Six Reasons Your Search Has Stalled

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If your job search has stalled, it may not be the economy or job market or the lack of new jobs in your area, profession or industry.  Entrepreneur magazine reported that companies are beginning to hire again.  Companies are hiring, but they might just not be hiring you.


An article in, “6 Subtle Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Job Hunt,” suggests that job seekers do things, consciously or subconsciously, that can turn off a prospective employer.  Or, they don’t do the things that can help them the most.


You may be spending a lot of time networking, but all your efforts may be working against you.  It’s one thing to attend a networking event, work the crowd and hand out as many business cards as you can.  You may feel good at the end of the event, but how many real connections have you made?  As the article suggests, you need to make friends--not just connections--with people at your dream company or those who have some real influence with the company’s hiring managers.  Having a prominent insider pass your resume to a manager or bring up your name in a conversation is golden.  An unsolicited recommendation is even better.


Another self-sabotage is applying for jobs you’re not qualified for.  The best way to ruin your chances is to apply for just any job at your dream company.  What’s worse is applying for several at the same time, or in quick succession.  It makes you look desperate or careless, two impressions to avoid.  You’re wasting an opportunity and the HR manager’s time.


Reading the want ads and checking career sites like Nexxt are good ways to find job leads.  But you can’t overlook a more proactive approach.  Many of the best jobs are never advertised.  They get snapped up by insiders or aggressive job seekers who let employers know what they are looking for.  Those are the jobs you learn about from friendly connections you’ve been cultivating.


How would you answer the question, “What do you do?”  Would you recite your job title or would you have a concise, compelling 30-second synopsis of what you do and the affect it has on an organization?  A memorable “elevator speech” can make a quick impression that lasts for a long time.  Spoken with poise and confidence, elevator speeches sum up what you do and the value to an organization.


Sooner or later, you’ll have to answer the dreaded question, “What are your salary expectations?”  Be careful.  You can price yourself out of a job if you don’t do your homework.  There are many sources of salary information.  Do some research.  Ask around.  Be realistic.  Consider your experience, skills, the industry and the local job market.  Sure, you want the most you can get, but it’s better to be at mid- or slightly above mid-range than at the top of the scale.  You can get top dollar, but lose out on raises or upward mobility.


Before you apply for any job, put aside the job boards and ads and put together your elevator speech.  Figure out who you are, what you have to offer, and why you want the job.  What are your “must-haves?”  The “nice-to-haves?”   What is your bottom figure?  Work out your finances, crunch some numbers and know your true salary requirements.  No sense taking a job if you can’t pay your bills or live the life you want or one you’re willing to settle for in order to get where you want to go.  Stop putting roadblocks up between you and your next dream job and start building bridges instead.


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  • Jim P
    Jim P
    Good article next time please expand on how to establish the internal networks (and not be a pest).
  • Emerson Flurkey
    Emerson Flurkey
    This is a great article. I learned from it.My concern is I'm an older person looking for work. But not just work, a career. I believe I'm being  discriminated against because of my age.
  • Ansel P
    Ansel P
    Thanks for the effort, but truly out of touch to the job seeker recently laid off and looking to get back into their field asap. I am yet to hear from my landlord, 'Don't worry, just pay your rent when you get another job.'
  • Gene L
    Gene L
    No one wants to be approached- never mind feel like they have to make friends with someone. This article is out of touch. Very bad advice regarding networking.
  • jeffrey M
    jeffrey M
    well written, informative. One of the best articles I have read.
  • Ellen R
    Ellen R
    Yes, makes sense, I agree. It's getting to those key contacts before anyone else does. A lot is timing. Thanks for the tips!
  • Ida M
    Ida M
    This is a well written article.  I was able to see that my approach needs to change.  I've been applying everywhere due to feeling stressed.   Thank you!
  • Michael G
    Michael G
    What middle schooler wrote this???
  • Beng A
    Beng A
    Very informative and useful.  Every job seeker should read this.
  •  Darlene  R
    Darlene  R
    I'm a second generation of baby boomer's and ith has nothing to do with being over qualified for a job it's seems that once you reach a certain age then your chances  are slim. Now, I been putting in application for working as a cashier', folding sheets, housekeeping and you said that you caint apply for to many jobs at the same time you look desperate so how else are you going to pay your bills.
  •  Peta G
    Peta G
    Excellent article and will help me focus more. Particularly helpful is the idea of preparing an "elevator speech"
  • Craige W
    Craige W
    A common-sense approach.  It would be great to know good salary research sites that the corporations use to base mid-range salaries on.
  • Earlene R
    Earlene R
    good advice
  • Kathy W
    Kathy W
    Thanks for the advice; however, its is shameful that applicants have to complete long and sometimes worthless applications not to be considered for interview or any feedback.
  •  Rocio A.
    Rocio A.
    Thank you!  I needed to read your article.
  • Brenda S
    Brenda S
    If it's your dream company, why wouldn't you do your best to get in the door?
    I think this is a good article.  It gives a lot of insight into things that jobseekers may overlook or not think of.
  • Gregory C
    Gregory C
    NOT MY IMMAGINATION.Thanks to all for confirming the terrible conditions out there and the hopeless no win games wasting your timeeven trying with employers.This is all very scary, the smarter you are the less you know for sure.
  • David O
    David O
    My job search hasn't stalled, I live in a rural area, I don't know anyone, there are few major employers, I have an MA, experience, and am nearly 62 years old.  Time to retire. Good-bye.
  • Robert D
    Robert D
    Nice talk coming from someone who has a job presently- not all useful to those of us who had a job, and weren't working in a cubicle in front of a computer, but were out in the trenches getting their hands dirty. Quit your job, then try and find one in today's market, then write about more realistic helpful hints than yuppie office blah blah blah. My .02, for what it's worth.
  •  james j
    james j
    I think this article is very insightful. I definitely will take some of these things into consideration.
  •  Joseph E
    Joseph E
    Thanks but can u help me wit an answer to this question, if I hire you, what are your plans to succeed?
  • Sybil P
    Sybil P
    Very good advice
  • Errol M
    Errol M
    very helpful suggestions
  • Carole B
    Carole B
    This article is very timely. My job search has definitely stalled because of some of the very reasons you mentioned. Thank you.

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