Why Can’t I Find a Job? 17 Common Reasons

By Biron Clark


Applying for Jobs | Interview Preparation

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

If you’re job searching and not getting the results you want, this article is going to help you answer “Why can’t I find a job?” and turn your job search around. And if you’ve had interviews but weren’t selected, I’ll help you answer the question “Why won’t anyone hire me?” (and I’ll help you build the interview skills that will get you job offers fast).

Go through the checklist below, decide which one best describes your job search situation, and read what you need to do to fix it and get hired!

“Why Can’t I Find a Job?”

Problem: Not getting any phone calls or interviews

If you’re sending out your resume, filling out applications, and not hearing back, here are the potential issues you’re encountering in the application process…

1. You’re not tailoring your resume for each job application. Companies receive a lot of applications for each open position. Your resume is not going to stand out unless you customize it a bit. Do this and you’ll get at least double the amount of responses. If you’re not doing this, it’s a big reason why you can’t get a job (or even an interview)

2. You’re not customizing your cover letter or submission email. Pick one or two things that caught your eye about the company and made you excited to apply. Relate your own skills to that and talk about how you can help them.

Never send a generic cover letter that could be sent out to any company/job. That’s not what a cover letter is for. You really need to put the extra effort here into explaining why you’re the right person for their company/role. Or, don’t include a cover letter at all if employers aren’t requiring it in the application process. That’s absolutely fine, too.

3. You’re not applying for enough jobs. You can’t find a job by just applying for a few minutes each day. I have friends who are desperate to find a job and then tell me they’re sending out less than five applications per week. Not enough. Not even close. You can check out this case study if you want a great method to apply for jobs quickly and easily online.

4. If you’re applying for jobs in a new state or city, make sure you’re putting the right thing on your resume. Otherwise you might be scaring companies off.

5. If you have a big gap in employment, you need to address it. Write them a cover letter or note explaining the situation. It’s a lot better than not saying anything at all. You might even be able to explain it right on your resume.

6. If you are only applying to job boards or online job postings, that could be holding you back. We’re in a competitive and crowded job market, and your best shot at getting an interview with a hiring manager is to try to find a mutual connection who can introduce you. Even if you don’t have a mutual connection in your network, consider reaching out directly on LinkedIn about a job.

You can also email recruiters directly about a job opportunity. You can even email companies that don’t have job openings but are fast-growing and seem interesting. Sometimes, growth-stage companies will hire great people even if they don’t have the exact right job posted online.

Every year, INC publishes the INC 5000 list, which contains 5,000 of the fastest-growing privately-held companies in the US. That list is a fantastic place to find growing companies to contact and ask about available jobs. The more creative you get with your job applications, the better.

But first and foremost, if you’re not getting job interviews, the area to focus on is your resume. Your resume has one goal: to get you invited to interview. So if that’s not happening, focus on improving the document in any way possible… starting with always sending a tailored resume for each job.

You can also consider hiring a professional resume writing service if needed.

Problem: Getting turned down (or not hearing back) after the first interview

If you’re getting invited for phone interviews, your resume is probably okay. But if you’re not getting past those interviews, what you’re doing and saying on the first interview is the reason you can’t find a job. Here are a couple of the most common issues and how to fix them…

1. Pick something specific that you’re targeting in your job search, and figure out how it relates to this company. Companies want to make sure you’ve thought about your job search and know what you’re looking for.

Now you have a great answer if they ask “why do you want to work here?” As a recruiter I see a lot of people fail to do this in the interview, and it’s a big reason they can’t find a job quickly or easily.

2. Do some research and know what the company does, how they make money, when they were founded, etc. This will help you with the initial questions they usually ask… like “what do you know about us?”

You’ll seem way more prepared overall, which is something that hiring managers definitely notice in your job search.

3. If you were fired or laid off, prepare to explain that. A weak explanation might be a deal-breaker. (And don’t ever blame coworkers or past employers. Just be accountable and show what you’ve learned from the experience, and that you’re ready for your next challenge).

4. Make sure you can clearly explain the job changes you’ve made in the past. I had a friend recently ask me: “Is it a sign of an inexperienced interviewer when they ask you to walk them through your resume?”

The answer is “no”. Employers want to hear how YOU explain those career changes. And they want to hear the details that can’t be found on the resume, like why you moved from company to company, what made you decide to start working in a new industry, etc. So, tighten the story up and make sure it’s clear.

5. If it’s not anything above stopping you, it’s how you’re describing your qualifications- past work, experience, education, etc. Be clear and specific about what you’ve done in the past. Have numbers, stories and examples to share and sound excited about it! And any time you can show advancement (like receiving a promotion), do it.

Problem: Getting through multiple interviews, but no job offer

Okay if you’ve made it this far, you are very close to landing a job offer, but there are still a few potential reasons that no one is hiring you. Here are a few factors to look at…

1. You’re not tailoring your interview answers enough. To get hired for competitive jobs, being impressive in general isn’t enough. You really need to look at the job description, and think about how your skills fit into THEIR NEEDS. This is what the company cares most about. So when they’re asking about your skills, try to present it as how you can help them, or how you can solve their problems.

2. You’re not asking good questions in the interview. Make sure you’re asking at least one or two questions to each person you interview with. Not asking questions in the interview is a dead giveaway that you either don’t care very much, or are willing to take any job you get because you’re desperate. Here are 105 good questions to ask in the interview.

3. You’re not showing interest and following up. Companies want someone who is excited to work for them and interested in the opportunity. This means you should be sending “Thank You” notes after each interview, and interview follow up emails if they don’t update you with feedback in the time period they said.

You spend hours applying for jobs, going on interviews, etc. Don’t skip a five-minute step that could be the difference in whether you get hired or not.

4. References. Companies don’t check references until they’re pretty sure they want to hire you. If you’re getting to this point and not getting hired, the references you’re providing may be why you can’t find a job.

A lot of job seekers give references without ever finding out what they’re going to say. I’ve gotten on the phone while working as a recruiter, to check references, and had the reference say, “I wouldn’t hire that person again.” So don’t just ask people if they’ll be a reference for you… ask if they’re comfortable being a POSITIVE reference.

5. Salary… Are you saying an extremely high number and scaring companies off? Check Glassdoor’s salary estimator tool or ask some close colleagues or friends if you’re not sure. Or use my favorite line when they ask what you’re looking to make: “My priority is to find the best-fitting position for my career. After that, I’m willing to consider any offer you feel is fair.”

6. Keep going, it may just be bad luck. Good companies get a lot of applicants. It’s possible you did everything right, got to the end of the process with a few other candidates, and the company had to make a tough choice and went with someone else.

The good news is that if you made it through multiple interviews, you did almost everything correctly and you’re very close to getting hired!

Next Steps: How to Use This Information to Find a Job

If you’ve read the info above, you know how the top reasons that employers aren’t hiring you. Don’t keep job searching without making a change, but don’t panic, either.

