Why Can’t I Find a Job? The Real Reasons Why You’re Struggling to Find One

Home > 
Blog > 
Why Can’t I Find a Job? The Real...
Dive into the perplexing world of job hunting. Discover why opportunities elude you and uncover strategies to secure employment.
Mar 14, 2024 12 min read

Job hunting can be really hard sometimes, especially if you’re applying for positions that you know you're qualified for but keep hitting roadblocks along the way.

If you’ve tried everything, and still can’t seem to figure out why you’re not being hired for positions you could easily fill, then you’ve come to the right place. You might just need to refine your job search to better fit the changing circumstances of the job market.

If you’re stuck in this predicament, don’t fret. This article focuses on how you can best promote yourself to potential hiring managers. In this article, we will cover:

  • Common challenges in the job search preventing you from getting hired.
  • How to overcome those challenges and get that much-coveted job offer.

Common challenges in the job search preventing you from getting hired

If you’re having a hard time getting hired, there are lots of reasons you may hit this roadblock. Many of which have nothing to do with you, the way you present yourself, your resume, or even how you interview. Sometimes there’s a downturn in the market which causes employers to slow down the hiring process. Other times jobs within a field just seem to dry up.

There are other times when you might be making one slight mistake, either in your resume or cover letter or even how you present yourself, that may limit your ability to succeed. Whether you’ve neglected to include keywords that would help you rank with ATS software or you keep downplaying your efforts in your previous role, there might be something that keeps on giving red flags to future employers.

Let’s look at some of the most common challenges you face that may prevent you from getting hired:

Understanding the landscape of job searches in the 21st century

Gone are the days of looking up job openings in your local newspaper, as now there is a wide range of technology, software, and new skills that recruiters and employers will use to hire a candidate.

Not only that, we live in a volatile time. After making it through the other side of the pandemic year of 2020, the whole job landscape has completely shifted and changed. For example, remote work has become a staple of the business world. And although this may be beneficial to employees, and even considered an added perk, it opens up the ability for companies to hire people who don’t live in the immediate area.

In addition, many industries have been severely affected by the significant economic downturn, including the hospitality business (Restaurants, hotels and resorts, and others). As a result, these industries are still recovering from the issues of the past few years, And there just may not be a lot of job openings.

Unable to receive an offer for an interview

One of the biggest issues that job applicants have is that they send out a ton of resumes, but they have received no calls or emails for interviews. What this usually means is that they’re being filtered out early in the interview process, either through automated systems or because of something that they’re lacking on their resume or cover letter.

If this is you, don’t fret. Usually, a couple tweaks to your resume and cover letter can give you the upper hand in receiving a much-coveted interview.

ATS software is filtering out your resume

Did you know recruiters use technology to sift through potential applicants, making their jobs easier? Recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to find the right candidate for a position.

These systems specifically use keywords, major terms, phrases, or job titles which are found in a specific field, to sort through potential job applicants. If your resume isn’t formatted for ATS software and doesn’t include intentional keywords for your industry, then you may be sifted out before the potential manager can even read your resume.

It’s best to include keywords scattered throughout your resume, but specifically in the “skills”, “resume objective”, and “experience” sections of your resume. Be sure to scan through the job description and make a list of specific traits and experiences that are required to fill the position that you are applying for.

You are using a generic resume

Another major issue with your resume is that you’ve got a generic, one-size-fits-all resume. What I mean by that is that you haven’t tailored your resume to the specific job that you’re applying for. Maybe you’re applying to several jobs in different fields. The difficulty with this is that it isn’t focused on why you would be a suitable applicant for a job in a specific field.

Consider this: you’re applying for jobs in sales and marketing, both of which you have pretty extensive experience in. Instead of taking the time to create two, three, or even four separate resumes for each of those fields, you’ve just got one generic resume.

It makes you look competent to fill a bunch of different jobs,  but not like you are the most confident person to fill that job.

You should tailor your resume to the specific job that you’re applying for. Read through the job description, find the skills that you need to fill the role, and be sure to highlight them throughout your resume experience sections and your skills section.

Too many people applying for the position

Sometimes, we're just stuck in a highly competitive field. If there are hundreds of people applying for one position, the employer can choose from a wide variety of people. As a result, they’re able to sift out anybody they feel isn’t able to fill the position.

It doesn’t mean that you’re not qualified, and it might come down to a networking issue. Maybe if you stepped up your networking game, and got in touch with people you knew from previous jobs, then you might have your foot in the door for a specific position.

Sometimes it’s not about what you know, but who you know, and it can mean all the difference in a competitive job market.

You’re applying for the wrong jobs

One major issue might be that you have too broad of a scope when applying for positions. Maybe you’re interested in positions in other industries because they offer more lucrative compensation. You’re ultimately stepping out on a limb trying to get a job offer in a field that you have limited experience in.

Narrow your search for jobs that specifically fit your experience. Let’s say you’re looking for jobs in the sales field, but you have specific experience in selling resources like iron ore and mineral deposits. Try to remember through your contacts and reach out to a competitor of one company you used to work for, and ask if they have any openings in the sales department.

Unable to get past the first round of interviews

Another major issue that many job applicants have is that they’ve gotten a call for an interview, but they just haven’t been able to get a callback or an offer for the position.

Below, you’ll find the most common issues on why job hunters aren’t able to get past the first round of interviews:

Unable to share your value in an interview

Not very many people like to brag about themselves, and many were taught from an early age that they should be humble. But if you don’t promote yourself at all during an interview, you can look like a weak candidate to a potential hiring manager.

