Why Can’t I Find a New Job?

Are you wondering, “Why Can’t I Find a Job?”

All of us, including top leaders, find ourselves in a job search at some point. And, if you’re in a leadership position, it takes that much longer because there just aren’t as many jobs available at the top.

Sometimes, people who ask us the question, “Why Can’t I Find a New Job?” have unrealistic expectations about how long it takes to find a job.

But sometimes, there’s a specific reason why they aren’t finding work.

We’ve compiled a “List of Reasons Why You Can’t Find a Job” to help you identify what’s blocking you. If you identify the reason you can’t find a job, there’s hope. Often, once a job seeker corrects the situation, they find a job relatively quickly.

List of Reasons You Can’t Find a Job

1) Your Job Search Marketing Collateral Isn’t Effective (e.g., Resume, Cover Letter, LinkedIn Profile, Elevator Speech, Executive Bio).  You have a:

  • Bad Resume

    • Not tailoring the resume to the position or industry
    • The wrong experience emphasized for the position
    • Lack of experience
    • Poorly written resume
    • Typos and grammar errors
    • Formatting errors
    • Inappropriate format
    • Too long
    • Unprofessional email address
    • Out of date contact information
  • Deficient Cover Letter

    • Wrong format
    • Highlighting the wrong experience
    • Not tailored to the job or company
    • Too long or too short
    • Bad grammar, typos
    • Unprofessional
  • Poor Elevator Speech

    • Unclear
    • Too long
    • Complicated
    • Not compelling
    • Insincere
    • Unattainable
    • Delivered without passion
    • Not used with the right audience
  • Weak Personal Brand

    • Does not present a strong personal brand at networking events (how you dress, how you speak, how you stand, etiquette)
    • Not presenting a strong personal brand within your company
    • Ineffective public speaker
    • Lacking a strong Executive Bio
  • Negative References

  • LinkedIn Profile

    • No picture
    • Inappropriate or unprofessional picture
    • Missing contact information
    • Profile doesn’t match target position or industry
    • Profile not robust enough
    • Unprofessional profile
    • Typos
    • Bad profile format
    • No recommendations or endorsements
    • Very few or no contacts
    • Linked with inappropriate or unethical contacts
    • Not understanding the purpose of LinkedIn:  Business Platform. (Example of an Unprofessional Status Update: “I, like many, believe that LinkedIn is all about business and not gossip, etc. I hope I am not breaking with protocol but today my daughter graduates from high school.”)

2) Your References Are Not Giving You a Positive Review

Sometimes, a person’s references are too honest about their weaknesses, or just don’t respect or like the person and give a bad job reference.


The Internet is fraught with dangers for Job Seekers. People don’t think about how what they post on the Internet will look to potential employers.  Additionally, you may not realize all of the places you appear. Here’s a partial list:

Twitter Instagram YouTube
Yelp AboutMe SnapChat
Friendster Meetup Classmates
myHeritage Tumblr Vine
Twitter Flixster Match.com
Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest
  • Social Media

    • Inappropriate or illegal activity
    • Sharing political beliefs
    • Bashing your company or boss
    • Bad reviews
    • Profanity
    • Inappropriate humor
    • Past employer websites
    • Old resumes posted on Job Search websites
    • Inappropriate pictures
      • Shutterfly
      • Picasa
      • Google images
      • iPhone photos
      • Web albums
      • Instagram
      • Facebook
    • Illegal activity
    • Mistaken identity
    • Bad credit
    • Personal Websites

4) Productivity Issues

  • Not Applying to Enough Jobs
    • Eliminating yourself from jobs you qualify for
    • Fear
    • Not knowing the right keywords or job titles to find Jobs you qualify for
    • Not putting in enough time or executing enough activities
    • Underestimating the number of resumes submissions, phone calls, or emails it takes to find a job
  • Networking Less Than You Should
    • Networking ineffectively (not working the room, not asking for introductions, not sharing your elevator speech)
  • Using your network ineffectively
    • Fear
    • Don’t want to be a bother
    • Embarrassed to ask for help
    • Not knowing you have a network
    • Being too introverted

5) Being Too Choosy About What Job You’ll Take

6) Not Using Multiple Job Search Strategies

  • This results in not uncovering a variety of Job Opportunities or too few positions

7) Poor Interviewing Skills

  • Dressing inappropriately for the interview
  • Bad body language during the interview
  • Seeming desperate
  • Being a smoker
  • Not showing a good work ethic
  • Arrogance
  • Sounding self-centered
  • Acting too passive
  • Fear
  • Bashing your last company or boss
  • Not following up
  • Following up too much
  • Money
    • Asking for too much money
    • Not asking for enough money
    • Bringing money up too soon

8) Blackballed in the Industry

We worked with a VP who couldn’t find a position after 6 months.  We brought up the possibility that she was blackballed. Sure enough, with some investigation, she found out that her previous employer called her target employers and badmouthed her to them.

9) Bad Press

We worked with one client who had to take a proactive stance on Social Media in order to live down some bad press that was preventing her from getting hired.

When we work with job search clients, we always look at their social media. We can’t believe how often we need to suggest they take something down (or just delete the account because there are so many questionable posts).

We suggest that clients avoid posting:

  • Their salary
  • Information about their employer (even on anonymous sites – it’s often easy to identify the poster)
  • Political posts
  • Religious posts
  • Crass humor
  • Profanity
  • Drunk pictures of themselves or friends
  • Jokes or any posts about alcohol
  • References to drug use
    Dialog about conflicts with friends or family
  • Apologies
  • Threats
  • Anything illegal
  • Travel plans
  • Transgressions
  • Negative comments about anyone
  • Racial slurs
  • Personal issues.

We know this isn’t a complete list, but hopefully, it gets our clients thinking.

Sometimes, clients see one type of social media, Facebook for example, as social media and are careful there, and then on Pinterest, they’ve got a whole board of scantily clad men!

Be the Leader you’ve always wanted to be!

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With Our Consultations Coach: Vicki Rich, MBA, ACC (BIO)
With Our Consultations Coach: Vicki Rich, MBA, ACC