“Help I can’t find a job!”,
said Ryan. He added, “I have been unemployed for 3 years. I can’t find a job and I would like to know how to get one because I have tried everything. I have called everyone in the local directory to ask for work & work placements. I went around shops asking managers. I apply online every day and hand out resumes and CVs everywhere. What else can I do? I am at my last nerve and the job centre doesn’t help me either. Don’t say I am lazy because if I was lazy I would not be applying for jobs daily. I apply for 50 jobs a day +.”
I feel your frustration Ryan. I don’t think you are lazy. You are spinning your wheels a though. There are literally hundreds of reasons why you are not finding a job. Without knowing you and your specific situation, it is tough give what will help most. Even so, we must turn your “can’t find a job” into a “Thank you, I found a job!!!”
Together, we can make that happen. In the post, I will do my best to help you get some traction where the rubber and road connect. The same goes for my responses to any comments, questions, or emails you send.
The most valuable advice you can get from anyone is, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got (unless something changes)”. So, change something and/or do something different.
Here are some potentially new focus areas for you. They usually help people in situations similar to your own.
A) Sounds like you are unfocused in your search (not completely), but enough to mess things up for you. Are you looking for any job you can get or focusing on finding a job you think you’ll be the happiest/best worker at? It is best to minimize the time you spend applying to jobs you don’t want or won’t be good at.
Employers can see when you lack confidence, desire, or motivation. It is a complete tun-off for them. They want someone who is going to love coming to work. Take the time you waste on applying to jobs you don’t want and spend it on finding and applying to jobs that you would do for half what you’ll be paid. Pursue your passions in life. The money will follow.
- Write down the 10 things you do most with your free time.
- Prioritize them with the highest being the one you want to do most.
- Narrow your search to ANY job RELATED to one of your top 3 passions.
- For example, if you love skateboarding, apply to work at a skate shop. You will love your work so much you’ll help the business prosper and either work your way to manager or open your own business within 5 years.
B) Take a break from applying to jobs that are advertised on large electronic job websites like Monster. They make it so easy to apply that it feels like you’re making good progress. Trouble is, you and 15 million of your friends are feeling the same way.
- If you want to respond to job advertisements, focus on advertisements fewer people are likely to see.
- Respond only to advertisements in local news papers, on the bulletin boards of local church, schools, colleges, and coffee shops.
- Also, go directly to company websites instead of through job brokerage services.
C) Try applying to “Hidden Jobs”. These are jobs that the company hasn’t presented to the world. You find these by networking and through direct contact with the hiring managers at companies you really want to work for. Focus your networking by volunteering at places where large groups gather (church, school, community events).
D) Make yourself stand out from the thousands of other applicants by showing consistency, creativity and determination. Do this by using the following approach.
- Make a list of 30 companies you really like (ones who do what you enjoy most). Include the name, email, phone and address of the hiring manager, a VP of the department you want to work in or a senior HR person. You can find this info in local business directories, on the company website, by asking around.
- MAIL a short letter of introduction to your favorite 15 companies one week and the next 15 the following week. Make sure the letter includes some enticing information about you. This is like fishing with bait on the hook. Don’t overdo it. Also, be sure the letter says you’ll be following up with a resume soon.
- During the week following your last intro letter, MAIL out a 15 cover letters and resumes a week. Tell them you’ll be following up by phone/email in a couple weeks.
- During the week following your last batch of resumes, call the companies. Thank them for taking your call and ask how they think you can best help their company succeed (or something like that).
F) If the steps above don’t land you a job within three months, there must be something in your approach, attitude, or style that throws people off. If this is the case, it will be very difficult to overcome on your own.
- If you try everything above and still can’t get a job, consider hiring a coach.
- Yes, I’m a coach (and no I am not adding this paragraph so you will hire me). I really like to help people by answering in this forum. For the sake of integrity, I recommend you hire someone else.
- There are lots of coaches out there. Find a coach who will give you a free consult and is flexible in how they work with you (via Skype, email, phone, in-person) (also flexible in frequency). Flexibility shows they will focus on your needs over their own. A coach needs to focus on you.
Email me a status in 3 months. Also (to everyone), comment on this post or email me to ask any questions you have. It is free, I enjoy responding, and we all benefit from answering/answers to good questions.
Best of luck to you,
- Seth Haigh
- Written by Seth Haigh
P.S. tell me when you land that job: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also check out this related article: How to Make a Career Choice