I go through this conversation at least once a day with everyone from a two-year experienced candidate to a 30 year experienced candidate and the conversation goes something like this:
“I just can’t believe it… I’ve been looking now for four weeks (… five weeks… three months… six months… one year) and I can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve rewritten my resume at least five times. I finally paid somebody $1500 to rewrite it and to give me some ‘coaching’ because they said they knew where the so-called, hidden market was… I just can’t believe it. I’ve only had two or three interviews and one or two of them blew me off pretty much immediately. I’ve called just about every friend I have at least once… ex-bosses… people who told me that I wouldn’t have any problem finding a job, but of course, they didn’t have any openings or didn’t know of any openings. I just must be doing something wrong. My spouse (… girlfriend, boyfriend, ex-spouse, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, mother, father, cousin, rabbi, priest, pastor… all tell me that I’m a wonderful person. But I’m beginning to doubt how wonderful I am. And all those years of working my tail off and being told what a wonderful asset I was… What’s wrong with me… What am I doing wrong?”
Well, the fact is you are probably not doing anything terribly wrong (I’ll get to that in a minute). Just because you’re reading and hearing that unemployment is low, the market is still very tight. For every one of you, every employer is able to interview five or six people… if you can get the interview at all. It is still very hard to get interviews, no matter how good you are.
All those people who tell you how wonderful you were for all those years needed to do that so you could keep working for them and, you probably were doing a wonderful job. But getting a job and doing a job are two different things. And just because you had a wonderful, fantastic career full of accolades and praises doesn’t mean that lots of people are going to want to interview you and hire you.
Getting to the interview is the biggest problem that most people have. If you follow everything that I’ve written in my books and this blog and my online Job Search Solution program you know that the biggest challenge is even getting an interview. It’s not as easy as everybody always thinks it is. They think that all they have to do is stand up and say “Hey world… Here I am… When do you want to interview me?” And when that doesn’t happen over an even relatively short period of time, whether you’re still employed or out of work, you become convinced that they just don’t know a good athlete when they see one. You become convinced that it’s them that are just plain foolish for not responding to your resume (… just one of the 160 others that they’ve received).
Most people aren’t aware of how much work a person has to do to simply get an interview. They’ve been comparing themselves to their peers and these people know they are a fantastic worker. But that has nothing to do with getting interviews and performing well on those interviews. They get shocked that the process is so difficult and challenging. Then when the reality hits them, they have no idea what they’re doing “wrong.”
They just simply weren’t prepared for how hard it is.