Through the info above, you can identify where you’re going wrong in the job search process, and how to correct it. You now know that your resume/CV is what’s responsible for getting you job interviews. You also know that you shouldn’t just apply on job boards, but should also be talking to your network and contacting hiring managers directly. And you know that if you’re getting to the job interview, then you’re doing or saying something within the interview that’s turning hiring managers off.

Consider practicing your interview answers, conducting a mock interview with a friend or colleague who is a hiring manager, and studying each job description more carefully before the interview so you can speak to the company’s specific needs.

Moving forward, if you follow these steps and use the list above to figure out where your job search is stalling or going wrong, and then take the recommended steps to fix the problems, you will be much more likely to find a job. I’m not saying this is easy, and if you found this page, you’re probably pretty frustrated and feel like you’ve tried a lot already. But you CAN improve and get hired in this job market.

Every job seeker can find something on this page to improve. So if you can’t find a job, bookmark this page and use it as a reference to adjust and improve until you do find a job. And if you have interviews coming up and don’t want to leave anything to chance, I have a whole page of free interview prep resources here.

More online resources to help you find a new job:

Additional Ideas for Job Seekers Who Can’t Find a Job

If you’re truly on the edge of giving up in your job search, or if you’re in a tough spot financially, you can also consider some of the following ideas while job searching:

Consider a Temporary Job

You don’t have to settle for temporary work forever, but in the current job market, many employers don’t view a contract position negatively, as long as you were doing relevant and interesting work. If you’re open to a contract/temporary position, talk to a couple of recruiting firms in your region. The vast majority of recruitment agencies do some (or most) of their work in the temporary job space, and temp jobs can help you pay the bills and get employed immediately.

Flexible work still helps you build skills that employers will appreciate, which will help you find jobs in the future.

Consider a Lower Level Position

One more option if nobody is hiring you is: Consider applying to jobs that are easier to obtain or lower-competition. Taking a slightly lower-level position isn’t ideal, but if you’re struggling to find your dream role, it can be beneficial. Taking a mediocre position in the short-term can help fill the gap on your resume, boost your confidence, give you some income and reduce stress, and of course… give you time to keep quietly searching for the job you really want.

Job Search in a Different Industry

Another possible reason that you can’t find a job is that you’re simply in a tough industry right now. So while you’re wondering, “Why won’t anyone hire me?” it may simply be the wrong time to job hunt in your industry. Some industries don’t have enough openings, while other industries have so many jobs that they can’t find people. They’re desperate for a skilled person to submit a job application. If you feel like you’re at a dead end, try to pivot and send out some job applications in new industries (by industry, I mean software technology, healthcare, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, etc.)

Don’t pick random industries, though. Look for verticals where your past skills (and college degree, if you have one) will be most relevant. Look for similar industries to where you’ve previously worked.

Automate More of Your Job Search

It’s possible that you’re also struggling to get hired due to limited time. Most job board websites will let you set filters and email alerts to get notified of new job listings. Some email newsletters will send out weekly or twice-monthly notifications of remote jobs. There are many ways to get notified online about new positions as they pop up, which can help you save time and stay up to date on your job search even if you’ve got a busy personal life.


To conclude, as a career coach and former recruiter, I recognize that finding new jobs is hard. I hope the information above has given you a starting point and new motivation to go out and keep applying and interviewing. Even the most expert job seekers have to interview for multiple positions to land a job, and they apply to many positions just to get to the first interview stage with a few companies. That’s entirely normal, so don’t give up!

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16 reasons why you can't find a job

Biron Clark

About the Author

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128 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Find a Job? 17 Common Reasons”

  1. I think it’s more likely it’s an employer’s market. I’ve been out of work for two months and have been applying all of the items listed above. And yet, I still cannot even get past a first interview.

    How about employers stop belly aching about not finding the right people and start looking at those of us that are out of work?

  2. There are many reasons,

    one may be dropping out of high school which most people without jobs do don’t have the confidence to get a job or lye.

    also college is way too expensive and hard for someone with below average intelligence.

    fast food, amazon, are taking over factory jobs, mom and pop stores which higher older people. Usually college students
    work at amazon and taco bell

  3. I had been trying job for 10 years, and not getting anything. I have AAS degree with skills, but it seem most employers don’t care and why?

  4. I have a lot of experience, in different fields, I own my own business too. I have been looking for a job for the last four years and in between college courses and working my real estate business. Unbelievable, but cannot get a job to save my life. Strong economy or not. Just a white male over 50!

  5. Why does Every. Single. Article. about job-hunting difficulties blame the applicant? They all boil down to “you aren’t playing the game right”. Maybe the problem isn’t the the players, but the “rules” of the game. Some people are not good at self-marketing, or writing, or interviewing, but have all the necessary skills and experience to excel at the job, yet employers will choose a mediocre employee be cause [s]he was able to BS their way into the job. Not to mention the rampant ageism and “lookism” – the latter being obvious when you ace pre-screening and phone interviews, but when you finally go for an in-person interview you can literally see the disappointment in the interviewer’s face before you even shake hands.

    Maybe employers/recruiters/interviewers need to work on their style, and learn to separate job-related skills and traits from those things that won’t impact an employee’s job performance, but for whatever reason seem to be weighted more heavily than genuine skills and experience.

    • Because the people writing articles want to help you actually change the things you can control. Laying blame elsewhere doesn’t help anyone. The truth is, it’s a mix. I could talk about some employers discriminate, how some employers treat people poorly, or how there’s some luck involved too. None of that helps you get a job. I tell it how it is and I share info that actually helps people change what they’re doing to boost their odds of getting hired.

  6. The company I worked for closed (after 8 years of employment) at the end of June. I’ve been on 8 face to face interviews and 4 phone interviews. I did get an offer from one but declined due to low pay. I’m getting frustrated as to why I can’t seem to closed the deal in the interview. I’ve tried to do all the things you listed in your article but no luck. I’m starting to become paranoid, wondering if it’s my age (mid-40’s), ethnicity, weight or something else. I’m currently working 2 seasonal jobs so I prefer not to pick up a 3rd part-time job. What should I do?

  7. Im a good worker, have a dependable car, always finish and complete tasks the right way and Im courteous to everyone. I dont understand why after hundreds of applications that I have filled out that no body cares about hiring me?

  8. Hi Biron can I show you my Resume, can you let me know what you think of it please. I have applied to many of jobs and had loads of interviews, I get really nervous in interviews, and I begin to stutter and wonder why I applied, and I know why I applied. Is there any help that you can offer me, because I have been unemployed for 3 months and it sucks.

    • I’m not able to help one-on-one, unfortunately. Out of fairness to clients who have engaged my services in the past, I don’t offer free one-on-one resume help. And I’m also not available for paid coaching at the moment, so I can’t help individually.

