Job searches suck. There is nothing worse than sending a document that attempts to meticulously describe the professional you out into the abyss and never hearing back. And, even when you pivot, stop sending out cold resumes, and start working your network, sitting with strangers and trying to sell them on your skills is not much more fun.
Why No Offer?
There are tons of reasons why some people remain unemployed for extended periods and others don’t. Sometimes the reason is illegally discriminatory (i.e., age, gender, race, sexual orientation, parental status, religion, disability, national origin, etc.). Sometimes the reason is legally discriminatory (i.e. bias against the unemployed, bias against the overweight, bias against the style challenged). Sometimes the reason is a lack of skill or training. But, many times, job seekers are in control of the factor that most influences whether they will find another job: attitude.
We have represented hundreds of executives who have had claims against their former employers. Whether resolutions are litigated or negotiated, it is always the executive who looks forward and takes control of his/her career that moves on to something better. Being angry and holding onto blame about a bad separation or even a bad interview doesn’t hurt the employer. It hurts the job seeker. Have you ever had to interact with someone who has a chip on her shoulder? Would you want to be that person? The top 3 reasons you’re not getting hired all relate to your attitude. You can’t change the biases of prospective employers, but you can make yourself a pleasure to be around.
Top 3 Reasons Your Attitude is Preventing You from Being Hired
- You are not engaging with the right people in the right way. Job search networking does not mean you should tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. You should not be sending everyone your resume. The right way to engage with your network is to be a resource for your contacts. People want to help people who want to help them.
- You’re getting desperate. Looking for a job is like dating or making friends. Desperation is a turn-off. It’s one of those things you silently communicate without even noticing. It shows in your resume, cover letter and emails. And, most obviously, it shows in your body language. You might think that being an executive puts you beyond this, but you are wrong. Executives are the most at risk of unknowingly communicating desperation. People who devote so much time to their career and even define themselves by their career are very likely to be shaken by a job loss. It can be an ego buster for anyone. The best way to overcome this hurdle is to contact a brutally honest friend, videotape yourself, or hire a professional and practice role playing. You don’t want to come off rehearsed, but you do want to be prepared and confident.
- You’re too cocky. Over confidence is not much better than desperation. No one wants to hire someone who clearly thinks they are too good for the job. Humility is not desperation. Be willing to ask questions, listen to the answers and learn. Over-confidence means you are focused inward. Show that you are truly interested in the prospective employer, its current employees and its opportunities for growth. Do your research and be prepared with thoughtful questions.
Even though we solve legal problems first, we want our clients’ careers and businesses to thrive. If you are struggling with your job search, contact us for additional resources.