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The Real Reasons You Are Not Getting Hired

I read this article in USA Today, and it made me mad. Before you read on, go ahead and read the article. I’ll wait. It should only take you a couple minutes.

Okay, now that you read it I want to point out what frustrated me about it. They did not interview any hiring managers to get their perspective. Recruiters, job seekers, economists, and workforce development professionals yes, but not anyone from a corporation where one of the two job seekers featured in the article might want to work.

Since the article didn’t account for it, I’ll tell you who companies will hire. Regardless of the role, they will hire people that can help them grow revenue, save money, save time, enhance key relationships and they feel they are a good fit with the organization.

There are two real reasons you get stuck in a long-term unemployment situation:

  1. You position yourself like everyone else in your field, making you a commodity.
  2. You blame the system so then you get in your own way with self-limiting beliefs.

The most truthful thing (besides the statistics, I’m not disagreeing that they do tell part of the story) was Daniel Brown’s quote, “The world has definitely changed.” If that is the case, why are job seekers like Brown, still creating their resume and LinkedIn profiles the way they always have?

This is the trap most people fall into. They do it because they don’t know any other way, and in doing that they look and sound like 85-90% of their competition. It turns them into a commodity.

My colleague Deb Dib has an expression, “So what? Make me care. Tell me fast.” This is what all your career marketing materials should do.

Let’s address the second reason you’re not getting hired – self-limiting beliefs. They were all over this article.

  • My diverse work history is viewed as a negative.
  • They always think there is a better candidate out there.
  • It’s tough to stay positive all the time.

I hear things like this all the time from job seekers who have been in transition for a while. In reality, these are challenges, but none of which can not be overcome.

I recently had a client in his late 50s, who had several job changes in the past 7 years and had no college degree land a multiple six-figure job in just under 4 months.

He understood the value he brought to an organization and was able to communicate that clearly, both verbally and on paper.
I know there are people on my list that have been unemployed six months or even longer. I don’t want you to be the subject of another article like this one, so here are three things you can do today to move forward in the right direction with your search:

  1. Find the common thread that keeps appearing in every role you’ve had during your career and highlight that in your documents.
  2. Turn your self-limiting beliefs on their head.
  3. Ask for help – it could be me or another career expert. It definitely helps to get a neutral perspective on what is working and not working with your search.

And some final words of encouragement. Yes, there will be challenges in the job market like ageism and employers being picky. However, there are ways to overcome these challenges. Be confident and clear in the value you bring an organization and you will get hired, fast!