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3 Reasons Your Job Search Is Not Working

You’re a talented professional with a proven track record of success. Throughout your career, you’ve consistently produced results and effectively differentiated yourself from others with similar skill sets. As you pursue your next career opportunity, you feel confident in your ability to offer great value to your new employer. Unfortunately, your job search has been more challenging than you anticipated.

You are not alone! Many high potential professionals struggle to execute an effective job search. The skills required to successfully perform your job are often very different than those required to land that job. And if you haven’t looked for a job in years, you’re unlikely to have familiarity with the new strategies and best practices that will help you strengthen your candidacy and shorten your search.

Here are 3 reasons your current job search is not working:

You’re relying too heavily on job boards.

Job boards are useful research tools that can help you learn more about target companies and their hiring needs, job descriptions and requirements, etc. As a job search tool, however, they are far less effective. While the convenience of online applications is tempting, competing with a high volume of applicants and maximizing the keyword match are difficult.

Continue to use job boards if you find them valuable but understand their limitations. Instead of relying entirely on job boards, take the information you learn and follow up with a networking connection. An internal contact can often help you bypass your competition.

You’re not fully leveraging your network.

Many professionals avoid or underutilize networking because they’re uncomfortable asking for help, they lack connections in their target field, or they don’t know how to engage their contacts. Networking doesn’t come naturally to most people but it’s a proven job search strategy. If you choose not to network, you’ll find yourself at a disadvantage.

If you’re uncomfortable with networking, start slowly. Engage the people you know best and ask for warm introductions to their contacts. As you get more practice delivering your message, you’ll become much more confident and comfortable with the process.

You’re not effectively marketing yourself.

You’ve always been a strong performer but you’ve never been comfortable promoting yourself to others. Rather than proactively sell your value, you’ve generally relied on your track record to speak for itself. While humility is an admirable quality, it can hurt you in the job search process.

To successfully land your next role, you’ll need to powerfully differentiate yourself from your competition. Make sure that you have a compelling career narrative that connects the dots between your previous roles and your target position, particularly if you’re making a career change. Most importantly, be able to clearly and confidently articulate your unique value to others.

Engaging in a job search can feel daunting. With the right resources, strategies, and messaging, however, you will minimize frustration and see better, faster results.

2 thoughts on “3 Reasons Your Job Search Is Not Working”

  1. Kim, it’s hard for me to find any ways to agree more with you. Job search does feel daunting to clients of mine but people need to minimize frustration by engaging with a career pro who can keep them navigationally focused. And many people are not leveraging their existing network. People who are most serious know or should know they need coaching in this area as well.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, John! I wholeheartedly agree that working with a career professional is a great way to navigate this process.

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