“Why can’t I find a job?” 7 Simple Reasons.

Why cant i find a job
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If you have been searching for a job for a month or more with no success there is a very good chance that you are asking yourself “Why can’t I find a job?” The aim of this article is to try and answer that question for you. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons people struggle to find a job, and how you can fix the reasons that apply to you.

Before we dive right into the reasons people struggle to find a job, I do want to mention that job hunting is hardly ever fun for anyone. Quite often people who are searching for a new job are facing other challenges in their lives. These challenges are often exaggerated under the stress of not being able to find a new job. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated with the job search just know that you are not alone. It will all work out eventually and the stress of the job search will be a distant memory! Believe me, I have been there before.

“Why Can’t I Find a Job?”

So back to the issue at hand, if you are sending out your CV, and filling in application forms on a daily basis but having no success these are some of the mistakes you might be making. Obviously not all of these will apply to you. Read through the list and be honest about the mistakes you are making, then get back on the horse and start applying again!

1) Your experience and skills are not relevant to the position you are applying for.

Although many job seekers will often just send their CV off to as many vacancies as possible. This is not the best method of finding a job. You need to ensure that the skills and experience you list on your CV match the job description of the vacancy. This means that you should be adjusting your CV for each and every position you apply for. If the position requires you to have any specialized skills or knowledge you need to demonstrate that you have these skills.

Remember, most hiring managers and recruiters receive hundreds of applications every single day. If your CV does not stand out by highlighting the skills that they are looking, for your application will end up on the trash. The hiring manager will make this decision in 10 seconds or less. If you are not sure how to write a great CV check out this article on CV writing tips.

2) There are mistakes in your CV or cover letter.

This is such an obvious and easy to correct the problem. Yet job seekers send out poorly written CVs on a daily basis. Remember your application is the first impression you are creating with a hiring manager. If they perceive you as sloppy because of simple mistakes in your CV there is a very good chance that they will ignore your application.

The solution to this is to read through your CV at least twice and make sure that you are confident that there are no errors. When you are sure it is 100% correct challenge a friend to find any mistakes on the CV. Maybe even offer them a reward like a cold drink or chocolate if they are able to find any mistakes. This way when you do send it to an employer, you can do so with absolute confidence.

3) You have not followed application instructions correctly.

This is similar to point number two, essentially it creates a bad first impression. If there are any application instructions such as “Please send a recent head and shoulders photo” or “Please send your CV in word format,” you need to make sure you apply as directed. There is a reason the company would like whatever they are asking for and if you have not sent it or followed instructions your application could easily be overlooked. Even if you are a perfect fit for the position.

Following instructions is simple, it might mean that applying for the position takes a little longer, but it’s worth it in the end. If you do not do what is asked you only have yourself to blame the next time you ask “Why can’t I find a job.”

4) An unclear employment timeline, or large gaps in-between jobs.

Our employment history does play a large part in whether or not we will be considered for vacancies. Below are some red lights employers might be picking up on your CV;

  1. Multiple positions with less then a year worked at the company.
  2. Large gaps of unemployment on your CV.
  3. Unclear employment timeline.

I know we can’t change our past, however, if you have any of these red lights on your CV you need to make sure you give detailed and valid reasons for them. Also, make sure your work history runs from most recent backward.

5) You are applying for jobs you are not qualified for.

It is great to have ambition, I admire it in fact. However, if you have been applying to jobs that you are extremely under-qualified for you should not be surprised that you have not managed to find a job yet. It is not worth the frustration of getting rejected on a daily basis. Rather sit down again, take a good hard look at your skills and qualifications, and start applying for positions that are a fit for you.

Usually, people start to apply for positions they are not qualified for because they are expecting a larger salary. In my opinion, it is better to have a job that pays something then sitting for months on end asking yourself “Why can’t I find a job?”

If you are truly determined you can always upskill yourself by enrolling in a correspondence course and complete the required qualifications while working a lower-level position. Once your qualification is complete you will be in a much better position to get the job you were aiming for.

After an interview

The above answers to “why can’t I find a job” have been dealing with application scenarios. But what if your applications are perfect and you have been attending numerous interviews with no luck, what interview mistakes could you be making?

6) You made a bad first impression.

There are many ways that you could make a bad first impression. Among these are showing up late for an interview or dressing inappropriately. These are generally simple mistakes that should never be made.

If I am being honest here, making a bad first impression could only be part of the problem. The truth is, not only do you not want to make a bad first impression, you actually want to make a great first impression that ensures you are remembered by your interviewer. Be on time, make sure you smile confidently and give a firm handshake. Stand out!

7) You did not prepare for the interview.

