of paper or properly keyword your online application, you remain the needle in a haystack.

3. Your resume sucks. Nonprofessional language aside I’m going to be really honest, my colleagues and I see far more bad resumes than good and sometimes they are so bad we just have to laugh or shake our head. Even when the client has a personal attachment to its content I have to say it like it is…this resume needs some work. I can’t begin to tell you some of the stuff I’ve seen on resumes that really screams to employers “Do not hire!” It’s not my client or students fault, they simply haven’t been given the proper instruction or they have outdated resume knowledge. Nothing that can’t be fixed.

4. You went to school without doing your homework first. I know that sounds backwards but here’s where I’m going with that: Whether you pay for it, a partner or your parents it can sometimes be a huge waste of money. If you don’t do a proper self assessment and due diligence in terms of evaluating likelihood of employment in THE FIELD, then what can happen is you emerge with that precious certificate, diploma or degree and have nowhere to use it.

Sometimes that is because you are not willing to start at an entry-level position and work your way up. Maybe it requires you to be more flexible and/or relocate. It could be that you like the safety of school and find it difficult to promote yourself outside of its environment. It’s possible that part way through you found you weren’t that interested in the field so you’re not as motivated as you once were or…wait for it… the labour market doesn’t support your passion. I’m not saying don’t follow your passion just don’t always expect that the doors will miraculously open when you want them too.

5. Shortage of workers doesn’t mean they will take anybody. We often hear about the labour shortage but there are still standards that need to be met by applicants. If you are unfamiliar with what it takes to meet those requirements or have underestimated your competition then it could be a while before you rise to the top of the labour pool. Have you made it clear to employers who you are and what you have to offer their company through your resume, cover letter and/or online application? Are your certifications up to date? Have you taken the time to research the company/field and arrange information gathering interviews to make sure that you are in line with their qualifications? ——–

One way or another we always get to the bottom of why someone is having difficulty finding employment. Often a reality check is needed and for those that like quick fixes it can be even more difficult. First you have to be open to gaining the knowledge and then you have to be willing to put what you have learned into action. Those who want to take the easy route for job search or career planning usually are the ones we see a year later still asking the same questions. Sad really, when the majority of questions could have been solved.

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