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“Why Can’t I Find a Job?” Here Are 9 Job Search Tips When You’re Struggling

In an office, a woman wearing a tan button-up shirt and blue jeans shakes hands with someone off camera. You can see their hand extended as they wear a white shirt.

The journey of securing a new job can sometimes present unexpected and formidable obstacles. If you've found yourself repeatedly pondering the question, "Why can't I find a job?" rest assured that you are not alone. The modern job market often demands a strategic approach to secure a fitting opportunity.

Navigating the intricacies of job-hunting during times of struggle requires a combination of knowledge, resilience, and proactive measures. To learn more about how job seekers can improve their search, we spoke with Account Recruiting Manager Jully Pichardo.

With over 19 years of experience, Pichardo is adept at helping applicants improve their chances of getting the job. She provided some insights and solutions around finding the right job.  



Why Do I Find It Difficult To Find A Job?

Rest assured, you are not alone in facing the complexities of the job market. Many individuals encounter obstacles when seeking employment. Some of these hurdles may stem from external factors beyond your influence. 

A competitive job market can contribute to the difficulties encountered during job searches. This can create an influx of applicants for limited opportunities. 

Fortunately, some of the reasons for job search struggles are likely fixable. If you find yourself facing rejection despite relentless applications, then consider the factors that could be influencing your job search outcomes. A less-than-optimal resume, lacking the necessary experience or credentials for sought-after positions, or an unexplained gap in employment history might hamper your chances.

“There are a few reasons a job seeker may not find work as quickly as expected. They may have a lack of experience for the position, or it could be simply there are more qualified applicants seeking the same position,” says Pichardo.

Is It Normal To Struggle To Find A Job?

It is not uncommon for individuals to face challenges when seeking employment. Many people encounter periods of difficulty in securing a job. These hurdles stem from factors beyond their control, such as the recent global pandemic, which led to furloughs and layoffs. Certain sectors, like hospitality and food services, experienced a notable downturn. 

Sudden changes to the economy and market conditions can create a difficult job market for some. Nonetheless, history has shown that the market tends to rebound, and demand regains momentum. 

What to Do When You Can't Seem to Find a Job

Maintaining your determination is crucial when faced with difficulties in your job search. Being rejected or ignored can be disheartening. Don't lose hope. With some minor tweaks and persistence, you can find a job that is right for you. 

Persistence, coupled with a focus on continual self-improvement, proves invaluable in this journey. Equipping yourself with a strong resume, refining your interviewing skills, and ensuring that you have the requisite qualifications for the desired role will lead to success in due time. While certain variables may remain beyond your control, they should not discourage you from attaining your goals. 

“There are a few ways you can improve your chances of getting the job. Start by building a resume before applying to the job. Be sure to have two or three references you can provide. Finally, call or send a follow-up message if you haven’t heard back from the employer or recruiter to let them know you’re still interested in the job opening,” says Pichardo.

9 Tips When You're Struggling to Find a Job

Review and Customize Your Resume

Your resume is often the first contact for employers to “get to know you.” Make sure it’s clean, legible, and professional. And make sure it shows off your strengths and skills, which should be applicable to the jobs you’re applying to. Review, update, and polish your resume before sending out any other applications.

While you can’t omit certain experiences in your resume, you can tailor certain aspects of it to capture your recruiter’s attention better. For example, you can switch up the language to include more relevant keywords. Or send along a more personalized cover letter, that helps you better stand out or highlight your strengths for a particular job.

Find A Proofreader

It’s not uncommon for people to miss errors in their writing, especially if they’ve been busy making edits and corrections. That’s why it’s often helpful to enlist someone else to proofread your resume. This can be a trusted family member or friend, or if you’re willing to spend the money, a professional.  Janitors might come into work after business hours, so they can clean the building without interrupting employees. In this case, they’ll need to make sure the building is locked up and secure when they leave.

Search Social Media

More companies are investing in their social media presence, for marketing and to convey their company mission. Review the company's social media to get a better understanding of what attracts you to the position and the company's culture. We also recommend cleaning up your own social media account. A questionable photo can come off as a little untoward and turn potential employers off. Like your resume, polish up your social media account too, if applicable. 

Start Networking

You can do this on social media too, but networking in general is a great way to connect with professionals and prospective employers in your desired field. Put yourself out there and meet new people in the field. Attend networking events in person or from the comfort of your home via the Internet. By getting out there and chatting with industry professionals, you’ll end up on their radar. You may not be offered a job right on the spot, but you may get some pointers on how to break into the field or learn about current trends in its market. 

Practice Interviewing Skills

This one could be the missing piece if you’ve been extended multiple interviews but can’t seem to clinch the job offer. You may have a great resume and be very qualified for the job in question, but the interview matters the most once you’ve been offered it. It’s a good idea to search up the more common interviewing questions — you can find these on our website. Take some time to think up quality, thoughtful answers to them, and practice! You can ask a family member or friend to have a mock interview with you or record yourself answering and then review it yourself. 

Follow Up

It’s one thing to have a good application and interview but following up can make a great impression too. In fact, if the market is very saturated with strong applicants, it might be a “soft requirement.” It’s easy to follow up, so you might as well do it. Send a pleasant email a few days after your interview, thanking them for their time and expressing interest in the position. Don’t forget to include your contact information and inquire about next steps so they can contact you back! 

Reach Out to a Recruiter

They’re specialists in connecting talent to employers, and vice-versa. You can contact them for advice and assistance for touching up your resume or interviewing skills. Or, they can add you to their roster of talent for potential jobs. 

Go Where the Jobs Are

Like going back to school, this too is a bit of a drastic step, and we recommend you only consider it if it is absolutely necessary, or if you notice very competitive offers. You might have to consider moving to a new city or state if you really need a job if your job skills and experience tend to be clustered in industries in a certain part of the country. We know it’s often undesirable and large undertaking to have to move, but in times of economic downturn it might be the only way. 

Pivot Into Complementary Industries

This one can be dependent on your job industry. If you’re in a career that requires a lot of education and training, it can be hard to move into an alternative career without undertaking more training. However, you can often take your current and past job experiences, and with a little creativity, spin them to help you be a good fit for other relevant positions. 

For example, if you were a server at a restaurant or concierge at a hotel, you can try to pivot into another service-based position like customer service or human resources for another company. If you have previous experience in administration, you might pivot into being a virtual assistant or handling social media for an organization. Of course, this is contingent on your own experiences, and how relevant they may be to your would-be career.

Remember, this can also be a temporary job or side hustle until you land a position in your preferred field. Remember that resilience and determination, coupled with the guidance provided herein, will empower you to navigate through these trying times and ultimately secure a promising future. When you’re ready to apply for your next job, search our job board.