We can babble all day about the best ways to win a job. Keep your head up, keep working hard and keep expressing yourself. But, this can often fall upon deaf ears. Or even worse, it can fall upon eager ears that, despite trying their absolute best, cannot land that dream job. Look, let’s be realistic here. Sometimes you can’t find a job, regardless of what you do. It’s tough. It hurts.
We are tired of waxing poetic about finding work. We can all pretend to be in a positive realm of quick success and efficiency, but it’s not always accurate. Sometimes finding a gig is as easy as bolstering your resume or shaking the right hands. Most times, it’s not that simple. We live in a world where finding your dream job can be painstaking, regardless of your experience. So let’s talk about it.
Let’s be realistic. If you can’t find a job despite your best efforts, here are 15 tips to change your future.
- 1. Hey! It’s Going to Be Okay
- 2. Work Another Job in the Meantime
- 3. Expand Your Search
- 4. Relocate for Jobs
- 5. Boost Your Schooling and Skills
- 6. Build Your Network
- 7. Cold Calling Still Works
- 8. Upgrade Your Resume
- 9. Practice Your Interviews
- 10. Don’t Lose Confidence
- 11. Gaps and Lost Jobs Need Explanation
- 12. Try Gigs
- 13. Keep an Eye on Yourself
- 14. Apply to More Jobs
- 15. Reach Out to Recruiters
1. Hey! It’s Going to Be Okay
Firstly, watching your savings dwindle and your enthusiasm deplete can be tough. Simply put, finding that job can take a lot of time and a lot of rejection. This constant exertion of energy can be straining the health of both your wallet and brain.
You may have just graduated from college. Your eyes are bright, and your degree flows like a majestic cape behind you. There’s wind in your sails. There are plenty of other idioms to explain your positivity and vibrancy for the world ahead. Or, maybe you graduated years ago, and despite applying to every possible job in your field, you have received zilch. The working world can come at you fast.
Regardless of your situation, remember to stay positive. It’s going to be okay. Nothing great comes without effort. Unfortunately, receiving a degree or having a few years of experience may not be enough to fortify a job offer. That’s okay! It’s going to work out; it just requires dedication.
Yes, it can be easy to say these things behind a keyboard. We get it. It can be extremely difficult to stay uplifted after countless job application rejections. Trust us; we’ve been there before. But nothing comes from negativity (nothing good, at least). You have to keep trying. You have to keep fighting for that career you want.
Do not compare yourself to others. Let’s say you want to be the next great journalist. Do not look at what age your heroes posted their first great story. Don’t do it. You are not them, and they are not you. You are on your unique path, and that’s beautiful.
All in all, look in the mirror and give yourself a smile. Everything will work out with enough effort and persistence.
Feeling positive, rockstar? Let’s get to the good stuff.
2. Work Another Job in the Meantime
It may go without saying, but you need an income. Unfortunately, we do not live in a world of free utilities. While it’s honorable to be bullish in your job search, sometimes you need to take a step back and actually work.
If your savings are running low, or your mental health needs something to do, get a job. It doesn’t have to be in your dream field, it just has to get the bills paid. It is not an act of admitting defeat, but an act of self-preservation. Do not think of it as your path forking into the unwanted. You can still land your dream career while having a temporary gig.
3. Expand Your Search
Bouncing off of that, maybe this meantime job revolves around your dream career. As we stated, this job is to make money. If it can help your career path, take it.
Your job search may be too narrow. Maybe you are looking for a very specific, niche job. For right now, try to take anything that surrounds the realm. For example, let’s say your goal is to be a software engineer. If there is a lesser position at a company that involves software engineering, take it. Not only is it a job to hold you over, but it could lead to opening doors. So, if a software company has an open position for a customer service representative, take it. It may not be your future, but it’s a great place to hold over until the right job comes along. It may even end up being with said company.
Furthermore, remember that without experience, you need to get your foot in the door. If getting into a company involves doing a job that isn’t exactly your goal, that’s okay. Just remember to keep your path ahead of you. Don’t let falling into a different job stop you from pursuing the one you want. Keep at it, regardless of where you are and what you are doing.
The dream should never die. You will find a job.
4. Relocate for Jobs
Broadening your job search stretches beyond just finding similar jobs. If feasible, you should be flexible enough to take a job anywhere (if only within the country).
