3 Types of Job Hunters Who Can’t Find Work

job seekers, hiring, recruiting, work

You’re kicking off a new job hunt, and you’ve sent out a fresh resume.

And…radio silence.

Did something go wrong?

Unfortunately, you may have overlooked one detail.

There are three types of job seekers whose resumes are more likely to tank even if they’ve put the best skills on their resume for that job.

And you may be one of them without knowing it.

Some things set off alarms for hiring managers, and most of them are more common than you’d think.

3 Types of Job Hunters Who Can’t Find Work

Find out if you’re one of the following candidates and what you can do to fix it.

1. The Chronically Unemployed – No Work Means No Work

Being unemployed is a Catch 22 situation. You need work to get work. If you don’t have work you can’t get work.

If you’re a long-term unemployed candidate (6 months and counting), it’s almost impossible to get a job because hiring managers won’t look at your resume.

It doesn’t matter if you are more qualified or have an incredible resume.

If you’re stuck on the unemployment merry-go-round for more than six months, you’re worse off than a person who changes their job like shades of finger nail polish.

Is there anything you can do?

For those of you who haven’t quite hit the six-month mark, find something to do. Be it freelance work, non-profit work, or a part-time gig that’s beneath you.

Whatever you can do to keep your hands busy and your resume full. It is more than okay to put unpaid or non-traditional work in the experience section of your resume.

If you’ve passed the six-month mark, you may want to try a more creative approach to getting your resume in front of a hiring manager.

Think about this:

It’s estimated that job referrals make up 40% of all hires, even though they make up only 7% of applications.

Try sending your resume to a hiring manager who knows you and understands the circumstances of your chronic unemployment.

You can try reaching out directly, or by finding someone who can refer you to a hiring manager. Get on LinkedIn and start milking your network for leads.

If you’ve got someone who knows you on the receiving end of your resume you’re much more likely to succeed in this situation.

2. The Complicated Career Candidate – How to Explain a Demotion

Let’s say you were on the receiving end of a demotion. You started from the bottom and worked your way to the top. And once you got there, you had to step down – one way or another.

Demotions aren’t lethal, but a hiring manager will want to know what happened when she sees that you went from manager to assistant.

Is there anything you can do?

You can remedy simple cases of career reversal by strategically planting brief explanations throughout your documents.

Make a mention of it in your cover letter, resume summary, or as a side note in your experience section.

But if your boss demoted you on bad terms, you will want to take the emphasis off that position.

If you can drop the position altogether without creating a large gap in your work history, do so. You don’t have to list every job you’ve ever had on your resume.

If you held that position for a long time and can’t sacrifice it, tailor your responsibilities to reflect the skills mentioned in the job description. And add achievements to show that you did an excellent job in that position while you held it despite the demotion.

If you do nab the interview, don’t use the word “demotion” and don’t badmouth your former employer. Plan what you will say beforehand.

3. The Unspecialized Candidate – When You’re Good at Everything

It can’t be bad to be good at everything, can it? Well, if you’re a magician of marketing and a sensation at sales, it can cause a lot of noise on your resume.

Is there anything you can do?

The key to making any resume shine is to tailor it to the job at hand. So, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you don’t want to focus on all of the stellar selling you’ve been doing.

Instead, focus on skills that you had in past jobs that translate to your new one. It’s easier if you implement skill-based subheading in your experience section.

For example:

The marketing job requires you to be excellent at written communication.

Sales Assistant

Written Communication

  • Designed and wrote copy for follow up email templates sent after the first contact with a client.

Key Takeaway

You can write the best resume in the world, but it might not matter. Certain circumstances can set back otherwise unblemished job seekers.

But there are always ways to overcome these obstacles. The trick is to know what could potentially hold you back and work to address the issue throughout the resume writing process. If you’re determined to get a job, you can do it.

Natalie Severt

Natalie is a writer at AssignmentBro and Uptowork - Your Resume Builder. She writes about how to create successful resumes so that you can land your dream job. When she isn't writing, she eats tacos and reads complicated novels.


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