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I’ve Been Unemployed For Ten Months And I Can’t Seem To Get Hired. What Am I Doing Wrong?

Updated: Jun 27

Question:

I’ve been unemployed for 10 months and I can’t seem to get hired. I’m even willing to take a step backward -to no avail. What am I doing wrong?


Signed,

– Struggling to Solve a Puzzle



When we face a long period of unemployment, many things happen to our self confidence, and the view we may have of professional selves. Of course, be sure to view my video about Suffering After a Layoff but even though you may put this layoff itself behind you, many things can still cloud our judgement as we analyze and go after each new opportunity that we uncover.


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You had mentioned that you did have the opportunity for an interview, but that they had a concern over your potentially step backward from the director’s position which you had held, to an individual contributor’s role.

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This concern is natural, and it’s an objection in every potential employer’s mind –whether they raise that concern during your interview – or not.


It may help you to understand what a hiring manager considers ‘a good hire’.


There are many costs involved when an employer looks to hire an individual for a position that they are looking to fill. Benefit costs, training and orientation costs, costs associated with a ‘ramp-up’ period before the new employee truly begins contributing, not to mention the costs involved for the efforts to actually source the potential new-hire, and more. For many hiring managers, a ‘good hire’ starts with someone that is at the right ‘arc of their career’. This means...is the position at the ‘right level’ for your background, not simply ‘do you have interest and desire’ to be in the role.


Let’s look at my definition of a good hire:


A Good Hire is someone that I can hire, who will be (1) happy, (2) contented, & (3) challenged in the role; a role where they can (4) continue to grow in their abilities; and over time (5) can be promoted to the next level role where they will also be happy, contented, challenged and growing.


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If I can keep this new-hire for a period of at least somewhere between 4–7 years before they move on to another employer...THAT’S a GOOD HIRE!

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Now, that’s a tall bar to set for new-hires, as many individuals do get hired and then move on after only a short while or a year or two. Then I incur more expense to begin the process all over again to replace them. That’s where this ‘arc of your career’ thing comes into the decision process.


Let’s take your situation as an example. You were a director. Looking over your employment background and your credentials, you have had a nice career progression. That would raise a potential concern for any employer that would consider hiring you for a lesser role.


The questions circling in the hiring manager’s mind would be:


- Why would this individual stay happy and contented in the new (lesser) role?


- How could the individual be challenged in the new (lesser) role?


- What could they possibly learn in the new (lesser) role that would keep them growing?


- When I am ready to promote them in a couple years, it would just be to the same level that they had been at several years back at that point...


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You can begin to understand the concerns, even if you don’t like to think about that part.

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But all is not lost. When you consider what may be going on inside of a hiring managers mind, that presents a wonderful opportunity for you to address and overcome each one of those ‘objections’ that may be preventing them from moving you on to the next interview in their hiring process or to making you an offer.


I have coached and advised many individuals facing just such challenges with the specifics on overcoming those objections during the hiring process. And I’ve helped them to a successful conclusion so that they understand how to get their careers back on track. I would recommend working closely with a career and interview coach, but be sure that they truly understand the real-world dynamics of the hiring process from every side and every angle.


You also mentioned another challenge that you face: getting more frequent interviews.


Maybe, it’s your RESUME.


In this case, I believe it is. Take a look at my video on Resume Renovation. Your resume that you had sent to me does not pass the ‘3 second’ Resume Test and while it has a great many items of value on it, there are so many points to consider (it’s a 2-pager), that puts your value ‘out of focus’. My recommendation here is to engage someone that understands what may be ‘valuable’ and what is not –to help bring your value back into focus before you get ruled out at the resume ’sorting’ stage of their hiring process for the jobs that you are pursuing.


Maybe, it’s your LinkedIn Profile.


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Your LinkedIn Profile should be your own ‘Sales Brochure’ that helps build your credibility and your reputation.

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Will your profile add to, or take away from others’ perceptions about you?


And will it show your true value and get you noticed?


That may be the difference in being considered for your next business or career opportunity and getting that next meeting or interview - or going unnoticed.


It’s a very small investment in yourself – when compared to each additional week that leaves you unable to find your next career home.




Need more help & Advice? Reach out today–

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John Crant

Author, Career Coach & Speaker on Job Search and Career Management


Featured Speaker for

The New York Public Library's JOB SEARCH CENTRAL






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In the Media: As Seen As Featured in 


amNY, Time Out New York, The Wall Street Journal (and its FINS.com), CRAIN'S New York BusinessForbes, CNNBBC, FOX News (on Social Media Marketing), AriseTV, New York PostThe Huffington PostEssence magazine, CareerBuilder and The Ladders


On the Radio: As Guest: WHCR 90.3 FM "The Voice of Harlem"

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As an industry manager, executive recruiter, recruiting & sales trainer, event speaker, and as VP of a nationwide system of recruitment offices, I have seen most every aspect of the hiring process and this varied insight is what provides the clarity you will find in this book.


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