I have compiled an interview preparation checklist. I recommend you start preparing for the interview a minimum of 48 hours before the interview. Follow my checklist, prepare correctly and you won’t be asking, “why can’t I get a job,” for much longer.

A major preparation flaw with candidates is not knowing enough about the company they are applying to. Make sure you research them thoroughly and prepare questions based on this research that will demonstrate that you have looked into the company.

How should you use this information to fix the “Why can’t I get a job” question?

Well, firstly you need to be honest with yourself. If you re truly struggling to find a job your time will be better spent identifying the mistakes you are making and correcting them then just blindly carrying on. I am not saying that it will be easy, but you can do it!

If you are truly having difficulty finding a job I recommend that you bookmark this page right now. Go make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and come back in 20 minutes and read through this post again. Write down each point on a piece of paper that you feel applies to you, when you have the issues you need to fix written down actually fixing them will become a reality and will feel achievable.

It all starts with preparing a perfect CV.

If you are having difficulty finding a job you might need to seriously reconsider the CV that you are sending out. You are welcome to use one of my free cv templates if you feel like you might need a CV redesign. Or read this article with a few simple CV preparation hacks to help you easily design a great looking CV.

I truly hope that this article helps you if you have been struggling with your job search. Remember if you have any questions please leave them below in the comments, I do reply to each and every comment I receive and love hearing for my readers.

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The information contained on this website is simply aimed at providing readers with guidance on labour law in South Africa. This information has not been provided to meet the individual requirements of a specific individual. Bizcraft will always suggest that legal advice be obtained to address a person’s unique circumstances. It is important to remember that the law is constantly changing and although Bizcraft strives to keep the information up to date and of high quality, it cannot be guaranteed that the information will be updated and/or be without errors or omissions. As a result, Bizcraft will under no circumstances accept liability or be held liable, for any innocent or negligent actions or omissions which may result in any harm or liability flowing from the use of or the inability to use the information provided.


  1. Thuliwe Mila
    March 6, 2020

    Hi Peter, thank you soo much for all these advises they really come in handy especially for someone who’s doing job hunting after 3 years of being employed, please advise me, I have a N6 certificate
    in Financial Management working towards a Diploma, I have had 2 jobs so far, first I worked as a Financial Service Consultant at one of the furniture shop, then my latest job I worked as a Collections clerk Now my dream is to do a finance related job like being a Creditors Clerk, Debtors Clerk, Finance or Cash book Clerk etc… Since I studied finance so my question is am I wrong to apply for these positions I mentioned above since I don’t have experience for them even though I need to get the experience towards finance related job?

  2. Desigan Naicker
    March 3, 2020

    I have been unemployed for almost 2 years now, one of the main reasons is that my previous company won’t give me a good reference as I was dismissed. I was employed for 8 years as a contract manager responsible for all hr and management of staff. When I get interviews am totally honest and admit I was dismissed plus I dont have a reference person of contact for last employment. PLEASE HELP ME TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION

  3. Sibongiseni
    January 7, 2020

    I’ve been looking for a job for a long time I’m worried too of my age I am 33 this year I even registered on employment agencies I had hope from one of them they responded and promised to send a confirmation letter by the 27th of December 2019 but until 2 day i didn’t received anything please help guys. I even quite at school due to financial problems who can hired me if I’m not educated

    1. Peter Breedveld
      January 8, 2020

      Hi Sibongiseni,

      I am very sorry to hear about your troubles. It is hard for me to give you any advice if I do not know what skills and experience you have at this stage. A simple answer would be to make sure that your CV and cover letter really stand out. If you have not yet had a look at my free templates you can do it here If you do need more advice please feel free to email me and we can chat about your options and the best way forward for you.

      Good Luck my friend!

  4. Nomvuyo Madakana
    January 3, 2020

    Thank you very much for all these free templates I needed them the most. I am 28years of age graduated in the year 2014 and I have been struggling to get a stable job till today.

    I hope and pray that with all your help I will manage to score some interviews this year.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you

    1. Peter Breedveld
      January 3, 2020

      Hi Nomvuyo,

      It is my absolute pleasure. Thank you very much for the kind comment and I hope that you have success with your job search.

  5. Caroline
    January 2, 2020

    I’m 55 years, I am unable to get a job, please advise on which industries can I apply with this age. Thank you

    1. Peter Breedveld
      January 2, 2020

      Hi Caroline, thank you very much for the question.

      It is tough to apply for work when you are slightly more mature. My advice is rather then try to identify industries based on your age, instead try to identify industry and jobs that match your skills, experience and qualifications. It would also be a great idea to include a well written cover letter which explains why you are looking for a new position at this age and why your age will be beneficial to the company.


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