      I do have a lot of free resources you can check out, on writing your resume and getting interviews:


      As well as interview preparation and succeeding in your interviews:


  9. I need help finding a job meself, but i’m looking for a simplicity of a job, one that doesn’t remotely require ANY TYPE OF MULTITASKING WHATOSEVER. For example I’m looking for jobs how they used to be in the old day and age perhaps when my father was young in the 70s there was a whole plethora of separate job positions, stocker only (only stocks and faces items, doesn’t need to help the customer unless they approach him/her in the aisle they currently were working on) , cashier only (checks the customer out and greets and shows a company attitude) bagger only (bags the customers groceries or other purchases), helper(helps customers finds items or customer service area) i’m looking for basically one SIMPLE POSITION, LIKE WHAT I’VE DESCRIBED ABOVE. BUT NOW IT SEEMS EVERY THINGS ARE COMBINATION OF AREAS NOW, THAT MEANS CASHIER, STOCKER, HELPER AND BAGGER ARE COMBINED INTO ONE BIG POSITION CALLED SALES ASSOCIATE WHICH PISSES PEOPLE LIKE ME OFF, I DON’T HAVE ANY SOCIAL SKILLS AT ALL. THAT IS THE MAIN REASON WHY WE NEED SEPARATE POSITIONS, CASHIER, HELPER, BAGGER, STOCKER. RATHER THAN COMBINED THEM ALL INTO ONE POSITION.

    • Industries and jobs change over time. You need to adapt. Working as a cashier does require some social skills – greeting the customer, answering questions, etc. I don’t see why you can’t also do a few other tasks in order to land a job! But if your attitude is that you want things to be how they always were, and you refuse to adapt or change, then yes – you’re going to struggle to find a job. Employers are pretty good at judging your attitude in the interview and if you seem angry, bitter, resentful, etc., you will not get hired.

  10. I have a friend that can’t get a job due that he has a past police record with two strikes he has worked in construction two years ago and does pays his taxs but he has been unemployed since and can’t find a job.What to do.

  11. Who wrote this? Someone with a job. Have you ever tried running your current resume through your company’s ATC? You’d be rejected. Modern technology has made it easier to weed out gender, race and age… before all this technology, submitting a job application where all the sensitive information such as salary, graduation dates, race and social security was provided. Doing in reverse allows for discrimination and we keep doing it!

  12. I’ve been looking for work 5-6 months now, and haven’t gotten a single interview. I’ve gotten professional help with 1 and 2, I’ve applied to literally every opening I qualify for within an hour’s drive, some I don’t quite qualify for and some I’m over qualified for. There aren’t any new openings anymore, certainly not 5 a week. I have mental health issues that make it impossible to go back to school for extra qualifications or to get the normal part-time job in food service or retail. The local temp agency for my field has my resume, but they haven’t found anything for me either. I’m seriously losing it here.

    What are my options before I start looking out of town? There’s one unpaid internship I qualify to apply for in 2 months, but will that experience really help me, or is it just a waste of time?

  13. Sometimes the job hunt is like feeling around in the dark, hoping to find something good. I can’t tell you how happy I am to find legitimate advice on finding a new job. My search is taking longer than I expected, but I refuse to get bogged down with emotion about it. Thank you for sharing great action steps for improving my approach to the hunt.

  14. I can’t even get to the interview. My resume is customized as is my cover letter (which is awesome) but my lack of college degree gets me deleted right away.

  15. I’ve been actively applying for part-time jobs (I’m school age) since October of 2017. The most I have ever gotten back is when I received an email from a McDonald’s location after I applied online, telling me that they did not have any positions available but would contact me if something came up (I never heard from them again after that). I completed a certificate course in 2017 where one of the main criteria was to create multiple resumes accurate to ourselves tailored for different job openings – I passed that course with flying colours so I am assuming it’s not my resume. I have applied to as many places as I can within a certain area (I don’t have a means to travel without public transport/my parents taking me there, so I have been limited to a roughly 15km radius). I’ve never gotten to the interview stage. I know that I can be hired and would be an asset (especially considering that in Australia minimum wage increases based on age, and I’m only 16 meaning I would be a inexpensive employee), and I’ve made that clear on my resume, yet I still get no job interviews. What am I doing wrong?

  16. The larger issue is one of being overqualified and not finding the correct social connections. I’ve been trying to find the right social connections for over 25 years. The other piece is that there are no current/obvious job openings in my field – I would need to wait until someone dies or retires. If one is too unique, too much of a specialist – no one will bother looking at you. My skill set is ‘unusual’ for an American, and I cannot work in the EC because I have no direct relatives nor EC citizenship. I’ve already spent 8 years in China, and my skill set was not recognized. In fact there are more examples of ageism and racism in China, if you are a 5th generation Chinese-American, born/raised in the US, who just happens to be more competent in Mandarin, Cantonese and some other dialects than native speakers, most Chinese will consider one as incompetent in English or other European/Slavic languages And yes, I have near native fluency in French, German, Spanish, Latin, Russian and Italian – of which I teach, in addition to Japanese, Korean and Arabic. and Comparative/Computational Linguistics. And yes, I still cannot find a job with a non-profit, the federal government nor the armed forces.

  17. Hi, I am a recent graduate and have no experience in what I want to do, partly because no one would hire for what I wanted to do in college, and partly because I wasn’t sure. I did psychology and the only job that was ever posted was Autism Therapist; not something that appealed to me at all, and would probably make me very miserable so I decided not to apply for them, so I just did retail in college, but that is not what I want to do. Most jobs require experience, and I don’t have that. I also do not know anyone who works in any of the industries I am interested in. Well, I do know someone but they live on a different continent so not very helpful.

  18. Regarding references:

    Yeah, but they make you list ALL of your previous employers phone numbers and ask if they can contact them.

    The job interview process is rigged.

    • They usually only call those employers to confirm dates of employment and job title. Your past employers won’t reveal more anyway, for fear of lawsuits. (If they reveal something that costs you a future job, it could get messy for them, believe it or not). A reference check is different – you’re giving them the name of someone you know. But when they call past employers and the receptionist picks up, they’re only going to confirm that you worked there, and your dates/job title.

  19. Okay, so I have been working for this private practice since 2013. I resigned in 2019; However, I continued to work remotely for them even whilst moving to another state. Technically I am still employed and have income coming, yet I have been looking for new work/jobs nonstop and no one has responded. On my resume, I don’t have a full address even though I have been residing in the new state since January. The reason is that I am in the process of relocating back to my old city. So on my resume, I only list the area that I will be moving back to and the State and zip, could this be the cause? Also, some of the jobs I am applying for are about an hour or so from my local city that is listed on the resume, could this also be a problem? I have sent 20 applications in, no interviews and or call backs, I have adjusted and detailed my resume even to what skills and abilities the employer is seeking. I am also aware that hundreds of candidates submit their applications and that one person has to stand out from the rest. I don’t understand this though. What is going on? I am getting frustrated. I also want to point out that it’s only been a week since I have been job seeking, yet I believe strongly that my experience and mindset along with attributes that I am an excellent employee and would think someone, anyone would call after reviewing my resume, What is going on?