Let’s go back to the journalist example (not like it’s from prior experience or anything). Breaking into the journalism field in, let’s say, New York City can be nearly impossible. There are thousands of more-experienced candidates vetting for the same jobs. Sometimes you need to move on and take your lumps before you can move up to the big jobs in big cities.
Henceforth, expand your job search to other areas. Yes, it may be nearly impossible to get a starting journalism job in New York City, but what about a smaller town? It’s a lot easier to get entry-level positions in smaller towns.
If moving is possible and your career is important, expand your job search immensely.
5. Boost Your Schooling and Skills
Sometimes you just don’t have enough credentials to get the job you want. Welcome to the biggest dilemma of job searchers everywhere.
You need the experience to gain experience. How in the world does this work?
If it’s impossible to find the experience you need to gain experience in the field, there are a few other things you can do to impress in the application process. Most of these involve generating a more impressive resume (we’ll get to that).
Education and certifications are crucial for an eye-catching resume, especially if you don’t have prior work experience. Fortunately, gaining these skills isn’t as hard as it used to be. We live in the internet era, baby. Get your mobile education on!
Countless programs (especially certifications) offer online programs. Furthermore, sites like Skillshare can also help you increase your resume’s skills section with ease. If you can’t find a job, look into what qualifications job posts ask for and find a way to gain them.
6. Build Your Network
It’s all about who you know. Right?
While a common phrase brassed in cynicism, there is a bit of truth behind it. Having a strong Rolodex of connections can often lead to great opportunities.
Think of it this way: if an employer knows you personally or receives a great review from a current employee, you will already have a leg up over the applying competition, regardless of your resume.
Furthermore, sometimes there are opportunities that you can’t learn about online. Sometimes there are ways to find jobs that don’t involve job boards or internet applications (crazy, I know). So, you have got to meet people within your desired field of work.
Unfortunately, this is not the time or place to delve into the arts of socializing. If you are already great at making connections, attend some networking events nearby. Hand out business cards, get business cards and make working friends. You never know where they might lead you or when they might be important.
If you are a bit of an introvert, now is the time to spread your wings. It’s time to practice your social skills and challenge yourself to share contact information with workers in the field. If meeting people in person is impossible (it is 2022, after all), check out online networking events or reach out to people via LinkedIn and other platforms.
7. Cold Calling Still Works
It may sound crazy, but there is nothing wrong with asking for a job. Even if the company you want to work for doesn’t have current job postings, you can still reach out to them.
Firstly, do a little research around local companies you would want to work for. Find the emails or contact information of hiring managers or team leaders. Send them a polite email stating who you are and ask if there are any opportunities. Even just asking for advice on how to get started can lead to an informative conversation. This inquiry also builds connections.
No, really. Reach out. Sure, don’t waste someone’s valuable time with a book-length email, and never beg for work. Reaching out and asking for available opportunities or guidance not only provides you with info and connection but compliments the other party. You are letting them know just how interested you are. This interaction may lead to them remembering you when a job does open up in the future.
8. Upgrade Your Resume
Having all the right ingredients but still missing out on gig opportunities can be disheartening. Your misfortunes in the job hunt could be as simple as having a bad resume. If you truly can’t find a job, look at your application process in general.
A resume must act as an elevator pitch for yourself as a candidate. It must grab attention, explain why you’re the right fit and provide contact information in a quick and eye-catching fashion. It can be tough to perfect, but having a fantastic resume can help you get your foot in the door.
We won’t waste too much of your time breaking down how to build the perfect resume. We already did it over here. But, if your job search is getting stale, try to switch things up. Even just changing your resume template to something more visually appealing can grab a hiring manager’s attention.
You must remember that plenty of people are applying for a single job. Standing out is more than just having great experience.
9. Practice Your Interviews
If you are getting interest from companies but can’t seem to make it past the second stage of the vetting process, something is wrong with your interviewing skills. That’s okay. Some of us don’t have the gift of gab or are lacking in interview experience. Luckily, interviewing is a skill. All skills can be upgraded.
If you know someone versed in the art of hiring, get them to give you interview tips. Ask them to do a mock interview with you. Also, check out interview tips online. There is a plethora of information out there to help you succeed in talking about yourself. It just takes practice.
Also, keep an eye on how you look. You may be underdressing for your interviews. As a rule of thumb, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Being overdressed is always better than being unprepared. It’s as simple as that.
