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Can't Find a Job? This Is What You're Doing Wrong

Published: January 24, 2018

If you feel like you spend all your time on the hunt for a job but have little to show for it, it’s time to change your tactics.

Here are 5 things you might be doing wrong on your job search and what to do instead.


1.       You limit your search. Major job search platforms like Indeed and Monster are well-known and offer a lot of opportunities, but you may be surprised at how many jobs you can find in other ways. Consider looking for jobs in other places such as:

·         Company websites: Do you know a few companies where you’d love to work? Many employers have a careers page on their website where they list current openings.

·         Niche job boards: There are often jobs platforms specific to industries or membership-based associations where members can access job listings. For example, if you want a job in dental assisting, you might search the job board for the American Dental Assistants Association.

·         Career services: If you are a student and are near completion of a degree or certificate program, your school’s career services department may share information on networking events and employment opportunities relevant to your education.

·         Friends and family: Spread the word to as many of your contacts as possible that you are on the search for a job. You never know who might have the right connection for you.

·         LinkedIn: This business networking platform is great for doing just that, but don’t forget that you can search and apply for jobs there too — and even connect with hiring managers and business owners.

2.       Your resume doesn’t match the job. The company where you want to work will probably get dozens if not hundreds of applicants for the job you want. With this in mind, it’s important to put your best foot forward. Make sure your resume and cover letter show exactly why you are the person they should hire. Tailor both to the specific job listing as much as possible. A great way to do this is to make your cover letter and resume align with the job listing as closely as possible without copying it directly. Use its keywords and include the qualifications you have that match the job posting.

3.       You weren’t prepared for the interview. After hiring managers sift through so many applications, it’s exciting that they chose you to make it to the next step! Make the most of it by being prepared. Do your research about the company. Dress professionally, have an upbeat attitude, arrive a few minutes early and have answers in mind for basic interview questions like why you want the job and what you consider your strengths and weaknesses.

4.       You aren’t networking. Networking isn’t just for sales people. Connecting with people in your industry on LinkedIn or in person at networking events, particularly for your industry, helps people get to know you. When relevant job openings come up, there’s a better chance that someone involved will think of you or that you’ll know exactly whom to make direct contact with to express your interest. 

5.       You are holding out for the “perfect” job. Of course you want your dream job, but sometimes, reaching it requires just getting your foot in the door first. Maybe that means that you get into the company you want and work your way up to your ideal position. Maybe it means that you apply for a job even if you feel that you are over- or underqualified. If you don’t limit yourself and instead tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job and do a great job of explaining why you are the best candidate every time, you may be surprised by what ends up being your perfect job.


At Charter College, our career services professionals can help guide you on how to craft the perfect resume and prepare for the interview for the job you want.