  20. I’m over 25 and failed a highly reputed college bachelors degree in Economics , for being unable to clear a couple of subjects after multiple attempts. I dropped out, decided to rather start working. I took multiple internships and a below average paying job for a year with a retail, an e-commerce start up. My role was extremely diverse yet more into PR and marketing. I thought fashion industry was the best bet for me. However one year into the office politics and slavery, i was so done with it. I left on bad terms and decided to start my own clothing business, which failed too since I lost interest in the whole thing and didn’t want any risk and headache having weak finances of my own. After quitting I got enrolled in my bachelors again, in English literature, from distance learning. I just completed my first year exams and looking for jobs. However in last few months I have become extremely passionate to work for an NGO, for conservation of environment and wildlife and I would want to dedicate my career to a bigger cause having love for nature. I am undergoing a major career change and I don’t know where to start with. Getting a job in the e-commerce business won’t be very difficult but won’t serve my purpose either. Getting to work for a Conservation Trust is difficult for I stand below qualified and inexperienced. I’m in a severe dilemma right now, with rents mounting up. I will be taking my Masters in Environmental Education but I cannot afford to stay unemployed for next two years of my bachelors. Please help !

    • You said, “Getting a job in the e-commerce business won’t be very difficult but won’t serve my purpose either.”

      E-commerce is a fast-growing industry with great opportunities. And you’re confident you can get a job in this space again.

      And you have bills to pay and don’t want to stay unemployed.

      Seems like a pretty easy decision for me. I’d go work in e-commerce and you can look for a job you’re more passionate about (like an NGO) once you’re employed and not worrying about bills.

  21. Hi, my situation is I am trying to get back into the job market after homeschooling my children for many years. As you described I have thoroughly explained my time away, a company that no longer exists, and a shady employer I had before I took the time off. I did include all I have learned from educating and guiding others and illustrated what I can bring to the table that someone younger can’t. But my job search has been 4 years in the making now and I am spent and panicing. I have tailored my resume so many times and have applied to everything available within my skill range with the realistic mindset that I will have to start out at the bottom again to get going. I have sent in hundreds of copies of applications and many multiples to the same companies. The interviews I’ve had I was confident I got the job a few times only to never hear from them again. Not even a courtesy rejection email.
    You can’t tell me that companies aren’t abusing this hands off approach to just bypass having to treat people like human beings. There is something very broken happening here if viable workers like myself who want to work are being rejected. With these methods I was able to bring my 74 yr old father up to speed and find hime employment. My plans to find employment 4 years ago and save have evaporated. If I don’t find anything inside the next 2 years I will be homeless. So you can image I have taken every bit of advice to heart.
    What do I do now? Give up?

  22. Ok, now tell me what to do when all I ever get is an unpaid ‘training day’ where I work for a full shift, after which I am told that my work is good, but they’re not gonna employ me

    • I’d recommend never doing free work for employers. They shouldn’t even be asking for this. Say “no”.

      Here’s a solution:

      Offer to show them examples of past work instead. No time required on your end, and still a good indicator of what you’re capable of.

  23. 8th year of job search. 15 total interviews. Close to 1,000 jobs applied for. Your advice does not address me problem. Just want you to know.

    • The issue is your resume. I can tell right now. 15 interviews in that amount of time and jobs applied for is not even close to enough. You should be focusing 100% on your resume, getting a professional to look at it, or hiring a coach if you can afford one.

  24. I’m having such a hard time getting a job. I’ve been out of college for a few years now and just finished an internship in the field i I want to work in. The experience I got isn’t even helping. I’ve had a couple companies ask me to intern for them (unpaid) when I applied for full time jobs, and that is crazy! I just completed an internship, I need to make money now…why can’t people understand that? I get calls for interviews and am constantly bait and switched into positions I didn’t apply for. On one of my rejections, I was told that I wasn’t selected for the position not because of my qualifications, but because I was “too young”…is that even legal? I’m so tired of this. I don’t have the money to move and I don’t know what to do. I’m in desperate need of a job and no one will even take a chance on me

    • If you’re not getting interviews then your resume isn’t good enough compared to the people you’re competing against. Your resume has one job: getting you invited to interview. You should focus 100% on your resume.

      It’s either that, or you’re applying for jobs that you’re not qualified for.

      You could also be facing age discrimination. (I don’t know how old you are or what you have on your resume that might indicate age, but I’m just giving you the possible causes/reasons you can’t get interviews and therefore can’t find a job).

  25. I have been unemployed since January 2019 and still cannot find a job. I have redone my resume 4 times and still no one will hire me. I get no interviews, no calls, nothing. I have completed assessments and even completed all criteria for a 911 position just to be told by the Psych Counselor that my test results show that I do not follow the rules. I can’t understand that since I always follow the rules because I am too afraid of the consequences for not doing the right thing. I am over 50 and quit my job because my boss accused me of lying for something he told me to do and yells and cusses all day long at the top of his lungs at you for his mistakes and the Texas Workforce Commission doesn’t see this as grounds for claiming unemployment…they seeing nothing wrong with the BOSS screaming and cussing at you.

    Nevertheless, I need a job. I have applied for clerical positions, sales clerk positions, call center positions…I get no response other than “thank you and sorry”.

  26. Can’t find a job to save my life. Uber and Lyft are my new best friends at 60 years old!

  27. I fully agree with the person who stated that on applications it should not be legal to ask dates of graduation and so forth…things that can reveal your age. I was told to take dates off of my resume and it doesn’t matter because these days not only do you need to submit a resume on line but you have to fill out an application of which you cannot omit dates or the application will not go through. I know my issue is because of my age as I have never had an problem getting a job. I lost my previous job due to eliminating those of us in certain positions and since then though I have so much experience I cannot secure a job full time and my colleagues agree with me that it has to be due to my age which is now 60. I am in good health and have been told I do not even look my age. I am feeling so depressed about my situation and using the money designated for retirement to live on at the moment.

  28. I live in a different country which I studied. I’m here over 2 years and finished my masters degree in December 2018 and I was looking a job since that time. Not only in my sector, also other sectors that I have 2 years experience and skills. I’m applying too many jobs, everyday. My job experiences are from my country but I did internships and volunteerings in this country. I have different resumes for the sectors and different cover letters for the jobs. Nobody is calling, just got 2 interviews, I was very enthusiastic and the manager looked like the same but didn’t get the jobs. So, I don’t know what is the problem.

  29. In California if you don’t speak Spanish or Hispanic you are doomed for being considered for a job. Especially if your interview er or HR is Hispanic the jobs are saved for their people no matter what degrees you have or all the efforts you have made. #FACTS!!!

    • This may be true for some industries/jobs but this certainly isn’t true across the board. Look at Silicon Valley. Tech companies aren’t expecting their software developers to speak Spanish. I guarantee that.

      California is a huge state with hundreds of industries. Different people will have difference experiences but your statement is not going to be true for everyone.

      Is this something you’ve personally struggled with? And for what types of jobs?

  30. I will like any company to get in contact we me if you have a job available from janitorial, maintenance, data entry etc

  31. they are scared that you are better than them they are terrified that you are able to do it netter than them … or the other is overqualified !!!!

  32. age discrimination is illegal but it does happen ,,, as with any other types of discrimination. there isn’t anything a person can do about there age except to point out the benefits of being older …reliability less likely to change employers, having spent many years getting a degree from the university of life. If an employer is illegally using age discrimination then consider why would you want to work for them in the first place as it shows what type of employer they are.

