21 Reasons Why Finding a Job is so Hard (solutions + tips)



Getting a job today is not like getting a job in your parents' or grandparents' era. You don't get a job for life and there is no such thing as job security.

But why exactly is it so hard to get a job in this day and age? Is it something about you, something about businesses, or it's the economy?

1 - Companies are too picky and have unrealistic expectations

Don't you hate it when you see companies asking for people with many years of experience while barely paying above minimum wage?

Companies have unrealistic expectations about the type of people they can hire, and often will wait until the last minute to drop those requirements.

Solution:

Don't be afraid to send your resume, even if you don't qualify 100%. Once companies realize they are demanding too much from candidates, they will select the best alternative they have, which can be you.

2 - Your resume is being filtered out by ATS software

Many companies are using ATS software(application tracking system) that automatically filters out resumes that don't include certain keywords.

This is unfortunate because many resumes are not even being reviewed by a human being. Your resume can be thrown out without being seen by a hiring manager.

Solution:

Take the job ad and include as many keywords as possible in your resume. If the ad asks for Excel skills, include Excel skills. If it asks for "attention to detail" include it in a soft skills section.

Be strategic about this and don't add irrelevant stuff to your resume. But you definitely have to include keywords. It's the game we have to play today...

3 - Bias against unemployed people

The more time you spend unemployed, the harder it is to get a job. There is a certain "stigma" for being unemployed.

Some managers think that if you're unemployed then that means you're not a good employee, "If he's good, why doesn't he have a job?"

Solution:

Try to stay busy even when you are unemployed: start a side business, volunteer, get a certification, take part in a seminar or a workshop.

Any valuable skill or experience you can put on your resume will help you.

4 - You only apply online for jobs

It's the 21st century. We want to do everything online, right?

The problem with this mentality is that you have to compete with hundreds of other candidates for the same job.

It's hard to create an impression with an email or an online job application, and it's hard to set yourself apart from the competition.

Solution:

Print a few dozen copies of your resume and go door to door, business to business. Introduce yourself and ask if they're hiring.

You will be amazed at the number of businesses and managers who will give you a shot if you cause a good impression.

Applying for jobs online is too impersonal. Face to face will dramatically increase your chances of getting a job.

5 - Because of competition, supply and demand

The more people out there looking for a job, the harder it is to get a job. It's simple supply and demand.

This makes employers picky and less willing to pay fair wages.

Solution:

Do anything to set yourself apart from your competition. Revamp your resume, ask for referrals, get a new degree… You don't want your resume to be just another piece of paper on a pile.

6 - You don't tailor your resume for the job

It's easy to send the same resume to hundreds of companies. I get it, I've been there… it takes much less time, and it makes you feel ‌you're actually doing something about your situation.

This is a "shotgun" approach to getting a job. However, you want to become more like a "sniper".

Solution:

Tailor your resume to each job you apply for. You don't need to change everything, just the essentials.

Your resume summary and skills section should be adapted to the needs of the hiring company.

For instance, if you're applying for a job that requires customer service skills, mention your customer service experience throughout your resume.

7 - Because of a poor economy

It seems like every 10 years there is a recession. And this year has been a crazy year… This is not something we can control.

You shouldn't blame yourself for the problems caused by politicians and their mismanagement of the economy.

Solution:

Many people decide to go back to college during a recession. Others double down on their efforts to get a job. Remember that the economy is not closed.

A 10% unemployment rate means that every month there are still millions of jobs being created(or destroyed). The economy is dynamic. Be hopeful, don't give up, and keep trying.

8 - You are not networking

Did you know that up to 70% of all jobs are not advertised? These are jobs offered to people who are well connected.

That's why being social and building a network is so important. No man is an island.

Solution:

  1. Tell your friends, family, and acquaintances you're looking for a job.
  2. Take part in meetups and industry events, go to conferences and seminars.
  3. Use social networks and forums to connect to people in your industry.
  4. Ask someone to forward your resume to people in power to make a hiring decision

9 - You've been a victim of discrimination

Unfortunately, many people are denied a job for reasons other than not being good enough to perform the job.

It could be ageism, sexism, racism, or any other form of discrimination.

Solution:

If you feel ‌you've been discriminated against while applying for a job, you can complain to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They'll hear your case and take further action at no cost to you.

10 - You're a job hopper

If you have a lot of jobs on your resume and you spent little time on each one, employers might think you're a job hopper.

