If you’ve ever been out of work or wanted to find a better position, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Why is it taking me so long to get a new job?”

The experts say the answer most likely involves YOU. Here are five reasons why you’re still looking and what you can do about it.

  • You’re not presenting yourself well in your resume. 

Resumes aren’t “one size fits all.” Tailor yours to the specific position you are applying for. Whatever industry you are targeting, make sure your resume speaks that “language.” Emphasize the skills that are described in the job posting and use key words. Above all, avoid spelling mistakes.

  • You’re not putting in the time.

Dedicate an allotted time each day to sitting in front of the computer searching for openings. Yes, the search may seem endless and the applications can sometimes take a few hours to fill out. And yes, it really is hard work! Once you accept the fact that searching for a job is a lot like having a full-time job, you will be on the way to better results.

  • You’re not networking enough.

Since 80 percent of vacancies are not advertised, networking is extremely valuable. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a new job. Join networking groups and connect with as many people as possible. Every gathering, every social event, every activity you attend with your child or with friends is a chance to spread the word that you are in job search mode.

  • Your technology skills are lacking.

Take time to brush up on your technology skills or learn new ones. Increase your skill sets in computers and social media. There is almost no job now for which basic computer skills, at the very least, aren’t required. Having those skills increase your chances of getting a job.

  • Your expectations are too high.

In an ideal world, we would all make enormous salaries and have a five-minute commute, but realistically, you’ll need to compromise. Many of us expect to get paid more than we did in our previous position. But in today’s job market, salaries are much lower than they were in the past. Do some research regarding the salary range and comparables at that organization and the industry standard in your area, and don’t ask for way above that. You must also be flexible when it comes to location. Don’t rule out job opportunities because of distance.

Looking for a job is never easy and the longer it goes on, the more frustrating it can become. Before you throw in the towel, think about what you need to do differently and how your approach to the process needs to change.

With just a few adjustments, you may find you’ve substantially increased your chances of landing that job.

JCS provides a broad range of services that meet the diverse, multi-dimensional needs of individuals and families throughout Central Maryland. We offer guidance and support when you are seeking solutions for emotional well-being, aging and caregiving, parenting, job seeking, employers and businesses, achieving financial stability, living with special needs, and preventing risky behaviors. To learn more, please visit our home page or call 410-466-9200.