Overall, your applications may be exemplary enough to land you interviews. If you are fumbling the interview process, that can be a significant reason you can’t find a job.
10. Don’t Lose Confidence
In our resume guide, we broke down the idea of declaring your job title and sticking to it. We stand by this. You should stand by this. Let’s all stand by this.
To summarize: In your resume, state your title as what you want to be. Even if you are applying for an entry-level job, you still have the skills and education to be in that role. For example, if you are applying for your first accounting job, but have the degree for it, put that you are an accountant. This exclamation is not a lie but a vow of confidence. You have what it takes to do the job. Don’t be modest.
This concept stretches past your resume. When meeting contacts in the field, state that you are an accountant. Don’t lie and fabricate work history or high-end roles, but don’t be afraid to say what you are.
If you make art, you are an artist.
Let’s say you are an aspiring graphic designer. Even if you have never had a graphic design gig before, you still have the applicable skills. Make business cards that state you are a graphic designer on them. Make a website for yourself. Be a graphic designer. This confidence in yourself carries over.
Honestly, companies don’t want to hire inexperienced or timid employees. So, if you aren’t experienced, still be confident. Confidence sells, after all.
11. Gaps and Lost Jobs Need Explanation
Stuff happens. Sometimes you take a break from work, if necessary. Sometimes you lose a job based on situations you have learned from. These gaps and layoffs happen. We are not here to drill you about mistakes and decisions.
Be ready to explain them when necessary. Employers raise eyebrows at these indications. They want to hear why these things happened to rule out any toxicity in you as an employee. If you have these things on your resume, that’s okay, but be prepared to delve into them. Jump the gun and erase some worry by including a bit of information in your cover letter. A quick sentence stating why there’s a gap can increase your chances of landing an interview.
Overall, don’t let hiccups hold you down. Address them outright as quickly as possible to smooth any hiring anxiety.
12. Try Gigs
We live in a strange world. Just a few years ago, I would be writing this article in a shirt and tie at some stuffy office. Now, I get to write this article in pajamas at a stuffy home!
Maybe you can’t find a job in your field, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find work. Depending on your field, maybe you need to do a few freelancing gigs first to bolster your resume. Maybe there are some remote opportunities to do temp work for a client in the field. Who knows? The work opportunities are endless.
If you are having trouble landing a full-time job in your desired field, take any work possible in that realm. Even if just a temporary gig, it will help you gain experience and connections in the field. If you are dedicated to your dream career, you have to take the baby steps to get there. Fortunately, the world is much bigger than it was before. You can gain a plethora of experiences from home.
This concept goes for cold-calling employers, too. Let’s go back to the journalism example. If you are reaching out to local newspapers for potential writing jobs, you can also ask if they have any freelance opportunities or if you can pitch them an article. Sure, it’s not a full-time job, but it’s a step in the right direction.
13. Keep an Eye on Yourself
A 2012 study by the American Psychology Association found that long-term unemployment can be detrimental to one’s mental health. If you have been unemployed for some time, take a deep breath. Look in the mirror or talk to a friend. Are you okay?
Furthermore, having a strong career determination can combine with long-term unemployment to put a chokehold on your dreams. Don’t let a long string of rejections keep you from pursuing your dream. Stick to it and it will happen. Don’t become deterred by negativity and intrusive thoughts.
If you are having a hard time mentally during your job search, find a low-cost therapist or engage in new hobbies. Stay positive. You’ve got this.
14. Apply to More Jobs
Looking for a job is a job, after all. It takes effort and energy to find the perfect fit. This search may involve writing countless cover letters, tailoring multiple resumes and doing a plethora of interviews.
If you can’t find a job, you may not be applying enough. If you have the time, apply to every possible job in your field. Find as many postings as you can and give them all the same amount of attention.
There’s a famous quote that slips my mind. Something about missing every shot you don’t take. Right?
Increase your chances by taking as many shots as possible. Keep applying.
15. Reach Out to Recruiters
Finally, staffing and recruitment agencies can help you find jobs, too. They can also give you insight into what is and isn’t working on your applications and what skills you should improve. If all else fails, reach out to a staffing agency. They have connections all over the world and may be able to find you a fit.
A common misconception is that staffing agencies only fill temporary jobs. This claim isn’t true. Staffing agencies can find you full-time jobs as well.
It never hurts to reach out to a local recruitment company and see if they have any opportunities or insight.