11 Reasons It’s So Hard to Find a Job (And What You Can Do About It)

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger

Can't find a job? You're not alone.

You're probably known to complain all about how "there are just no jobs out there!" But did you ever stop and think that maybe it's something you're doing in your job hunt or something that you could be doing differently (or even, yes, better) in order to improve your job hunt experience?

Here are 11 possible reasons as to why it may be difficult for you to find a job.

1. You need more education.

You may need a higher degree of education in order to get a job that you want. This may require you to go back to school in order to obtain a Master's Degree, an MBA, a PhD., a nursing degree or something else. You may also just need to go to a specialized institution to become certified through an intensive training course.

2. You've been out of the game for a while.

If there's a large gap on your resume that you cannot explain, it can look bad to potential employers who may not trust that you actually want to work and/or are willing to work. Of course, people have gaps in their resumes for a whole host of reasons — they start families, they fall ill, life happens — but you should be able to explain it and talk about the valuable lessons you learned during that time off of work that are still applicable to the workplace and valuable to you as an employee.

3. The competition is high.

Sometimes, competition is just stiff. You may be applying to very popular jobs that receive hundreds or thousands of applications, so it's no wonder that yours (and many others!) fall through the cracks or that you're outperformed by other more qualified or differently qualified candidates.

4. You're overqualified.

If you have too high of qualifications for a job, the hiring manager may not want to hire you because they don't want to pay someone of your status or retrain someone who already seems "stuck in their ways" due to so much experience. Or they may not be able to hire you because you're not in their budget.

5. You give off a perceived indifference.

Going to job interviews can feel intimidating, especially as you don't want to come across as too anxious (read: desperate) to land the job, but you also don't want to appear uninterested. You may be coming across as too indifferent as to whether or not you care about getting the job. And hiring managers want to bring people on board who are truly excited to be part of the team.

6. You don't open your eyes to opportunities.

Maybe there really are jobs all around you but you refuse to see the opportunities. You may be too picky, for example, and refuse to open your mind to different types of jobs that are out there. Or you may be so negative and self-deprecating because of how difficult the job hunt has been, that you're not even really willing to put yourself out there.

7. You're a job hopper.

Tons of people hop jobs, and it's not as bad of a look as it once was. Some people, however, hop around so much that hiring managers don't necessarily trust their loyalty. No one wants to hire someone who they think will just quit a few months or even a year down the line. And if you have a track record of doing just that, you might have a harder time finding a hiring manager to take you seriously enough to offer you a job.

8. You're underqualified.

You might not have the skills or experience necessary for the jobs you want. This may mean that you have to go back to school, undergo training, get a certificate of some sort, work part-time jobs, volunteer, work internships and have other experiences to help you build up your resume.

9. You're aiming too high.

Maybe you're shooting too high. Of course, you should always set your goals high and aim for the best. But if your going rate is triple the market standard — for no good reason — or you are applying for jobs that require many more years of experience than you have (we're talking a lot more experience, not just a year or two more), you might be thinking too wishfully. It's important to have goals, but realistic goals are what will get you forging forward.

10. You're selling yourself short.

You're selling yourself short to people in networking events and in interviews. If you doubt yourself and downplay your skills and experiences, showing a lack of confidence, no one else who doesn't yet know you will be able to see the professional you truly are either. You don't want to go all around bragging about yourself in an obnoxious manner, but you do want to toot your own horn in a way that lets others know exactly who you are and what you've done — using the skills and knowledge you have under your belt to give you that credibility.

11. You're looking in the wrong places.

Maybe you're just not looking in the right places. You want a full-time creative job, but you're not checking out creative companies. Maybe you want a flexible job, but you're only applying to traditionally not-so-flexible companies. It's best to truly consider what it is that you want and then seek out opportunities accordingly — as well as to keep an open mind to all opportunities.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.