TAO Self-help

Title:Why Your Job Search May Be Taking So Long

Author:Susan P. Joyce, © 2015 All rights reserved

Date:July 2015


If you've been job hunting for a while, you know that job hunting today is a long, hard slog. A job search today is so challenging that nearly 3 million people have been unemployed for over 6 months.

An unfortunate side effect of that difficult and extended experience is that you have probably concluded that you're just not that employable. You are being discriminated against because of your age, sex, race, or something else. Or, you're just not smart enough to land a good job.

Why Many Job Searches Take So Long Now

I am not saying that you are perfect, executing a flawless job search. But, I don't want you to take all this rejection (and being ignored) as personally as you probably are.

You don't control the whole process, no matter how hard you try, so not landing a job is not, most likely, truly a reflection of your quality. Many significant issues are probably impacting your job search.

The Recruiting Process Has Shifted Dramatically

The widespread use of the Internet and other technology has fundamentally altered recruiting. Unfortunately, the speed of change seems to be increasing, so what worked for you during your last job search may not work for you this year, even if your last job search was only 2 years ago.

If you don't understand "the rules" for today's recruiting process, you are invisible, no matter how many job applications and resumes you submit online.

  1. Be visible online (positively).

    In 2009, Dick Bolles, a very smart man and author of the classic job search and career book What Color Is Your Parachute? said,

    "Google is the new resume."

    He was absolutely correct, as usual. But, this is a relatively new requirement that many job seekers miss. The best solution is a LinkedIn Profile, done carefully and kept up-to-date. Add careful visibility on LinkedIn and elsewhere online.

    DO NOT HIDE! Unless you are a career spy, being "invisible" online today is a sign that you are:

    • Out-of-date, and/or
    • Don't understand how to use today's technology, and/or
    • Have something to hide.

    It also means that employers cannot confirm the "facts" on your resume with a quick Google search, which more than 90% of recruiters reportedly do before contacting job applicants.

    [MORE: Is Your Job Search Too Old-Fashioned?]

    No solid online visibility for you found with Google (LinkedIn is usually best)? Employers very quickly lose interest.

    Google your name, and study what you find. Hopefully, you find things that would impress an employer, not some crazy rants about baseball, sex, religion, politics, or another topic that would scare away an employer.

    [MORE: To Be Hired, Be Found and Online Reputation and Your Job Search]

  2. Be very specific about what you want.

    Yes, being very specific feels wrong. In the past, being specific limited your opportunities. So, the instinct is to be vague and generalized in describing what you do.

    In the past, being vague helped keep "options open" for you when you posted one version of your resume on a dozen job boards.

    Today, being vague means missing important keywords in your resumes, applications, and social profiles (especially LinkedIn). Keywords are how people are found using technology today. So being vague translates into invisibility.

    Think many recruiters search LinkedIn to find a "Marketing Professional" or an "Accounting Professional"? NO! They don't do a vague search like those. Not today.

    Keywords are the keys to success today. Employers search Google and LinkedIn for:

    • Specific job titles.
    • Specific skills.
    • Specific locations.
    • Specific education, training, and certifications.
    • Specific (current or former) employers.

    Today, employers and Recruiters search for a "Social Media Marketing Analyst" or a "Field Marketing Associate" or a similar specific title. In accounting, they search for an "Accounts Receivables Administrator" or a "Marketing Programs Lead." Check out giant job site, Indeed.com, and you'll see that very few employers are vague about what they want.

    [MORE: To Be Hired, Be Focused and To Be Hired, Be Found — Your Best Keywords.]

  3. Be reachable.

    If an employer finds you and is interested in reaching you, make it easy for them. Provide contact information, preferably what I call your "professional email" address. Your professional email address is unrelated to your home or work. For most people, a Gmail address is a good solution. Just be sure to check that account every day in case an employer tries to reach you.

    LinkedIn allows you to make your contact information public on your LinkedIn Profile, and I highly recommend that you make your professional (not work or home) email address visible on LinkedIn. If your employer insists that you make your work email address and phone number visible, do that. But, also add your professional address to the Summary part of your LinkedIn Profile.

PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY! Don't put yourself or your family at risk by publishing your home address and home phone number for anyone in the world to find on the Internet. Employers aren't the only ones scanning the Internet — scammers and creeps do it, too.

[MORE: To Be Hired, Be Reachable.]


More on Being Easy to Hire:

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 2011, NETability purchased WorkCoachCafe.com, and Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then. Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org, is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a columnist on HuffingtonPost. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.

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