What To Do When You Can't Find a Job: Tips To Consider

Updated 22 July 2022

It can take a significant amount of time to find the right job for your skillset and needs. Receiving a job rejection can be disheartening. If you're wondering what to do when you can't find a job, there are many routes and opportunities still available to you. In this article, we share tips, tricks and advice that can help your job hunting goals become a reality.

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What to do when you can't find a job

The main thing to remember when you are not getting the jobs you apply for is to use any setbacks as areas to grow and develop. Regardless of whether you are fortunate enough to receive feedback from interviews or job applications that didn't materialise, or if you don't hear back at all, use this opportunity for personal reflection. Being unsure of what to do when you can't find a job is natural.

There are several reasons why people struggle to find a job. It could be because of increasing competition in the market, job shortages, a lack of skills in your chosen field or it could be due to other issues such as lack of opportunities that match your lifestyle and needs. Difficulty finding a job can affect your self-confidence, but it's important to remain optimistic and take some positive actions.

Related: Why You Can't Find a Job and What To Do About It

Tips for improving your chances of finding a job

Below is a list of ideas for you to consider when you're encountering difficulty finding a job:

Consider upskilling

Many job advertisements list the desired experience, skills and training required for the role. This is the case whether you're applying for an entry-level position or an upper-end managerial one. If you're finding that you're consistently not meeting the requirements listed, it may be time to consider upskilling. Upskilling is the practice of learning additional complementary skills to boost your current competencies and experience.

Usually, upskilling is done in relation to a particular industry and to keep your skills in line with developing trends. For instance, a marketer may upskill themselves by learning how to use new software suites to create engaging digital media. A mechanic, on the other hand, may upskill to learn OEM diagnostic tools for a particular car manufacturer. Sometimes, upskilling is more generalised. Some examples of general upskilling to develop soft skills include:

  • dealing with conflict and how to resolve matters in a calm manner

  • workplace diversity and how to meet the needs of your colleagues or employees

  • public speaking and how to communicate effectively in a succinct way

Whichever route of upskilling you choose, the results are likely to appear favourable to hirers. This is because upskilling is demonstrative of a desire to learn and better yourself, which are key traits in any successful candidate. Upskilling doesn't always have to be costly, either. While there are many paid upskilling courses, there is also an abundance of free upskilling resources available online.

Related: 10 Valuable Soft Skills That You Need to Succeed in Your Career

Modernise your presence online

While the ideal candidate differs from company to company, many hirers are now seeking out those who have insight into the modern world. More specifically, this means the digital world and technology. If your job search is proving unfruitful so far, you may consider the impact your social media is having. Many employers now take to social networks to research potential candidates.

To ensure your social media presence has the right impact on employers, consider these questions:

  • Does your social media represent you in a good light? As an example, a series of inappropriate photos of you on a night out may reflect negatively on your character. Employers want to have confidence that their employees can act professionally and uphold their reputation.

  • Does your social media reflect who you are today? If your accounts are made up of outdated photos, odd statuses from 2014 and an expansive friend's list that you no longer speak to, it's time for a change. You can give your current accounts a makeover or simply make new accounts to start afresh.

  • Does your social media demonstrate technological aptitude**?** This could be simple tasks such as using hashtags or advanced functionalities on social media. In a world where our personal and work lives often revolve around what happens online, it's crucial that your social media is up-to-date and reflective of you in a positive light, which allows employers to learn more about you before they even invite you for an interview.


While it's true that what you know is still essential, especially if you're applying for a job that requires specialist training, it's also undeniable that having the right connections in an industry can open additional doors for you. There are a number of ways you can go about networking, regardless of the industry you're in. Below are just a few of the most popular networking techniques you can utilise to widen your industry network and bolster your chances of landing a job:

  • Reach out on social media: Many professionals use their social media to stay up-to-date with the latest news and each other, so try to establish yourself within a community and start conversations with those that are similar to you. They may share advice on how to progress, or even share their own story as to how they got where they are.

  • Reach out at a convention or fair: Throughout the year, many sectors host fairs or conventions specifically to network and grow working relationships. If you can, try to make time to attend one of these so you can learn more about job openings, what a day-to-day routine in the industry looks like and more.

  • Reach out directly: Sometimes, the most effective ways to network are the more traditional ways. If you see an individual online or in person, don't be afraid to approach them and ask them to keep in touch.

Building a network within your desired field of work is useful because those connections could alert you to a job opening you had not discovered. Similarly, these connections may be able to recommend you to a company open for applications if they think you're a good match for the role.

Polish your CV

A CV is a crucial part of the vast majority of job applications. Unless an advertised role specifically says not to include one, always attach a CV. Depending on the number of applications received, an employer typically spend just five to seven seconds looking at your CV before deciding whether or not you're a suitable candidate for the role. This means that you need to make a strong impact in little time. Here are some general CV improvement tips:

Make sure your CV is free of typos and other avoidable issues

Sometimes, all it takes is one insignificant detail for an employer to cast your application aside. Mistakes show that you didn't check the work or were in a rush. If you're worried you might miss something, get a friend or family member read through it and offer you their feedback.

Make sure your CV is consistently formatted and typeset

As mentioned above, employers often only looks at a CV for a few seconds. You want to ensure that the contents are easily readable and digestible. Make sure that all the core information is communicated simply and effectively.

Make sure your CV has everything it needs

The ideal CV is spread across two pages and contains all the necessary professional information. This includes your education, previous work history and any additional details such as volunteering experience, awards, completed training and more. If you are unsuccessful with your job searches so far, try rewriting your CV in a different way to see how this impacts potential employers.

Related: CV Template for a Successful Application (With Example)

Take some time to consider your options

Throughout your job search, remaining optimistic and productive is key. Due to this, it's recommended that you give yourself the odd day off here and there to allow yourself to continue applying with a renewed vigour. Whether you want to watch some television, meet up with friends or dedicate some time to exploring a new hobby, there are ample activities you can do to relax before continuing with your job search.

If you want to still feel like you're making some progress while taking a day off, there are many things you can do, including:

  • Reflect on how your journey has been going so far

  • Refocus your intentions and what you're aiming to achieve

  • Realign your actions with your goals to ensure maximum efficiency

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