Job Search

The 7 Excuses Killing Your Job Search


There are two kinds of job search crap: mistakes and excuses.

Let’s get first to the latter and get them out of the way.  Oh, there are so many excuses! Here are just a few of my least favorites:

Excuse #1: “There aren’t any jobs in my field.” Most people make this assumption before they even look. Then, when they are asked to spend hours going to multiple job search locations with a well-written goal, they are shocked. Maybe you are defining your search too narrowly.

Excuse #2: “This seems like too much work…all I need to do is apply and something will come along.” My response: You’re just not that committed to finding work. It takes hard work, some up-front preparation, and a time commitment. You will see that, once you get on a roll, amazing things will happen.

Excuse #3: “LinkedIn is a waste of time…I’ve been there and have gotten no results.” The key to maximizing your job search success on LinkedIn is not to think of it as a job search board but as a networking site.

Excuse #4: “Social media: I don’t want to read all of the crap people post.” Then don’t. Learn how to use a social media dashboard that organizes input for all of the social media tools you use. It’s not that hard and is fun to learn.

Excuse #5: “I don’t have time to do the research.” The hiring company and hiring manager are taking the time to think about the skills they are looking for, the time to carefully craft a job description, and the time to host an interview process. If you want to win the job and show respect for their offer of employment, then make the time. Certainly, you spend an hour – or more – in a day doing something less important. Figure it out.

Excuse #6: “I’m only applying with my résumé, so there is no need to do research until I know if I’m going to the next round.” There are numerous flaws with this excuse. First, what if the company contacts you the day or week after you submit? You won’t be ready. Second, you should NOT apply with just a résumé. You want to do a great cover letter and make it your first page in the résumé file rather than a separate document. An application is a selling opportunity! But you need to research the job, company, people, and industry in order to write a compelling cover letter.

Excuse #7: “It’s a phone interview, not a face-to-face, so it must not be that important.” First, this is flawed thinking! More and more companies are doing phone screens or interviews. Never underestimate the value of this conversation, the influence of the person on the phone (regardless of their title), or the importance of your performance. Second, you get to have notes in front of you! You should be amazingly prepared, as you don’t have to memorize anything.

Do you have what it takes to recognize that the responsibility to manage your career is fully on your shoulders? Are you prepared to change your approach and stop hiding behind excuses? Of course you are! Ask for help, be positive, take action, and focus on execution.

About the Author

Dana Manciagli is an executive career coach, keynote speaker and the author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era. Find out more on