There are a number of reasons why your job search might be taking longer than expected, and understanding these factors can help you to make necessary changes.
For some people, the job search process ends as soon as it begins, whereas others keep on looking for their ideal job for months. And honestly, nothing can be more boring than waiting to hear back from your employer.
While it’s true that the market is pretty competitive, getting your dream job is still possible when you hunt the right way!
If you’ve been searching for a job for several months, it’s time to take a break and identify why your job search strategy is not working. In this article, we’ll cover the reasons why your job search is taking so long and what you can do to boost your chances of getting hired.
How Long Should A Job Search Take?
There is no fixed answer to how long it can take to get a job. It depends on various factors like your skills, the company’s requirements, the urgency to fill up the position, etc.
However, getting a new job takes around three to six months. If you are not getting a job for long, you should improvise your job search strategies to land your dream job faster.
Reasons Why Your Job Search Is Taking Longer Than Expected
Several reasons can leave you searching for employment opportunities for a long time. But you don’t need to stick there or think you are a loser. Instead, go back in time and check what you are doing wrong and how to fix the issues.
Following are the common reasons that cause a job search to take long:
1. You’re Not Tailoring Your Resume To The Specific Job You’re Applying For
Your resume is the first thing that creates your impression on the employer’s mind. So it’s evident that sending a poorly written and unstructured resume will create a negative impression on your recruiter.
You should take the time to create a professional, clear, and well-structured resume before applying for jobs. Highlight your skills, strengths, and achievements within the resume. Also, follow a standard format and include relevant keywords to get your resume selected by applicant tracking systems.
Again, using a single resume to apply for various job roles won’t help you. Instead, create multiple resumes for various designations and tailor them for the job role. Optimize your resume to target the specific job role and company you are applying to. This will increase your chances of getting hired.
2. You’re Applying For Jobs That Are Way Out Of Your Skill Range
Companies are interested in hiring candidates who are perfect for the opportunity or can prepare for the role after a few months of training. And if you continuously apply to jobs for which you are underqualified, you’ll barely get hired.
Before sending job applications to companies, read the job description and see if you can fulfill your responsibilities. Check if you meet the qualifications and possess most of the skills required for the position. Then send applications for jobs that match your skillset the most.
Additionally, if you apply for jobs for which you are underqualified, you can tell the employer how you can fulfill your responsibilities. Show your willingness to learn new skills and make yourself the best fit for the position.
3. Your Resume Is Too Long Or Doesn’t Highlight Your Skills And Experience
Employers typically scan a resume for 5 to 6 seconds before shortlisting the candidate. That means they don’t have the time to read long stories about your skills or achievements. They only skim your resume to check your skills, qualifications, and experience. And if they find you the right fit, they will shortlist you.
So, you should always create a resume containing standard headings and keep the content short. Do not write stories. Instead, include bullet points to mention content within a heading. Overall, your resume should not be longer than one to two pages.
Also, clearly mention your skills, qualifications, and achievements within the resume to catch the employer’s attraction.
4. You’re Not Networking Enough
Another secret to getting hired faster is networking. Increasing your connections in the industry can help you get information regarding job openings and referrals and increase your professional connections.
Some companies run referral programs for employees who help in hiring new candidates. You can network with employees in various companies and ask them to refer you. You can tell them you are searching for a job and mention the skills you possess and the type of opportunity you are looking for.
The best way to network is by attending conferences, networking events, career fairs, etc. Also, create a LinkedIn profile to connect with professionals from all over the world.
5. You’re Not Following Up With Potential Employers After Submitting Your Application
Employers may be too busy to respond to your application right after submitting it or after interviewing you. They may want to wait for a few more days or might have hired another candidate.
But you need to know your application’s status after submitting it. So, you can call the company or write a follow-up email to them. However, make sure to talk calmly with your employer and not sound too desperate on the call.
After submitting the application, you can contact the employer within a week or two. This way, you’ll get to know the exact status of your job application, and it won’t look like you are making the employer rush into a decision.
6. You’re Not Preparing For Interviews Properly
Another part where your employer gets your impression is during the job interview. The way you behave and answer questions during the interview highly affects your chances of getting the job.
It is necessary to prepare well for the interview and dress professionally. Below are a few basic interview skills to improve your future interview rounds:
- Talk politely and professionally with the interviewers and people you meet at the office.
- Arrive at the office 10 to 15 minutes before the interview.
- The ideal interview outfit may vary depending on the profession, but you should wear a professional outfit.
- Give honest answers about your past job and professional life. Do not criticize your previous boss or company.
- Give direct and clear answers to the questions asked during the interview.
7. You Don’t Have Any Transferable Skills From Previous Jobs
Another possible reason for not hearing back from employers is that you don’t have relevant work experience.
If you opt to switch careers after a few years, you’ll lack relevant skills for the new job role and have to apply as a fresher. In such cases, you’ll have to apply to companies looking for freshers or justify why you want to switch your career.
For example, if you have five years of work experience as a marketing manager but apply for a different position without work experience, the employer might reject you.
How Do You Deal With Long Job Searches?
You may get stressed when the job search is taking longer than you expected. But you don’t need to get demotivated. Here are a few tips on dealing with long job searches:
- Keep your spirits up. Look for positive things rather than focussing on the negative part during your job search journey.
- Try volunteering at places that can help you increase your connections.
- Learn a new skill related to your industry.
- Look for part-time jobs or freelance opportunities.
- Track your applications and follow up with your employers regularly.
- Keep remembering your goals and work towards them.
How Can I Speed Up My Job Search?
The job market can be a competitive place, and it can be tough to land the perfect job. If you’re looking for ways to speed up your job search, here are a few tips.
- Apply to jobs as soon as vacancies are announced.
- Network with employers and professionals in your industry.
- Reply to emails and company calls within 24 to 48 hours.
- Get references from your former employers.
- Do not use the same cover letter and resume for all jobs.
- Update and optimize your LinkedIn profile and use it to search for opportunities.
- Use relevant keywords in your resume to make sure it makes it through the applicant tracking systems.
With these tips in mind, you can start taking steps to speed up your job search and improve your chances of landing the perfect position.