3 Reasons why you can’t get a job – and how to change it

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If you’re wondering why you can’t get a job, I feel your pain.

It is incredibly frustrating when you recently graduated and are on your first job search without getting anywhere. I was once in your shoes. It took me a little more than a year to land my first real job – and they were dark and depressing times!

Yes, I said a year! But don’t panic! This post is written to tell you what I’ve learned so you can change the reasons why you can’t get a job. You can get your first job MUCH faster than I did!

Applying for jobs is not as easy as it used to be.

Long are the days where you can take your parent’s advice about just walking into a company, asking to speak to a manager, give them your resume and BAM! You’ve just got yourself an interview. Or even better, A JOB! If this is what you’ve been hearing from your parents or from older generations, don’t be discouraged.

This is what worked for them in their time when they were first starting out. It will NOT work for you. DO NOT feel bad if you have been unsuccessful in getting a job. It is in no way reflective of your value and capabilities.

It just means that the job market has changed  – and so you need to change with it.

The New York Federal Reserve Bank states that 13.2% of recent grads (age 22-27) can’t even get a job! Even more depressing is that for those grads who did find a job, 43.2% were underemployed! This means that 43% of recent grads were working at jobs they didn’t even need a degree for!

Below are the reasons why you can’t get a job in today’s market and what you can do about it. These reasons definitely apply if you have no experience, but can also apply even if you DO have experience.

3 Reasons why you can’t get a job and what you can do about it

Your resume is not good

The easiest reason you can’t get a job is because no one taught you how to write a proper resume. School didn’t. Taking first year calculus definitely didn’t. You probably listed every single accomplishment you’ve ever had, including your high school graduation. Luckily this fix is simple and easy.

Your resume should be no longer than 2 pages. ONE page if you can. That’s right, everything you’ve accomplished down to 1 simple page.

Why? Because no one has the time to read your entire resume when they are busy and have dozens, if not hundreds of resumes to look through.

Related: 6 tips to write a resume

Your resume is not being seen

So you now have a proper resume. Yet you are still jobless with no interviews. Why? Your resume is not being seen.

We live in an age where technology is our friend (and in this case, enemy). People from all over the world can search for the same job posting. That means each job will have hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants.

When I was applying for my first, I applied to hundreds of jobs online – something very similar to spamming! I was thinking if I applied to enough online jobs, one of them will work. WRONG!  There I was, unemployed and still can’t get a job.

Chances are your resume is not even being seen by a person. To deal with hundreds of resumes, companies have an automated tracking system (ATS). This ATS filters out resumes that do not meet the minimum criteria or keywords.

You, having no experience, most likely do not meet the minimum criteria. Your resume is being thrown in a black hole of the internet when you apply. You cannot play this numbers game when no one is even seeing it.

You have no experience

I’m sure this isn’t new to you and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it. But the number one reason why you can’t get a job is because you have no experience. I know it sucks because there is nothing you can do about it.

You can’t get experience because you can’t get a job to get experience.

So how can you get over this hurdle of no experience and your resume not being seen?

You NEED to network

I cannot stress this enough. The sooner you face your reality and the sooner you accept this, the sooner you will land your job.

Listen, no one likes to network. I know. It’s a lot of work and very time consuming. You’re put in uncomfortable situations and it can be very awkward.

Just like anything else, you will get better at it the more you do it. You will get more comfortable with practice. It will become something you dread to something that’s mildly irritating.

This is how you get yourself seen and noticed for even a chance at an interview. This is how you get your resume seen and noticed. This is also how you can avoid being underemployed! Not only are you trying to get a job, but you’re trying to get a quality job.

Related: How to fast a job fast

You can continue doing what you’ve been doing for the past 6 months with no results – blindly applying to job postings online and throwing your resume into a black hole, all the while complain about how you can’t get a job. OR you can change your strategy and network effectively.

It’s up to you!

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