They think you get bored quickly and will move on to a different job. And because hiring and training an employee is expensive, they might avoid hiring you just for that.

Solution:

If you're truly a job hopper, why not become a contractor or a freelancer? This will give you plenty of opportunities to work on different projects with different companies.

Alternatively, you can create a functional/skills-based resume that puts more focus on your skills and less on your past job experiences.

11 - International competition and offshoring

Companies are always looking to decrease costs and increase their bottom line. Unfortunately, that often comes at employee cost.

Many jobs are offshored to third world countries where labor is cheaper than rich countries. From a company's perspective: why pay an American $50k when you can pay an Indian $5k?

Solution:

Focus on building skills that are "offshoring-proof". Anything that can't be sent outside your country. You can't outsource being a teacher, a plumber, or a police officer.

12 - You're applying for the wrong jobs

The more targeted your job application, the more likely you will get the job. You won't get hired as a software engineer if your resume screams salesperson.

That said, sometimes you want to make a career move. How do you execute it?

Solution:

You can apply for an entry-level job if your goal is to change careers. That's the simple way, but it has obvious downsides.

An alternative would be to build up your skills on the side, with courses, internships, or mentorship programs.

13 - Companies hiring internally

Some companies prefer to hire internally. They like to hire people out of college and promote them to higher positions.

Since they already know their own employees, the risk of a bad hire is eliminated. But how do you break into one of those companies?

Solution:

There is no simple solution short of getting hired out of college. This is common with consulting companies.

You could also get a job at a competitor and then jump sideways to your first choice company. It's easier to get the job when you advertise the skills and experiences acquired at a competitor.

14 - You lack qualifications or education

Companies might reject you because you lack education. Many companies set a high school diploma or a college degree as a minimum requirement to get hired.

Other companies want you to have certain hard skills or certifications before they make a bet on you.

Solution:

It's never too late to go back to college or to get a certification that moves your career. These days you can get online degrees and even acquire certifications through the internet.

If you have outdated skills, you can take advantage of job training programs by the government too.

15 - Companies are just building their candidate database

Some job ads never end with a job offer because companies just want to build up their candidate database. This database only gets used when the company actually wants to hire someone.

Solution:

Not much you can do about this one. Just keep applying.

If you keep seeing the same ad multiple times, it's one of two things: they can't get the right candidate or they're just building up their candidate database.

16 - You're overqualified

Are you applying for a job that requires a high school when you have a master's? You're overqualified. Nothing wrong with that, but some companies would rather not hire you.

They just assume you'll leave when you find a better job.

Solution:

Either find jobs that match your education level or hide the fact you have a college degree. Believe it or not, this can work.

17 - Incompetent recruiting companies

Some employers outsource hiring to recruiting companies.

These companies don't always understand what the right candidate looks like and resort to using a large, unrealistic list of requirements they pull up from a database somewhere.

Since few people match those requirements, nobody gets hired.

Solution:

Some people find that matching the keywords used on the job ad will get them an interview. The question is then, can you pass the interview?

You'll find that for many jobs, those requirements will never get checked and are actually unnecessary.

18 - You have unrealistic expectations

It takes an average of about 9 weeks to find a job. In a poor economy, that number will go up, and there's nothing you can do about it.

And obviously, if you apply to jobs you're not qualified for and don't have any experience, the likelihood of getting a job is even smaller.

Solution:

Be patient, but most importantly: be realistic. Apply to jobs you're actually qualified to do.

19 - You're bad at interviewing

Interviewing is a skill. The more you do it(or read about it) the better you'll get at it. You probably make many mistakes you're not even aware of.

Solution:

Dress well for the interview, research the company before you go, read about job interview questions and study them well. You need to plan and get ready for it like you're going to war.

20 - You don't have job experience

This is pretty obvious. When you have little career experience, it's harder to get a job.

Some companies want somebody with "50 years of experience" in some new tech and are not willing to hire junior people.

Solution:

Lookup for apprenticeship programs. Get a job as an intern. Work on a personal project that gives you equivalent experience to what you'd get on a job.

You need to get moving, don't wait for companies to knock on your door.

21 - Your resume is badly formatted

This is a common mistake. Resumes that are too big, use ugly fonts, have missing skills sections, have no resume objective/summary, will often get thrown out

Solution:

Research resume writing best practices, compare your resume with other professionals in the field, use existing resume templates.

You don't need to do everything by yourself, leverage other people's resources and experiences to get a kick-ass resume.

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