Knowing what you’re worth is the most important thing you can do when walking into a job interview. The second most important thing is to communicate that worth to an employer. Having a proper assessment of your skills, experience, and what you expect to receive for compensation can be a tremendous benefit to you.

You can communicate your worth by assessing the job description and writing a list of the skills and experience required for the position. Use that detailed list to craft your answer on why you think you’re the best person for the role.

You stumbled during a virtual interview

It’s especially easy to get distracted and stumble during a virtual interview because there are a lot more distractions. From seeing your face on the screen to looking at all the stuff that you have in the background during your interview, several things can trip you up along the way.

One great tip is to find a space in your house that you feel most comfortable in, preferably the spot that has the most light and is the cleanest. When you’re preparing for a virtual interview, do so in that space. Even record yourself or ask someone to video call you and practice your interview with them. You’ll be surprised at how much better you get at interviewing when you put in a little practice.

Your interview skills need work

A recent study shows that 92% of Americans experience significant anxiety before an interview. Sometimes that anxiety can fester inside of us, creating fear and feelings of inadequacy. But that doesn’t have to always be the case.

If you put a bit of preparation work into your interviews, you can feel a lot more prepared and ready to provide answers to questions and come up with a few questions of your own. Conduct mock interviews with friends or family members.

You can also scour to find great interview questions to use in your next interview. Print them off and hand them to the person who is going to be conducting the mock interview. For best results, give them a detailed list and get them to choose 10 questions. Ask them to write to you about how you did, and practice repeatedly.

It can be really tough when you interview for several positions and hear nothing back. If you’re in that position, the tips below will help you gain confidence and gain the upper hand for your next interview.

Take a brief break from your job search

Although you shouldn’t completely give up on finding a job, it might be best for you if you take a brief break from the job search process. Taking a week to regroup and to better consider your options helps you to figure out how to move forward. Essentially, you can recharge your batteries and mentally prepare yourself to practise and train to get better at your interviews.

Start attending job fairs and go to where the jobs are

Start making a list of local job fairs for positions in your field. Start shaking hands, making conversation, and getting to know some future potential hiring managers. Making that connection before your interview might be exactly what you need to make yourself more memorable during the job search process.

There are a lot of virtual job fairs that are being done now, and you can look for them online and put them on your calendar. But if you’re able to, check out those in your area in person.

Besides job fairs, try dropping off your resume and cover letter in person. You never know what could happen, and you might even meet with a potential hiring manager. If you’re thinking about doing this, read through the job description, as some employers would prefer to receive resumes and cover letters through email.

Also, check different job boards to see what’s available. Maybe you are used to just using one job board website, and so you're limited in the amount of positions that are open to you. Start scouring the Internet to find other job boards, and look to find a job that best fits your skills and abilities.

Create a more substantial online presence

A recent study shows that 70% of employers research potential employees on social media before hiring them. What this means is that having a significant positive presence on social media can actually give you a better shot at getting a job.

For example, if you have a LinkedIn page that hasn’t been updated in years, try tailoring it to your recent job search. Maybe showcase some projects that you worked on in previous roles or link to blog posts you’ve created about important industry-specific topics.

Anybody who searches you will see that you are interested in the work that you’re doing, so much so that you have put in the effort and time to create a greater online presence. If you build a big enough following, you may even be considered an industry expert.

Head back to school

One major issue could be that you don’t have the skills and experience required to fill the position that you’re applying for. Maybe you're a computer programmer who excels in one or two forms of coding, but the jobs that you’re looking for require mastery of a different type of coding language. Or maybe you are an IT expert who is experienced in creating apps, but you’d like to get into the cyber security field.

If that’s the case, you need to go through some more training to upgrade your skill set. By boosting your skill set, you make yourself more attractive to potential companies.

Consider temporary work

If things are not working out for you in a specific field, look into temporary work as another solution. You need to make sure that your bills are paid and that your family is taken care of, So reach out to a temp agency to see if they have any work available.

Keep in mind too that the work that you’re doing is going to be temporary, meaning that you’re going to find a job soon that fits your skills and abilities better. If you go into work with that kind of mindset, you'll have more of a positive attitude because you know that you’re going to only be there for a short period.

If you are stuck in your job search, and can’t seem to figure out how to land that highly coveted interview, speak with a career coach from Enhancv. They will do a full inventory check of your resume, cover letter, references, and even your interview skills. In addition, they will provide you with information that you need to make sure that your resume is ATS-ready.

Key takeaways

  • Include industry-specific keywords so that your resume gets through the checks.
  • Tailor your resume to the specific job that you’re applying for and avoid using a general-use resume.
  • Do your best to build a larger network of contacts, as they can help you get your foot in the door for a job.
  • Practice your interview skills with a friend or family member, and give them a detailed list of interview questions to draw from.
  • Take an honest assessment of yourself and find your strengths, abilities, and even weaknesses, as this will allow you to show your value to a potential hiring manager.
  • You may need to head back to school and gain more certifications.

Make your move!
Your resume is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.
Rate my article:
Why Can’t I Find a Job? The Real Reasons Why You’re Struggling to Find One
Average: 4.80 / 5.00
(564 people already rated it)
Dave Van Kooten
Is a human resource expert that helps passionate jobseekers to put their best foot forward to prepare for an interview. He believes that success can be achieved through going out of your comfort zone.
Resume Guides