  33. Thanks information is all well and good. However, it’s still frustrating. I have been out of a job for a year. I have had multiple interviews, customize my Resume for EVERY ONE, have great feedback, followed up with a great thank you note, then receive that wonderful rejection email. So, I ask you…what’s the issue? Why can’t I find a job? Waiting for your answer I remain…

  34. My husband’s company was “purchased” (taken over), going from an employee owned to a publicly traded corporate giant. He and his manager were the only 2 in their department for 16 years and my husband always had excellent reviews, positive feedback and great working relationships with his internal customers. After the takeover, his manager was forced into retirement and my husband went for over a year without a manager. In that time he had a division manager who took a very bad personal attitude against him, and on his next review told him his performance was the worst she’d ever seen and froze his pay for 2 years. Within a month he had a new manager who knew nothing about that department, the work that was done, the type of coding used, the internal customers or the way it had been run very well for the last 16 years. He did the same thing to my husband as the division manager and refused to speak to him unless it was to tell him he was being written up, something that had NEVER occurred and was not warranted even now. Internal customers began questioning what was happening and then my husband was banned from speaking to them, he was forced out of his job by them making it so bad for him he quit. Leaving him with no unemployment, benefits or anything after so many dedicated years. We know they are giving him bad reviews but can’t prove it, we have also been told people’s jobs have been threatened if they give him a reference. So now because of this, he has been out of work for 1.5 years and goes all the way through every interview with flying colors but then gets ghosted. Any advise besides “hire an attorney” is appreciated. We do not have the funds for an attorney with him being out of work, it’s a lovely catch 22 the division manager has caused and as much as I’d love to sue them my husband just wants to work again.

  35. I have a very strange & wide set of skills in Electronics plus a vast amount of experience. One of the most important things for me is the technology the prospective company is involved in because I need to be challenged technically. Consequently, there are only a few companies in my vicinity which interest me in my job search but one in particular has a position which has really peaked my interest plus I am really well qualified for it. I have tailored the resume & the cover letter & submitted it but no calls. What I have a real problem with is the follow up call to the HR department. I am an outgoing person with a confident misdemeanor but being of British origin & living in Canada (the ever so polite British simply do not do this sort of thing) I have a real problem with this sort of “cold call” phoning so I simply cannot bring myself to follow up. How long after the initial application is too long? Are there any other tips to rev me up so I actually feel comfortable making this silly phone call?

  36. So in point 3 it says be prepared to explain why you were fired then implies that you should not tell the truth & blame yourself when it really was the fault of the employer…Basically that you should lie…

  37. I am really uncomfortable commenting on why I have had an employment gap. I was bringing my husband to chemo and then was ultimately widowed… I have tried telling potential employers this but, it feels like I either don’t care enough (when I am attempting to be cut and dry) or that I want their sympathy (when I am honest, and this really hurts). I am always asked about the gap as it was significant (8 months) and I am honest about it….
    I do have a job currently, but I am looking for a better position. Any suggestions?

    • I’d tell the truth but in very general terms. For example I might say, “I was dealing with an illness in the family during that period.” Sorry you had to go through this, by the way.

    • This isn’t how to get help. Ask specific questions. Nobody can help because your comment is so vague/general. You really need to ask for specific things if you want anyone to stop and try to help in any way.

  38. I believe that an employer who can’t read between the lines of a factual resume rather than a contrived one, will be flaky to work for. Avoid airy fairy employers like the plague, they will either go broke or sack you on a whim. You need straight forward pragmatic employers who are real about staff and can size you up because they are a good judge of character from the get-go. One of the biggest mistakes employers make is tiring out their staff with awkward untenable work times and shifts.

  39. So, how to I get a job if I’m an introvert with severe social anxiety? Never heard of anyone hiring someone who avoids social interaction, never answers phone and hates working in teams.

  40. I’m 17 years old and I start college in a week. I worked in a retail store as a sales associate for about 11 months but I moved to a new city only about 10 miles from my old home but since I don’t drive 10 miles is pretty far. I’ve been trying to find a new job since June but I just can’t land an interview or even get a call. It’s pretty frustrating because my parents are constantly hounding me to find a job because a lot of positions near me require me to be 18 years of age. I’m also a bit shy so I’m not great with calling the employer. Could that be an issue? (sorry for telling my life story lol)

    • 10 miles in not a great distance .. you could easily cycle that yourself.. I cycled further than that in all weathers .. how do you think that before the workers were able to afford cars did they get to work … cycle walk to work keep you fit so that’s just a lazy excuse.. as for being 17 you got a lot of life experiences to learn yet

    • my advice skip college and just get a job and work your way up in the company, or do college at night. college now days is a money sucker, practically everyone has a degree I have a bachelor’s in business admin and I am either too qualified or not enough experience. Trade school is where it is at.

    • I agree, or get company funded college reimbursement. It isn’t so much the degree as the paper. Employers want REAL life experience. I recruited for both types of colleges, private trade types and the traditional. Most employers would tell me at our job fairs, give me a person who is pursuing the degree while working and has vital work experience is someone they would PREFER to hire over a college grad with NO work experience

  41. Hello, I’ve done all the above seeked professional assistance, with resumes, interviewing classes, questions ask and how to answer question, cover letters with body language. Etc. Still its been 4 months. Know about to get eviction notice. I’m on careerbuilder everything else.
    What else can I do

  42. I am 9 months into my job search and boy is it frustrating. I have a Bachelors Degree, 10+ years experience and super intelligent and I can’t get a call back let alone an interview.

    I have done all the steps above except for the letter to explain my gap, which has been nothing but applying for jobs. I have applied for hundreds of jobs so that is not the issue. Plus for the good jobs I apply for I have made a connection with the job poster in various ways and that hasn’t helped. I get told my resume is impressive but I have had a lot of jobs over the years for various reasons. I am thinking that might be an issue but that has been mainly due to not finding the right job.

    I have even used connections of friends and family at various companies and nothing from that either.

    I am just at a loss of why I can’t get calls and I know sometimes these take time. But each day my confidence is shot.

  43. Hi,
    It nice topic for me. I did all above suggestion , but still not yet get the job.
    In this moment I would like to asking and need your advice following my questions:
    – Refer to my experience 19 years worked for various manufacturers company with position as Procurement, Sales & Marketing support, Logistics Control , Customer Care and the last as Logistics & Administration Manager . what kind of job position that should I apply?
    ( the last position I have shorted term employment because of I must resigned to take care of my mom who have sick and needs special attention)
    – Should I do downgrade refer to my age since many companies have required employee below than 35 years old ( now I’m 39 years old)

    Warm regards

  44. I have been filling out applications and only got one interview out of it with best buy. There were 5 other people all scheduled within the same time frame so I knew I had no chance there. It is to the point that I am going to just say I worked at toys r us up until last month when they closed. That should account for the gaps on my resume where I left my job at the time to attend school. I am even going to say that I was a manager. The point is every one here should try it as it can not hurt. Just get a reference to say you guys worked together and you were invaluable to the company.

