Tag Archives: Job Search

5 Reasons Why You Are Still Unemployed

The Great Recession is over and while job growth is still not at the chart topping rates of the early 2000s, jobs are out there and employers are hiring.

So, why are you still unemployed? After nearly a quarter of a century of helping people to find jobs and helping employers to find talent; I realize that matching the right person with the right job is difficult.

However, as a job search candidate there are many critical variables that you can control. Here are five reasons why you might be still unemployed.

1. You refuse to relocate.

The job recovery has not come to all parts of the country. Job seekers who are willing to relocate stand a better chance of matching with an employer in search of their skills.

2. You are applying for jobs exclusively on job boards.

Less than 50% of all open jobs are posted on job boards. Job seekers with a diversified job search strategy have more options. My post How to Tap The Hidden Job Market will provide details on getting off of the job board treadmill.

3. Your friends and family are unaware that you are looking for a job.

If the Great Recession has taught us anything, there is no shame if you are unemployed. Therefore, job seekers should tell everyone they know that they are looking. Your friends and family can be your best allies; by giving you an extra set of eyes and ears for opportunities. If you’re worried about being a bother; stop it. People love to help when there is a need; especially family and friends.

4. You are ineffectively using LinkedIn.

Sure, you have a LinkedIn profile; but, is it really getting you notice by recruiters? Are you using the site to find companies and hiring managers; long lost, but influential classmates and most importantly, jobs? A LinkedIn profile must also include a comprehensive strategy to leverage the entire tool to get you notice; and find the people that can lead you to the job of your dreams. My blog How to Get Noticed on LinkedIn is a great read as you start developing a LinkedIn job search strategy.

5. You are not networking

A U.S. Department of Labor study confirmed that a staggering 80% of all jobs are acquired via networking. Networking is the key to finding a job. Personal face to face networking and follow-up is the number one skill I teach my job search clients. I believe in networking and the power that it can bring to the job search. I have written extensively about networking.

Here are some posts that will turn you into the kind of networker that can find a job:

How To Network With LinkedIn

How to use LinkedIn to Build A Great Network,

The 10 Best Places for Career Networking

Fortune Favors the Prepared Networker

Thought Leadership

Final Thoughts: You Will Be Employed

Believe me. I have been unemployed and I know what it is like to mount a job search. The discouragement, uncertainty and lack of income can be overwhelming. However, I also know that no matter how long you have been unemployed, you can find a job. If you are guilty of one or more of the items listed in this post take heart. You can turn it around in an instant. How? A little understood fact about the job search process is that the candidate is really the one in charge. You can make it happen, and with God’s grace and mercy you will find a job.

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

❿ Traits of Highly Effective Recruiters

Thinking womanHighly effective recruiters are that rare breed  combining both the art and science of recruiting.  They are relentless in doing everything they can to produce great outcomes for candidates and company.   As both an active recruiter and a job search coach, I advise candidates to learn as much as they can about recruiting and what recruiters do.  I am honored that this blog is read by both candidates and recruiters, so it is my hope that both groups will learn from The 10 Traits of Highly Effective Recruiters.

Developing a Simple and Transparent Talent Acquisition Process Cycle (TAP-C)

Highly effective recruiters are dedicated to a simple and transparent talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) with a set of proactive milestones, deadlines and metrics to expedite finding top talent.  Regardless if they are in a corporate or search firm setting, recruiters are responsible for finding talent for lots of open positions.  That means the recruiter is processing tons of information, including resumes, phone calls, emails, searching candidate databases, conducting interviews, meeting with hiring managers and many other tasks.  So it goes without saying that all recruiters have a process to keep all the balls in the air.  However, what sets the Highly Effective Recruiters apart is they are devoted to a simple and transparent Talent Acquisition Process Cycle (TAP-C).  The TAP-C leverages the entire talent acquisition engagement and its stakeholders, hiring managers, recruiters and even candidates to a defined set of proactive milestones, deadlines and metrics designed to do one thing:  Find the best talent within forecast and within budget.

Committed to Salesmanship

Highly Effective Recruiters proactively understand the needs of their customers by becoming a trusted advisor leading them in the search for great talent.     Recruiting is selling.  A highly effective recruiter is always selling one or more of the following:

  • The recruiting process and candidates to hiring managers
  • The virtues of the company and the job to candidates
  • The need to stick to the recruiting process for all stakeholders in the face of a glitch

The highly effective recruiters are students of the traits of highly effective sales professionals. A commitment to extraordinary customer care is a key characteristic of the sales process. Highly effective recruiters master the art of customer care by identifying customers early in the recruiting cycle.

Maximize the Technology They Have No Matter How Bad It Is

Highly Effective Recruiters use technology smartly by diligently insuring that information is leveraged to empower the search instead of being dragged down by it.  Highly effective recruiters get the most out of technology regardless if their company just invested in a fancy new Applicant Tracking System or are using a 1999 Palm Pilot to keep track of applicants. One way to do this is to build a value added living database of clients and candidates leveraged  with social media tactics to ensure high quality and constant two way contact and dialogue..

