Why am I still unemployed? Here are 10 possible reasons

You may be an experienced professional, struggling in the job market or the one in every 10 graduates still without a job six months after leaving university. Either way, there are probably one or more good reasons why you haven’t found a company to call home. Here are some of the most common issues and how to begin rectifying them.

1. You aren’t operating in the right channels
Limiting your search to job boards and online listings means discounting the estimated 70% of positions that aren’t advertised. Start making contact with potential employers through email and whatever means necessary.

2. You’re not working your connections
You might feel uncomfortable hitting up friends or relatives for favours. Don’t be. There’s nothing wrong with leaning on people you know, especially given the current level of competition for jobs,

3. You’re not targeted enough
Wheeling out the same tired CV for each application might save time, but it’s unlikely to be pressing the right buttons for the HR manager screening your application. Make sure to tailor your resume to the specifications of each role.

4. You’re spreading yourself too thin
If you are applying for anything and everything, you are probably expending energy where you shouldn’t. Don’t click the ‘apply’ button unless you have at least 60% of the qualifications listed on the job spec.

5. You’re overqualified
Equally, being seriously overqualified for a position can prove just as much of a turn-off for potential employers. Managers may be wary of hiring someone whose career ambitions extend far beyond the role, believing they are likely to jump ship at the drop of the hat.

6. You’re not prepared
With an average of five employees interviewing for each role, you need to do everything you can to swing the odds in your favour. That means rehearsing for every aspect of the interview, from researching your interviewer to preparing a list of questions to ask.

7. You don’t present well
Inappropriate clothing or poor personal hygiene may be creating a negative first impression on the people sitting opposite you. Ask a friend to give you the once over to help iron out any flaws.

8. Your communication skills need work
Having the best CV on the planet will only get so far if you aren’t able to clearly express what the interviewer wants to hear. What can you bring to the role that others can’t? Practise your spiel on friends and family.

9. Your attitude is wrong
Employers are looking for people that are enthusiastic about working for them. They want positive people in their organisation that are willing to take on challenges, make an effort with new colleagues and bring some real value to the team. If you’re too shy to smile or too jaded to engage they may not see past it.

10. Your body language is off-putting
You know the drill, but slouching, crossing your arms, not making eye contact, giving a limp handshake all give the impression that you are not bothered about connecting with the hiring manager, so why should they bother hiring you?

Of course, there is an element of luck in every application process and sometimes things just don’t work out for reasons we can’t explain. Nevertheless, controlling as many of the factors in play as possible can help narrow the margins for disappointment.


Reference: Ere.net; Spot Bridge Global; Abintegro

20 Apr 2016