  45. I graduated last year and still haven’t found a job. I’ve put In So many applications and only had one place call me for an interview. Unfortunately I was busy that day and I called back. I never go to speak to the manager and they totally kinda ignored the fact that they asked me for an interview and quickly wasn’t interested. I went in to talk to the manager and still the same reaction. Other than that I don’t get any emails or calls. I desperately need a job. I live with my boyfriend and I want to help pay bills and I haven’t had a job before and I’m just wondering if that’s the reason why I am never contacted. I keep being told you have to call and check on your application or go in after a while and talk to the manager about the application process. I did that twice and no one seemed too impressed. Since I don’t have any experience, I am often looking for jobs that aren’t to complicated. I also think I am not being contacted because I don’t have an experience and no one wants to train a new employee.

    • Hi Natasha,

      There are definitely companies who want to train a new employee. There are thousands of companies hiring entry level roles. I’m not saying they’re easy to find, but they definitely exist.

      Now, if you’re not getting interviews, it’s a problem with your resume and cover letters. Try to send fewer applications, but “tailor” it more to each specific employer. Take your time and send personalized messages telling them why you’d love to work for them.

      If they can tell your cover letter is a “cut and paste”, then you didn’t customize it enough.

      That’s what I’d recommend.

  46. This is a lot of great information and insight! However…….in my field of Higher Education this doesn’t apply. No matter if you do everything you’ve recommended, most hiring managers have already made decisions of whom they want to fill a position! They will claim EE/AA employer but still use subtle discrimination in hiring practices! It’s really depressing!

  47. I’ve applied at many places, even companies that find people jobs. I’ve only had ONE interview since 2016. I’m just looking for a second job OR if it works out, is like to change careers. I’ve been at my job for 23.5 years. Ive noticed that they are slooooowly trying to.make sure everyone else can do my job but not train me on covering others. So why won’t other jobs see my longevity and take a chance??

  48. I graduated from college with a criminal justice degree. I am looking for jobs in that field and similar. I have been doing job applications for almost a year now and have only had one interview. My resume is short because I have had only one job (where I still work now)

    • Hi Keanda,

      Applying for a year and only getting one interview is a sign that something’s definitely not right.

      A short resume (1 page) is fine. But it sounds like there’s something that’s NOT working on your resume. So I’d look to make big changes.

      It’s either that, or the types of jobs you’re applying for.

  49. Why is it that this kind of articles is usually written by people who got their jobs thanks to some friend or family member?

    • I have gotten GREAT jobs with zero connections. I found my first job as a Recruiter on a local craigslist posting. No friends, no family members, just consistent effort and not giving up.

    • Interesting that you know that without being there. It couldn’t have been my effort, my resume, my cover letter, my interview skills, or anything else. Why bother with anything if it’s all luck? (hint: it’s not)

  50. I dont know how you can promise all of these poor people they will get jobs if they keep trying. Sounds like discrimination is rife from employers. You cant get a job unless you know the right people and look like a model. Cant br over weight or too old just like a model. Country is stuffed. This is so unfair theres nothing for good hardworking honest people to do. This is rude.

    • What would you recommend I do, Todd? Tell people to give up?

      There are jobs out there.

      I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s difficult, frustrating and time-consuming. Nothing about this is fun. I totally get it.

      But my job is to give the best tips I can so you avoid mistakes, don’t give up, and keep trying because there ARE jobs out there.

      Somebody somewhere got hired today. Without knowing anyone in the company or having an “inside” edge/advantage.

      But they didn’t do it by quitting.

    • As frustrated as I am in my job search, I must say that you’re 100% correct…somebody, somewhere got hired!

  51. I am having NO luck in my search at all! I quit my job from a prestigious non profit organization because my boss developed a very unhealthy obsession for me and eventually started to sabotage my work because she began to feel threatened by me. I loved my job an did everything I could to make it work but despite extreme efforts on my part and effort from executive leadership (CEO, CFO, and COO.) Since they were unwilling to fire her but found solutions such as demoting her, moving me to a different office and putting her on permanent house arrest (she had to work at home so she “couldn’t bother me”) were unsuccessful, I had no choice but to quit to keep my sanity.

    No it has been three months, about 200 applications later, only 4 interviews and no prospects. Each cover letter is highly researched and tailored to the company I am applying to. My proposed salary is lower than what others in my field make. I have seven years of experience, 12 years of training, a Master’s degree and highly specialized technical training but most applications go without hearing anything back. I follow up after two weeks but it usually leads to a rejection.

    I have written thank you notes that stay after the interview to write and leave at the reception desk to deliver to the interviewers after I have left.

    When I do get invited to an interview often times I hear “you’re so talented, are you going to be happy here or are you going to be bored working here” which doesn’t make sense if they think I’m talented then why wouldn’t they want me on their teams?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

    • Hi Dani,

      I talk about this issue a lot in my paid products/guides – employers will not hire you if they’re worried you’ll get bored or not be challenged. Because that means you’re likely to leave.

      A lot of time and resources go into hiring and training someone. If they have any concern you’ll leave within the first year, they’re unlikely to hire you.

      So this is a common concern employers are going to have, and something you need to come up with a good answer for if you want to get job offers.

      They don’t want you to stay for 4 months and then leave, regardless of how talented you are.

    • These people don’t know if a person going to leave or not, that’s not their decision. I wish companies would stop making “decisions” for candidates when they really don’t know the outcome!

    • This is how the modern world works. This is why your auto insurance rates go up if you’ve received six speeding tickets and been in two accidents already.

      They don’t know if you’ll be in an accident again or not, but they can figure out the probability.

      Employers are able to look at their workforce as a whole and make predictions on what type of candidate is likely to remain with the company for a long time.

      That’s just how organizations make decisions. Because like you said – they can’t magically know what you’ll do as an individual. They follow the patterns/trends/probabilities.

      Nothing you do will change this fact. But what you can do is try to seem less risky to them.

  52. It is extremely frustrating! I relocated in September 2017 for personal reasons and left my previous job on good terms in another city, and have former supervisors and a close co-worker who said they would be happy to be references for my job search here. I have a Masters in my field (health/nutrition education) and cannot get a job offer..even after having second interviews a few times and seemingly doing everything right! I also know that my career focus is somewhat narrow so it is really difficult to find something to even apply to as much as I’d like. I’m in my late 20s so it doesn’t seem like the problem of age either. Just really hard to stay positive with the lack of opportunity and lack of offers.

  53. I am completely frustrated with job searching. I have had my resume revised by “professionals”. Each time the focus is different. As a HR professional, I some things about the ATS; however, adding in keywords from the job description while maintaining a two page resume for20 plus years of experience is near impossible. And lets not forget we are expected on those few pages to provide stats on accomplishments. I am hesitating of spending more money on having a resume made- especially if I have to change it to the job that I am applying for.
    I am frustrated that either I receive not qualified for a position that requires a Bachelor’s degree when I have Masters. I am frustrated that the interviews that I have secured have made offers for $9.00 and one for $10.50. I am frustrated as a military spouse employers do not understand the moving around. Frustrated that employers know that applicants often do not have the luxury of staying unemployed long term as they wait for the ideal job. Therefore, employers know they can pay particular applicants far less because they cannot afford to be unemployed.

