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Does the search for a new job feel like you’re throwing your resume into a black hole, never to be seen again? If so, you’re not alone. Job hunting can be one of the most daunting tasks we face in our career. However, if you’re stuck in a cycle of applications and silence, it might be time to reassess your strategy.

Here are the common reasons this is happening to you and what to do about it.

Problem 1: Your resume isn’t standing out

In the digital age, your resume is your first impression. If it’s not polished and professional, you might be getting passed over without even knowing it. Remember, hiring managers often have to sift through hundreds of resumes for a single position. If yours doesn’t stand out, it’ll likely end up in the ‘no’ pile.


Invest time in making your resume as strong as possible. By strong, I mean: results-oriented, action-focused, and tailored toward the job you are applying for. They days of a generic litany of skills and value job tasks are gone. Instead, highlight your key skills, achievements, and relevant experiences. Use clear, concise language. Make sure your format is clean and easy to read. Consider hiring a professional resume writer for assistance.

Problem 2: You’re applying to too many positions

You might think that casting a wide net will increase your chances of getting a job, but it can actually be detrimental. By applying for too many jobs, you risk submitting subpar applications and diluting your efforts and your brand.


Quality over quantity is the mantra to adopt. Target your applications toward the positions and companies where your skills and experiences are a strong match. This will allow you to tailor your resume and cover letter more effectively, increasing your chances of catching the hiring manager’s eye. Targeting companies is a better way to find a job that is a good fit for you than relying on job titles. Make a list of companies that match your skills, experience, values, and career goals. Research those companies to be able to speak their language and show how you can solve their problems.

Problem 3: Your networking efforts are insufficient (or nonexistent)

Networking isn’t just about attending events and collecting business cards. It’s about establishing meaningful connections and maintaining those relationships. The statistics are clear: Up to 75-80% of jobs are gotten through networking, and the best jobs are never posted or already earmarked for someone internal.


Use LinkedIn and other professional social media platforms to connect with industry professionals. Engage in online forums, groups, and webinars relevant to your field. Try informational interviews to gain insight into your desired industry. Remember to follow up and keep in touch with your connections – you never know when a job opportunity might arise. Network with people in your industry and those already working at your target companies. Attend their community events and/or volunteer for their causes.

Problem 4: You’re not preparing well enough for interviews

If you’re lucky enough to land an interview but then fall at this hurdle, it could be down to a lack of preparation. Interviews can be daunting, but this is where the hiring decisions are made.


Research the company and the role you’re applying for. Prepare answers to common interview questions and think of insightful questions to ask the interviewer. Practice with a friend or use online interview simulators to become more confident and comfortable with the process. Record yourself on video and watch it back to identify areas for improvement. AI (Artificial Intelligence) has spurred huge advancements in tools to help improve your skill in this area or hire an interview coach and get human feedback. Get better at storytelling to showcase what you do, how you do it, and make a deeper connection with the interviewer.

Problem 5: You’re neglecting your online presence

Many employers now vet potential employees by looking at their social media accounts. If your online presence is not professional and well-branded, you may lose the opportunity to get a second chance to impress them.


Perform an audit of your social media profiles. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, keyword optimized, and highlights your professional achievements. A clear, professional headshot is a must and leaving areas of your LinkedIn profile empty is like leaving money on the table. Invest in learning how to use the functionality of LinkedIn to your advantage and if you don’t understand the impact that personal branding plays in your job search, get a coach.

The key to a successful job search is not only about applying for jobs but understanding the landscape in which you are applying and how to use it to your advantage. Job search has become complex and a prolonged job search without results can usually be refocused on the right path by following the suggestions above.

A successful job search involves a mix of having a stellar resume, selective applications, effective networking, proper interview preparation, and a professional online presence. If you’re not having luck in your job search, don’t despair. Identify opportunities for improvement and then use these strategies to course correct. Persistence and strategic effort will yield results. Make the investment in your success.

Want more great tips? Check out for recent career-related information I’ve shared on numerous podcasts, television outlets, and radio shows.

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