Man Thinking Thought Leadership

Highly Effective Recruiters use thought leadership to build a personal and professional brand as an authority gaining enhanced influence with hiring managers, candidates and within the talent acquisition community  Highly effective recruiters advance the profession by sharing their expertise with the greater talent acquisition and business community.   They write blogs, books, and publications.   They speak at events before civic groups and students.  They start LinkedIn discussion groups, book clubs and websites.

Ask smart questions

Highly Effective Recruiters ask smart questions to gain information to persuade rally people to the cause. .  In his new book, “To Sell Is Human,” best-selling author Daniel H. Pink cites studies showing that questions are more powerful than statements. The reason: you engage another person’s heart and mind more strongly. You get him or her thinking about the ideal answer – and then all the steps necessary to get there. By being less dogmatic, you let people on your team build game plans that they believe in, rather than trapping them in a helpless state until you issue your next command.

Networking Girl Smart Networkers

Highly Effective Recruiters understand that a network is more than just a collection of names in a database.  Instead, they are committed to a smart networking lifestyle leveraging social media and old-fashion personal connections to build strong, active, and productive networks.  

Building Trust Through Authentic Communications

Highly Effective Recruiters are committed to higher standard of communication with everyone in the talent acquisition life cycle.  The recruiting profession is plagued by a lack of authentic communication by its members.  Hiring mangers distrust recruiters because they over-promise, under deliver, or fail to lead the acquisition of talent due to the absence of a creditable process.  Candidates distrust recruiters because of their failure to return phone calls, unrealistic painting of job and the company, along with their inability to set out a clear and reliable path for their recruitment.  And, let’s face it, there are some recruiters who flat out lie about an entire range of things, including the question candidates want to know the most… “Why was I not selected?”   Highly Effective Recruiters know that there is a better way and the better way is called Trust.  Highly Effective Recruiters know that Trust is the lubricant of the talent acquisition engine and authentic communications with everyone in the talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) is the refinery that will produce Trust..

In practice, the higher standard of authentic communications is achieved with a set of strategies, tactics, and actions that the Highly Effective Recruiter has dedicated herself and has persuaded all stakeholders in the talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) to follow.  Many of the strategies, tactics, and actions are the same traits covered and endorsed in this post.  Those traits and a few others are listed again as part of the authentic communications package.

  • Develop a talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) to include candidate communication deadlines.
  • Ask smart questions of hiring managers find out what they are really looking for in a candidate.
  • Never Lie – Candidates, even internals to the company, can handle the truth. Hiring Managers, even the most difficult ones, can handle the truth.  Highly Effective Recruiters establish themselves as a hub for communications by proactively setting up communication loops to obtain information, forecasting and controlling candidate flow, along with anticipating and setting up means to answer the most pressing candidate question: “Why was I not selected?”

Fall in with Love the Metrics

Recruiting can produce a treasure trove of metrics that can be used to measure progress, improve process and deliver results.  Used incorrectly, metrics can confuse, confound, and convey the wrong message.  Highly Effective Recruiters fall in love with metrics using them selectively to clarify, correct and communicate activities in the talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C).

How to fall in love with the metrics?

1.Select metrics that have meaning for you and your Open Rates by Subject Lineshiring manager

2.Select metrics that can show the best picture of the talent acquisition process  cycle

3.Select metrics that are easy to track and that are   clear, correct, and concise

Go to school on the business

The best way to learn about a business is to recruit talent for it.  Highly Effective Recruiters become students of the business learning fundamentals, understanding trends.

Recruiters are ambassadors to the business candidate and hiring managers can easily tell when you are faking the knowledge.  So dive in, read everything you can, ask to attend staff meetings, network within your company developing resources of knowledge that you can go to.  The key to being knowledgeable is not to know everything, but to know where to find the knowledge.

Compmise❿ More Networking

Highly Effective Recruiters depend on strong reliable networks as the backbone of their recruiting efforts. Effective networks hinge on building and maintaining great relationships.      Additionally, these networks are strategically sized so that the Highly Effective Recruiter can have personal interactions.  Size does matter and Highly Effective Recruiters are careful not to fall in the trap that they need large numbers of network contacts.  Highly Effective Recruiters proactively reach out to these strategically sized networks with thought leader content via social media and personal touches like birthday phone calls, and recognizing professional achievements.

The Bottom Line – Are You A Highly Effective Recruiter?

As a candidate, you can tell a lot about a company by the way it recruits.  If communication with the recruiting staff and hiring managers is spotty, it could be an indication of how the company operates.   Recruiters, if you are not following the traits of a Highly Effective Recruiter, I urge you to try some on for size. It will make the entire talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) go smoother.


Happy recruiting and happy job hunting!!!