  54. I AM desperate! How am I supposed to hide that? I have tailored my resume and cover letters, applied to any number of jobs however unrelated they are to one another or to what I really want, I have done research, sucked up to interviewers, given them the answers they supposedly want, and I still have no job! It’s been five months. What is so terrible and undesirable about me? I just don’t understand how the world works. I don’t understand how to fit in, let alone succeed and progress. I am so very tired of spending hours every single day searching for jobs that aren’t there, of applying for jobs that I don’t want and STILL not getting them.

  55. Been looking for work since July 2017. Been on 30 interviews still no offer. I had 1 job that fell through due to credit.

    I’m pretty sure I’m doing everything right in the interviews. I show up 10-15 minutes early, dressed in suit, freshly showered, freshly shaved, nails trimmed. I answer questions with confidence, sit up straight, make eye contact, ask questions at the end. Follow up.
    It’s inconceivable to me that someone that has a degree, clean cut, well mannered, clean driving record no drug use and no criminal record be pretty much unhirable. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be out of work now for the 30th week.

  56. That’s interesting, but what if I can’t find jobs that suit me? What if jobs in my field don’t exist in my area? Moving and commuting are not options. I’m someone who hasn’t really failed to get a job, but someone who can’t find one that’s worth my time. How can I find jobs that actually pay a worthwhile wage, or at least fall within my purvey? I’ve been unemployed for most of my adult life because of injury and principled stances, but I find the problem in gaining employment has nothing to do with interviews or callbacks because I simply can’t find a suitable job to apply for. I don’t think it’s worth it to take “any job” to quote “get by” because you get trapped, and you end up having to do that job just support yourself. Then, you have no time for entrepreneurship or recreation. Thoughts?

  57. I’m currently employed, but not happy with the pay and I’ve been looking for a job for the past year. I get very few responses and feel like there’s some intangible that companies are that they don’t like. I believe my resume fits the job but yet I either receive no reply or get the standard rejection email. It’s VERY frustating.

    • If you’re getting rejected over and over, your resume is the issue. Sorry if this sounds blunt but I don’t know how else to say it. Are you tailoring your resume to fit their specific requirements and priorities on the job description? And are you putting specific facts, metrics and accomplishments on your resume to show them what you’ve done in the past (not just what you were responsible for)? That’s the biggest adjustment you can make probably.

  58. There are a hundreds of ways to skin the cat. All I can say is keep trying and don’t give up.

    Good article to read.
    Good luck everyone.

  59. When I was laid off, I was provided with a service that helped me update/customize my resume, etc. I have a bachelor’s degree and over 23 years of Project Management experience, plus my PMP certfication, etc. Here is the problem that I’m running into…I’m too old. I just turned 48 this month and I have been told during interviews that I am flat out…To Old!?! I usually get rejections saying that I am, “Overqualified”.

  60. I am having a problem with #1. I am not getting any call backs or interviews. I have a B.S. in Business Management and a great deal of management experience under my belt. I even had my resume and cover letter professionally written to give me better chances. I am young and motivated but I need a better management job than what I have. I am also looking to get out of the industry I am currently in. The whole process has me thinking I need to go back to school to get my M.B.A. Any suggestions or insight?

    • Don’t go pay for an M.B.A. because you can’t get the interviews you want. Keep changing things on your resume, testing, etc. Apply for a few different types of Management jobs (in fields you’d be interested in). This isn’t an exact science – you need to test. But getting an M.B.A. will probably not help. Companies want real-world experience when they hire a manager. If they want an MBA, they’ll send you to get one. Did the professional who wrote your resume have a guarantee? If you’re getting no interviews, you should go back to them and ask them to rewrite it. They didn’t succeed.

  61. Hi Biron, good article, which I saved to my favorites for future reference. It’s a tough market right now. I’m a licensed mechanical engineer, and because I was laid off I’ve been job hunting for 4 months. I’ve had two phone interviews, but nothing more than a phone interview. I do believe being 55 years of age is an issue, and I like your idea of making age clear in a cover letter. So, just bluntly state “I’m 55 years of age.”? Or is there a milder way of bringing up age in the cover letter? Just looking for ideas.

    • Hi Laird,

      Thanks for reading/commenting! If you’ve only had 2 interviews, it’s definitely an issue with your resume, cover letter, job applications, etc. 2 phone interviews isn’t enough. We need to get you way more :) So you’re right to be focusing on that.

      I’d test both ways. Send out a bunch of applications where you mention age, but then send some where you make absolutely no mention of it.

      Here’s an article on how to avoid age discrimination on your resume when applying:


      If you aren’t getting many phone interviews, clearly something isn’t working. And they can’t tell your age on a phonecall anyway.

      So even though it’s the opposite of your question… I’d want to see the results of a test where you DON’T reveal your age.

      If you do reveal it, I’d just say “I’m in my 50’s”. Sounds a little milder to me at least. Thoughts?

      Overall I think talking about age upfront can increase the odds you move from phone interviews to in-person interviews (and job offers). But right now we need to get you more phone interviews, and that might be accomplished by hiding age.

    • Thank you, Biron. I’ll continue to not reveal my age, and take another look at my resume. I have to put a cover letter together, which is something I probably should have done earlier. I appreciate the tips.

  62. Do they all look under the age of40? If so, its illegal ageism.
    I have even been asked how old I am in a job interview!
    I refuse to answer!

  63. Great article! I have a master’s degree in the area I am wanting to work in, I have updated my resume multiple times, I have explained “gaps” in employment, I have detailed my cover letter, I even tell what my future aspirations are and why, I have great references (two being mentors I worked closely with while obtaining my Master’s). However, it just seems like no one is interested. I’m almost at a loss. I even know of one person who was given a position at one place I have applied at hundreds of times and she doesn’t have a master’s and she hasn’t done anything with her undergraduate degree in almost 10 years and to top it off she’s been nothing more than a cashier and job hoped a lot… I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!

  64. The Economy is bad- do you think some of us might do everything right, just do not have the luck in this bad economy? It simply cannot grow with the population. And then there are jobs that taken over by machines

    • Hey Robert, what are you struggling with specifically? Are you sending out your resume and not getting responses? Are you going on interviews and not hearing back? There are usually one or two reasons you can’t find a job but nobody can help you without a bit more info.

  65. Good article Biron Clark. At first quick read there is one very obvious aspect missing …applying for the RIGHT jobs! Also, if you are looking to change career, you really need to explain this and why in your covering email. For many people, actively networking, tapping into your networks and finding people who can open doors for you by introducing you or championing your cause can make the difference.

  66. Interesting read that fills a lot of heads with “oh, if I just tried a little harder.” The sad reality for many of those “white males approaching 50,” is that the old horse isn’t even wanted in the pasture let alone pulling the plow.

