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One thing that is notable about the job search process is just how easy it is sometimes, and just how hard it is other times. If getting a job has always been easy for you, and you’re finding it to be hard now, you may feel like you’re doing something wrong. Or, that perhaps you’ve changed. Although that could be the case, sometimes, it’s really not you. There are many external factors beyond your ability that impact whether or not you get the job.

First, the economy plays a bit part of your job search experience. When the economy is strong, and when it’s a job seekers’ market, interviews move faster and smoother. Companies don’t have the luxury of stringing along candidates, or of finding the perfect unicorn. When the economy is down, companies receive many more applications for each job. Companies are able to pick and choose which candidates to move forward. And, at times, they may even intentionally slow their hiring process in order to save money.

Similarly, where you live can have a big impact on your job search. If you live in a big city with many corporations, it can often be much easier to find something new. There are simply more options than in smaller towns where you may have to wait for something to come open. Although some companies will relocate the right person, they always prefer a local candidate if they can find one.

It can also matter if you have connections within the company where you’re applying. If you are applying online, along with hundreds of other applicants, the chances that someone will see your resume are slim. But, if a friend offers to hand deliver your resume to the hiring manager, you are much more likely to get a job interview.

The story that your resume tells also makes a big difference. In other words, companies often look at small, potentially irrelevant details, when they are sorting candidates. Think of this similar to filtering profiles on a dating app. The company is starting with so many options that they are narrowing them down using random criteria. If you have switched jobs too frequently, they may judge you. If you currently work in a different industry, they may assume your skills don’t translate. This can happen even if you previously worked in the industry in which you are applying.

If your work history is varied, you need an open-minded hiring manager. You need someone who understands transferrable skills, and who can see you as the whole and talented person you are. But, this doesn’t happen every time. It takes many applications to find a boss who understands the value that you bring.

Let me leave you with this. All of the things described above can impact your job search. None of the things described above are about your potential or your performance. Keep looking, and you will find your fit.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


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