Suggestions on how to troubleshoot problems in your job search

resume comic

I have noticed that many people will post that they haven’t gotten a job for months or even years. I always want to help them because often we do things that we have been told would help us, but that often hurt us. Here are some suggestions on how to troubleshoot problems in your job search.

  1. You aren’t getting the first interview. This indicates either a weak resume, LinkedIn profile or illegal discrimination against you. I have shared what resume service has helped me and now I get recruiters every day and often several times a day. I have shared my tips for LinkedIn Profile, and you will need to reach out to me to discuss illegal discrimination. I am not an attorney but I have had experience being illegally discriminated against and it wouldn’t hurt you.
  2. Not getting a second interview. This is so many reasons and almost all of them aren’t your fault. I have had recruiters tell me that I didn’t do anything wrong and the company can’t decide what it wants repeatedly. I would state here that not getting a second interview is about the quality of the company that you are applying to. Serious companies have a thoughtful interview process with people who can make positive decisions and has experience. When I didn’t get second interviews in the past I thought about the first interview and asked myself if there was anything that was a red flag or hesitation on the part of the interviewer. If you have a gut feeling of what is happening, you are probably right.
  3. Not getting a second interview Part 2. Do the opposite of what you did in the last interview. I have had so many job interviews that I treat each one as an experiment. I try a new tactic and see what happens. In one job interview, I reacted in a way that really surprised my recruiter and he later said he thought I ruined the interview. However, I had a gut feeling and I trusted it and the company loved how I reacted. The most important thing in the first interview is not to be needy and not to be overconfident. Its a hard balance but when you can do it, people want to work with you. Have the attitude I don’t care if I get this job because something better will come along which is true.
  4. Not getting the offer you expected. I have had companies try to lowball me and offer me something that was less than what I was making. It was clear before what my range was since I told them. I told them that I expect at a minimum X dollars and if they weren’t prepared to offer that thanks but it is over. Companies often want to test you and salary negotiations are one way.
  5. You are being told you are overqualified. I have written an entire article about this so I am not going to repeat it.
  6. You are told that they don’t like the gaps in your resume/you seem like a job hopper. Lots of ways to respond to this. The facts are that many businesses go out of business/have financial issues. It is also true that you are looking to grow in your career/responsibilities, you moved, or you have worked as a consultant to learn things/further your career. All those are valid reasons. If they don’t like them you don’t want to work for them.
  7. Recruiters tell you that your salary requirements are too high. If you have done your salary research for your area I always put a range that is within that ideal salary. If they don’t want to pay the going rate, then you don’t want to work with them. Cheap companies that try to talk you down have terrible cultures as a rule.
  8. Recruiters ask you if you are comfortable with a background check. Always say yes. This is a bluff. When they say this 99% of the time they never do it. It’s a stupid approach to see if people will spill on their own problems in life. Your life is your business.
  9. Recruiters/companies want excessive paperwork/paperwork that has no valid purpose. If I am on a form for a job application and they ask for my High School Diploma information I close that application. My HS diploma besides showing my age has no relevance. No one has done a job better because they have an HS degree. Push back on excessive documentation. You don’t want jobs that test you with this BS.
  10. You don’t have X skill or enough experience. This objection can be overcome when you share other programs/software/experiences that show your professionalism and dedication. People have limited points of view, and you can educate them to help them appreciate your intelligence and professionalism.
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Don’t ever let other people define who you are. Stand up for yourself no matter the consequences.