    I’ve been a graphic designer for nearly 30 years. I started out creating menus and business cards using PageMaker on a 512K Fat Mac and outputting to a Laserwriter I. Now, while I know current design software, my “style” is dated and out of touch. Combined with age and old injuries slowing me down, I can’t find a job to save my life unless I want to deal with some young punk running circles around me for minimum wage. At 48, I believe minimum wage means minimum effort and ZERO responsibility or loyalty. Why the hell would I want to give experience worth $30-50 away for chump change?

    • Hey Brian,

      Why don’t you try finding freelance work as a graphic designer? Age won’t matter, you’ll be able to charge a fair rate for the results you deliver, etc.

      All it takes is picking up the phone or sending out some cold emails. Along with running this blog I’ve spent the past year building a freelance career myself as a copywriter & marketing consultant. Nobody once has asked my age and I’ve never provided a resume to anyone. Just a photo that they see on my website, etc.

  67. I’m 60 years old. Every time I meet with a hiring manager and/or supervisor’s they smile, cut the interview process short, and ask questions that do not pertain to the position which I’m applying for. What can I do?

    • Hi Douglas,

      What types of jobs are you looking for? What types of questions are they asking you in the interview before cutting it short.

      I’m not sure what I’d do to be honest. A lot of employers are scared to hire someone who is 60. I don’t agree with it and think that people in their 50’s and 60’s can bring some great things that younger people don’t have at all. Things that can really benefit the company.

      But I don’t have an easy solution for you unfortunately.

      You could try making your age clear in your cover letter. There are a few good employers out there who will want you, and that’s what you need to find. Forget the employers who don’t see the value you bring.

      It only takes one. You need one job. The statistics don’t matter.

      Telling them upfront will stop you from wasting time going on interviews where they don’t want to hire someone your age.

      And if you continue to not get job offers from interviews, you’ll know there’s another issue or another reason you can’t find a job. Does that make sense? Hope this helps a bit! Don’t give up, you WILL find a great employer who needs your skill set.

    • Your better off not letting them know how old you are till you meet with them. But online that’s almost impossible Funny they can’t ask your ‘age’ but they can ask your birthdate or graduation date That should be illegal too

    • I have the same issues with employeers. Age is the issue at hand. But,they wont say it. I would think of what I have to offer would sway there oppinion of age. Maturity has its benefits

    • I’m in the same boat. I had a position as a regional operations manager and the position was eliminated. I have over 33 years experience in operations. Employers can estimate your age based on the work experience listed on the resume. I’ll be 65 next month but have NO interest in retiring. I’m in excellent physical shape, I run and attend karate twice each week. Pretty obvious that age discrimination occurs.

    • They make billions a year that they just store overseas tax free, but they’re too terrified of hiring someone based on age. How is this situation even remotely okay?

  68. I have been looking for a job since January 2017, is that to long to still be unemployed? Also, I get atleast 2 interviews per week, every week, but still no job.
    I think I do good interviews, but that’s just much opinion. Don’t know what else to do.

    • Kathy,

      It’s not too long to be unemployed. Up to 6 months (and sometimes more) can happen. Job searches take time, and involve a bit of luck as well as skill (companies post jobs and then change their mind, etc.)

      But it’s obvious to me that if you are going on interviews every week and not getting hired, you are doing something very wrong in the interview.

      I recommend focusing entirely on that.

      Here’s an article I wrote about basic interview preparation:


      And if you want the best help out there, here’s a premium job interview preparation guide I put together. It’ll walk you through how to get ready for any interview step-by-step. But it’s not free. Just a warning :)


      Hope this info helps. Focus on interviews, and try to get feedback from the companies you’ve interviewed with so you can improve (even though it’s tough to get them to give honest feedback usually)

    • I am in the same boat. I get to the point of my references being checked and I hear nothing. I’ve been told on 3 different interviews that I interview very well and represent myself very well. They said I had great SAR responses. One job did the Microsoft Office assessment that I bombed because they expect you to use the ribbon. I use mostly shortcuts. The shortcuts are not acceptable for the assessments. I’ve reached out to my references to ask them how are they answering the questions. Not sure what’s the issue.

    • Hi Lorna,

      Usually it’s a done deal when it gets to reference checks. Something’s going seriously wrong here. I’d get new references ASAP or confront these people head-on and ask them if they’re comfortable and able to give 100% positive reviews about your work.

      The good news is you’re close! Keep going, you’ll get it!

    • what happens if you have exhausted all your references ???? and are unable to get any others where do you go to then ? you have used last employer the previous one to that previous to that all the way back to your first ever reference from your primary school teacher to the midwife that delivered you as a baby ??? when all your work colleagues friends associates etc have been exhausted too where do you go from then for references … also the longer a person is out of work then the less relevant the last employer is because you haven’t worked for them for some time and the company could have gone out of business themselves or the person you gave as a reference has died …. where do you go then ????

    • I see no replies yet. I’m in the same boat. References are all dead or long since moved away and I’ve not kept in touch in over 20 years, sort of thing.
      Question is how do you get a job with NO reference. That’s the million dollar question.

    • Hi Pamela,

      You need to reconnect with past references. Ask former bosses/supervisors to be a reference for you.

      Not keeping in touch for 20 years isn’t ideal, since you’ll always need a few good references. But if they managed you in the past, they’ll understand.

      Also, have you not worked for anyone more recently than 20 years?

      Go to the more recent supervisors/managers/colleagues first.

    • Hi Michael,

      I don’t understand what you mean by “exhausted”. Usually you find a few good references and keep using them (until you have newer people you’d prefer to use because they’ve worked with you more recently).

      Are people refusing to be a reference for you?

      Are they giving bad references?

      I don’t know what “exhausting” your references means.

    • I’ll chime in here. I’m self employed because I never found a job out of college, I don’t have any references because my professors are retired, and I’m not going to list the people I did an internship with for six months six years ago, or I otherwise to know them or trust them well enough to give me a good reference. Thats what no references means. I don’t know how HR people live in this fantasy world where there is always someone on the other end of the phone they can call up and ask about my last quarterly review.

    • You can use clients or co-workers as references, just make sure that they have a valid work related email address which states what organisation they work for (not social email addresses such as Google, Hotmail etcetera).

    • You need to get a friend to call up each of your referees posing as a HR manager at some fictitious company to see what is actually being said about you. You might get a nasty surprise & discover that someone you thought was being positive about you is actually painting a very negative picture. It happened to a friend of mine so he asked me to do just this for him. The problem was that by the time he figured out the problem, he had already tainted the best contacts in his networking list…

  69. I’ve done #1, #2, #3, and #5 in the first section and I’m still not getting interviews. How do I explain my job gaps when they’re from being unemployed? Why can’t I just say “I was looking for work” to explain them?

    • Hi Laura,

      You can just say “I was looking for work”. That’s fine. Being unemployed happens, and job hunting while unemployed is a good reason for a gap.

      How big are the gaps? Is it more than one gap?

      Are you applying for jobs that are a reasonable fit for your skills as well?

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