There are few people on the planet who can tolerate the process of a job search. The waiting, the rejection, the endless tweaks to your resume. When does it end?

There are plenty of smart, successful people who struggle with finding jobs or a satisfying career. Why is this? Many times, they don’t know how to look for work. Job searching is a skill that we should be taught before graduating high school—but of course, we aren’t.

Before we look at the reasons why you might be lost or stuck, ask yourself the five “bigger picture” questions:

  1. Are the jobs you are applying for the ones that you really want? If your heart isn’t in it and you’re just going through the motions, the results will show.

  1. Do you have the skills, experience, and qualifications necessary for the jobs? If not, how can you bridge the gap before you apply? You don’t have to have every qualification, but you need to check as many boxes as you can.

  1. Have you conducted informational interviews and done the online research to really understand the needs of employers for the types of jobs you are pursuing — and to make new connections?

  1. Have you asked someone I know/like/trust for their honest feedback about how you’re presenting myself in my job search? Have I asked for feedback from hiring managers after interviews for jobs that I haven’t been offered?

  1. Are you really doing the “work” of conducting a job search, or are you just doing things that are “easy” or “comfortable” for you? A big mistake that some people make is to just apply to dozens of jobs without attempting to make a connection with anyone at the company. Although it will require you to get out of your comfort zone, connecting with employees at your desired company will improve your chances of getting an interview.

People who are most successful in finding — and landing — the job they want to have THREE several things in common:

  1. Clearly defined goals and the ability to research how to accomplish those goals. Essentially, if you don’t know what you are looking for, you won’t find it. This includes identifying companies you’re interested in working for, potential job titles, contact information for people in the position to hire you (or connect you to the hiring manager), and knowledge of the company. I talk to so many clients who say they're flexible and open to what their new position is. When you are exploring new careers, that's great. But in a job search, that's the kiss of death. You MUST have a focus.

  1. The willingness to invest time, energy, and money in their job search. This includes a strong résumé and other career documents, the right interview attire, career assessments, coaching to improve skills necessary for success in the job search. Job searching is a process, not a one-time action. You wouldn’t believe the difference that working with an impartial coach can do to improve your interview performance and overall confidence. (I’m biased, I know, but I've seen it work for hundreds of people.) You have to be willing to put in the work and the time.

  1. They see themselves as problem solvers. Your resume, and your interview responses, should clearly show your specific achievements and accomplishments. Focus on specific results and how they affected the company for the better. Employers want to hire people who can solve problems! I have a great method for helping clients form interview responses, and write their resume, using a very specific formula called CAR: Challenge, Action, Result. It remains one of my most popular blog posts ever!

  1. If your job search isn’t working, it’s time to do something different. Treat your job search as a project, with defined objectives, an action plan, and a timeline. The worst thing you can do is to keep doing the same thing over and over if it isn’t working for you.

If you need help, I can coach you. Despite five layoffs in seven-year, my longest stretch of unemployment was only five weeks. I know how to help you. Reach out at

Are you currently looking for work? You can check out some recent job opportunities here at

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