Spinning your Wheels in Job Search? 5 Tips for Getting out of a Funk

Spinning your Wheels in Job Search? 5 Tips for Getting out of a Funk
April 18, 2024 Susan Weil

Job hunting for a long time and feeling like you are spinning your wheels? Job search is a process that can take time. Follow these tips to get more traction in your job search.

Is it bad luck or am I applying to the wrong jobs?

Overqualified, underqualified, or “just right”? Compare your resume to a job description and determine if the employer will think you are a good fit. Employers look for candidates who can hit the ground running in a new job. At the same time, employers don’t like hiring new employees they feel are overqualified and who may be using the job as a placeholder until something better comes along.

Remember, hiring the wrong candidate is costly for employers. They invest time and dollars to recruit and train new employees with the expectation that these employees will add value to the team and stay long enough to be worth the investment.

I’ve done tons of networking. Why aren’t my contacts following up with me?

Generally speaking, people like to pay it forward and help others in job search. However, if your “ask” feels like a burden or requires the contact to do the heavy lifting, you will fall to the bottom of your contact’s to-do list.

Rather than asking
“Do you have any ideas for me?” or
“Do you know of any job openings in my field?” or
“Do you know anyone who could be helpful in my job search”?

“I recently applied for a Product Manager role at XYZ Tech Company and noticed on LinkedIn that you are connected to Fred Smith, XYZ’s Head of Product. Can you make an introduction for me?”

Then, draft the email introduction. Include a suggested blurb about your background, a link to the job opening, and a copy of your resume. It will save your contact time and give your contact the information she needs to support your application.

I’ve submitted lots of applications.  Why aren’t I getting interviews?

Corporate job openings attract hundreds of applicants, but only a handful of candidates will be called for an interview.  Although these odds may sound daunting, there are steps you can take to have your resume get noticed.  Ask a contact who is connected to that company to recommend you for the job.  According to LinkedIn, referrals can boost your chance of getting hired by 15%. Why? A direct referral enables a potential employer to learn more about you than they can learn from your resume alone (ie, your character, work ethic, and intelligence).

I’m getting first-round interviews.  Why aren’t I advancing to second or final-round interviews?

Honestly evaluate your performance during the interview.  Did you have a good rapport with the interviewer? Did you demonstrate:

Knowledge about the company, job, and industry
That you have the skill set to succeed in the job
That you genuinely want the job (during the interview and with a timely follow-up email)

If you aren’t sure, videotape yourself using an app on your phone. Would you hire yourself?

I’m getting final-round interviews. Why aren’t I getting job offers?

Companies extend offers to candidates they feel are likely to accept because “dangling” employment offers extend their recruiting process. Want the job? Show the company the love and proactively tell the company you would accept an offer of employment from them.

Success in life is part talent, part luck. If you’re having bad luck, it may be time to cast a wider net and expand the scope of jobs you are looking for.  You may discover a job opportunity that is even more exciting for you.