There are 7 reasons why you don’t have a job and I’ll get straight to it.
You are selective with the companies you apply to
We all know today that almost everyone wants to work with Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and the likes. If not the big tech, people almost always target the most prestigious companies in the industries they are interested in. That’s the first reason why you don’t have a job. Think about it. If you and your friends are applying for positions in the same companies, won’t everyone else? And if the whole world is vying for extremely limited spots, do you think you will get one? Most probably not. Ok, maybe you believe you are the smartest or most capable for the position, but even if you were, the probability of getting that one role is low for you just based on numbers.
You make matters worse for yourself when you only send applications to these prestigious organizations and completely ignore the 99% – thousands of companies that recruit daily. If what you need is a job, then you will get one by sending applications to all organizations. If you have to have a filter, then the only important filter is the minimum payment you are willing to accept from any organization. It could be Google or a small office next door. What’s important is you get a job that generates at least X amount per month.
You are selective with the roles you want
This is another major reason why you are still unemployed. I have seen, more often than not, people seeking roles in their respective fields. Graduates often what roles aligned with what they studied in school and professionals seek opportunities that fit in their experience. This is a wrong approach. You will be job hunting for a very long time. The business environment is changing very fast and keeps changing. A valuable person can learn – unlearn – and learn new things. You MUST be adaptable. And you will be surprised that you can be. Learn more about adapting here.
If you are an accountant by training or experience and decide to only look for a role related to accounting, you may find yourself on the search for an extended period. Instead, expand your search to roles in marketing, sales, supply chain, human resources, etc. Widen your interests based on how fast you can adapt to that environment. I wouldn’t advise you to apply for a role that requires a special license such as roles in law and medicine unless you have quickly upskilled yourself and target the lightest possible aspect of that far-out role. There are a plethora of roles in any organization so target as many as you possibly can.
You are selective with the location you want
Look…if you are truly serious about getting a job or you are desperate and need one ASAP, you should not be out here picking locations. Whether the opening is 10km or 1,000km or even 10,000km from where you live, you should apply, unless they don’t accept applications from your area. And if the company has accepted you and the job is paying well enough to cover relocation expenses, you should move. You cannot be crying that unemployment is draining the life out of you and yet you are picky.
A few years back I lost a fortune in my business ventures and went bankrupt and all my consulting gigs ran dry. I knelt before reality and took drastic measures to get myself back on track – I accepted an English teaching job in Cambodia. I have zero interest in teaching and Cambodia was not a place I thought of relocating to, but, this is where I got a job quickly which offered my minimum acceptable payment and covered all my relocation expenses. So, take a good look at your life and decide whether you are in a position to be picky. If you want a job, target more roles at more organizations in more locations.
You pitch the wrong person
Sometimes the HR manager is not the best person to pitch because they may not feel the urgency or need for a person of your skillset or caliber. Instead, directly pitch your potential boss.
– Connect with your potential boss on LinkedIn
– Pitch your potential boss on LinkedIn
I’m not saying you should ignore official routes. Apply for roles through designated means set by your target organization whether it is through their career portal or other. And on top of that, connect with your potential boss and pitch. One more thing, LinkedIn is hands down the best platform for finding and applying for jobs – take advantage of that.
You have a terrible business pitch
This is a big one. You may be likening employers to your parents, school, or the government. Take note of this;
– An employer is not there to take care of you.
– You are not at the mercy of your employer.
– The employer is not doing you a favor by employing you.
What your pitch sounds like:
“Hi, I’m XX and I have training in XX, therefore, I can do XX for you. Please hire me.”
Instead, you should look at this as a service provider <> client relationship. You are the service provider and your employer is your client. You have a solution to offer that will add value to your customer and your rates are up for negotiation.
What your pitch should sound like:
“Hi, I’m XX and I provide XX services to XX. I recently learned that your business is XX. As I have helped XX solve a similar problem, I believe I could add value to your team. Let me know when you would be available this week or next week for a quick call.”
Yes, it should be formatted as a sales pitch not a request for employment. When you pitch like a business you will be taken more seriously and create an impression that you are a freelancer or independent consultant that the employer can retain in a full-time position. Position yourself like the capable grown-up that you are and the world will respond accordingly.
You have not built a professional brand
I’ve talked about LinkedIn and pitching as a business. That means you need to have a pronounced online presence. You need to build your online brand from a freelancer/independent consultant perspective. For any job that you have held, you need to showcase the value you added to that organization (from a business perspective). Doing this makes it clear for the potential boss that you mean business. Further, they can see what to hire you for immediately. You may be surprised when you start receiving requests rather than you going after them. Quick routes:
– Your LinkedIn profile is everything. Pack it with anything you have ever done. Focus on your portfolio (i.e. work, projects) and then add all other stuff. Keep your profile public and frequently post insightful stuff about your work or related activities.
– If you can, set up your website that showcases your work.
You have not put in the numbers
Are you the most capable person in the job market today? You better believe you are. However, because numbers are numbers, your probability of getting one offer per application is almost 0. To keep things in reality, you are better off working with an acceptance rate of 0.1%.
And that 1,000 should be your low target. Now, you may get an offer after 145 applications or 563. But, do not base your projections on a sweet dream. Work with a 0.1% rate and send those 1,000 applications (or pitches) and you will find yourself employed already.
There are the 7 reasons why you don’t have a job. Address these problems and you’ll be on your way to an exciting journey.
Read my other article on How to Launch a Startup with Limited Resources