5 Reasons Why Your Job Search Is Failing

13 Dec 09:00 by Jamie Silman


Searching for a new job can be one of the most exhausting and frustrating experiences professionals face. 

It takes time and effort, and often feels like a full-time job in itself.

While the job market will always be competitive, sometimes our job searching efforts are thwarted by a few innocent mistakes.

So if you feel like your job search is dragging on, make sure it’s not one of these 5 reasons why your job search is failing.

1. You Don’t Know What You’re Looking For

Before you even start applying to jobs, it’s crucial to get a solid understanding of the job you actually want.

Naturally, different positions have different requirements for skills and experience, and with technological advances changing job responsibilities year-on-year, it’s time to consider which skills you already have and which roles they’d be suitable for.

Take a look at multiple job listings for the role you’re planning on applying for, and see how you match up to the requirements they’ve set out.

These will vary slightly, as there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment, but this step should help you get a better understanding of the exact role you want to start applying for, which will make it much easier to know which skills you need to highlight in your CV.

2. Your CV Needs Rethinking

If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance you’re under-selling yourself on your CV.

When you’re writing, or re-writing, your work experience, it can be difficult to demonstrate how your efforts impacted the business without feeling like you sound arrogant. But if there’s ever a moment to stop being humble it’s on your CV, so make sure you’re not expecting recruiters or hiring managers to read between the lines or guess at something you could simply say!

Nowadays, it’s also not just people that your CV needs to please.

With the volume of digital applications received for every job role, most employers and recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to help filter through their applications.

These programs work by parsing CVs and letting users search for relevant keywords, which help recruiters and hiring managers to find people with the relevant skills much more quickly.

If you’ve applied for a CNC Turner position, for example, but you’ve not used the keyword “CNC” in your description, then you’re at risk of being cut from the list of applications as they’re filtered for relevance; so make sure your CV is optimised for both humans and computers!

3. You Don’t Have An Online Presence

An online presence is the 21st-century’s 24 hour-a-day version of a networking event.

Platforms like LinkedIn allow you to connect with professionals from within your industry and can help to open doors to a number of different opportunities.

Not every job needs you to have a personal brand or a huge social media following, but at the very least make sure that nothing unprofessional comes up when you Google your name!

If building a network is something you think might help, the best time to start building your online presence was yesterday. 

The next best time is today!

4. You’re Looking In The Wrong Places

Job boards like CV-Library and Indeed are great places to search for, and apply to, jobs in your area, but if you’re only searching on those platforms then you could be missing out on hundreds of opportunities!

Some companies have their own careers pages where they advertise roles which aren’t being actively promoted elsewhere, so check the website and social media feeds of companies you’d like to work for to see what openings they may have. Some may encourage you to send a speculative CV, even if they don’t have an opening for your desired position, but you never know what they may be looking for next month!

There are times where jobs won’t even make it to job boards or career portals because the recruiters or hiring managers already have a candidate in mind, so if you’re not contacting companies directly you could also be missing out on these roles.

In some cases, even after you’ve applied, something as simple as following up on an application can prove successful.

I once applied for a role at a local company but heard nothing back. 

Knowing I had the right skill set, but sensing my CV hadn’t done a good enough job of highlighting that, I called them to discuss why I thought my skills would be a good fit, went in for an interview a few days later, and was subsequently offered the job.

Occasionally, simply standing out from the rest of the online applications is all you need!

5. You’re Not Asking For Feedback

Whether it’s advice from recruiters about improvements you can make to your CV, or comments from companies you’ve interviewed with, asking for feedback can help identify any weak areas you may have in your application.

Not everyone will be willing to give feedback, but if you can find someone who is, be sure to listen to what they have to say and make changes accordingly.

If you haven’t heard anything back at all, make sure you’re giving out the correct details - during one job hunt I sent out more than 20 copies of my CV with the email ending in when it actually ended in .com! Whoops!

Still Not Getting Results?

While some of these points may seem insignificant, they can all have an impact on the success of your job hunt, and often a few small tweaks are all it takes to see big results.

If you’re looking for a position in the engineering industry, and are struggling to find your perfect role, get in touch with one of our consultants today to see if they can help.