According to the U.S. Department of Labor there are now more than 1 million more job openings in America than job seekers. So why are there still so many unemployed professionals not getting hired?
When I ask the long-term unemployed what issues they are having in their job search, I typically hear things like:
- “I’ve never had to look for a job before. I always got recruited.”
- “I think I’m pricing myself out of the market.”
- “There are not a lot of openings posted for jobs at my level.”
In reality, there are two real reasons you are not getting hired:
- You position yourself like everyone else in your field, making you a commodity.
- You blame the system so then you get in your own way with self-limiting beliefs.
Let’s first explore reason number one. Something I commonly hear from people that have always been recruited for jobs is, “The world has definitely changed.”
If that is the case, why are job seekers 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 90-95% of their competition. It turns them into a commodity.
If you have any of the following phrases on your resume or LinkedIn profile you are likely positioning yourself as a commodity:
- “Results-driven [job title/profession]…”
- “Innovative [job title] with proven track record…
- “Broad experience in…”
These types of phrases don’t speak at all to how you are unique or different from your competition.
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.
You need to create what I call an attractive hiring proposition. Similar to a unique selling proposition for a product, this is a statement that shows why are you special and more valuable than others with similar skills in your field. It also can serve as the foundation for your resume, LinkedIn profile and other career communications.
Now, let’s address the second reason you’re not getting hired – self-limiting beliefs. This goes back to what I often hear from the long-term unemployed as to why they are not getting hired. Phrases like:
- “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.”
In reality, these are challenges, but none of which cannot 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. He never let his self-doubt get in his way.
How to get hired faster
I know there are professionals out there 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:
- Find the common thread that keeps appearing in every role you’ve had during your career and highlight that in your documents.
- Turn your self-limiting beliefs on their head.
- 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!
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