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10 Reasons You May Still Be Unemployed

Posted by Reem Boudraa January 9, 2014 18 Comments

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1. You don’t have a routine

In other words, you lack structure and discipline in your job search. A job search should be treated as a job in itself, i.e. with the same rigor and seriousness you would apply to a regular job. Create a list of job search activities; from researching a company to sending introduction letters to recruiters in companies you are targeting, to follow-up calls, to interviews and thank you letters. Update this list systematically and make sure you follow a clear process. Keep accurate records of your research results and be ready to refer to this knowledge in the interview; employers love a candidate who is well-prepared (see step 2).

2. You’re unprepared

Employers have done their homework to find you and they expect you to do yours on them too. Candidates who arrive at an interview knowing little about the company, the industry and/or the role are in a poor position to compete with well-prepared professionals. In fact, poor preparation was mentioned by employers as the most common mistake that job seekers do in the ‘Hiring Practices in the MENA’ poll, February 2012. If you have done your homework right you will be able to hit the ground running in the interview with answers that display your unique suitability for the position and the valuable contributions you can make to the company.

3. You aren’t networking enough

Many jobs these days are found through networking. If you’re applying through job boards, searching the internet, counting on recruiters or responding to ads, you’re not doing enough. Indeed, there is no substitute for connecting with people, so stay connected and don’t isolate yourself. According to the ‘Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace’ poll, February 2013, 34.5% of MENA professionals have found their last jobs through friends and family. Supplement your physical networking with online networking. Use web sites and online professional platforms, like People and Specialties to connect with like-minded professionals and to build greater visibility. Your peers can also offer off-the-cuff, honest appraisals about your performance and work reputation when referring you for a job.

4. Your CV is missing something

Many jobseekers make the mistake of using the same generic unfocused CV to apply for very different positions in different industries. Your CV should to the extent possible be tailored to the specific job you are targeting and should show in a very direct manner skills, qualifications and experiences that directly come to bear on the given job. If you are targeting a number of different jobs, have different CVs for each job type so that your CV can be customized to the unique requirements of each industry. According to the ‘Modern Job Search in the MENA’ poll, November 2013, 42.5% of employers in the MENA prefer a short and concise CV that is no longer than one page. Moreover, experience is considered to be the most important element (with 25% saying it is most important), followed by skills (19%). Less important are education at 10%, a career objective statement at 7%, and lastly, any awards, badges and endorsements – all at 6%. The preference is also for CVs that include a picture of the candidate, as claimed by 53.8%.

5. You’re not sending cover letters

Every CV should be accompanied by a cover letter to personalize your CV. Cover letters, like the CV, should be tailored to the company and industry and should communicate in no uncertain terms the suitability of the experiences and qualifications listed on your CV, as well as your enthusiasm to work for the company. A CV sent without a cover letter will lack the ‘personal touch’ and will likely be lost in the fray. According to the ‘Modern Job Search in the MENA’ poll, 44% of MENA professionals say that a cover letter is very important and can make a huge difference in a hiring decision.

6. You interview poorly

Ah, the most common jobseekers’ ‘faux-pas’ occur at this phase of the job search process. Some common interview mistakes include:

  1. Lack of preparation.
  2. Not having answers to common interview questions.
  3. Lack of enthusiasm.
  4. Negative answers.
  5. Dishonesty.
  6. Inappropriate questions and comments.
  7. Arriving late.
  8. Aggressiveness.

Visit Career Articles and Guides and learn how to ace your job interview now.

7. You’re not looking your best

First impressions go a long way and it may be impossible to undo the damage if you send out a wrong message with your interview attire. Dressing too casually or completely inappropriately for the interview may communicate a lack of respect for professional norms of conduct. According to the ‘Influence of Personal Appearance on Hiring Decisions’ poll, March 2013, 76.4% of professionals in the MENA region believe that hiring decisions are influenced by personal appearance.

8. You don’t have a Public Profile

According to the ‘Personal Branding in the MENA’ poll, September 2013, 92% of MENA professionals agree that good online personal branding can help them get more interviews and grow in their careers. Additionally, 61% of professionals in the same poll agree that their company check the profiles of new recruits online before hiring them. The content of your social profile forms an employer’s first impression before you even sit down with for an interview. With that said, we cannot overemphasize the importance of having a well-managed Public Profile.

9. You lack motivation

If you’re feeling down or angry right now, you should know that your anger is only hurting you. Get over it. If you’re in need of a little more energy and stamina and joie-de-vivre, here are ten simple daily habits that can perk you up and revitalize your life.

10. You’re not following-up

Sending a mass mailing of CVs and waiting for the companies to contact you is not an optimal job search strategy. The key is in the follow-up. Plan your follow-up strategy and execute it well. Follow up by phone to make sure the relevant manager has received your CV, follow up again to ask for a meeting, and follow up with emails regularly until you have received some form of a response. 70% of MENA employers think that following up is essential, as per the ‘Hiring Practices in the MENA’ poll.

Spread the word:


About Reem Boudraa

Reem Boudraa is the Senior Editor at

View all post by Reem Boudraa

  • Reality Bites

    Thanks a lot for this motivational article… after reading this, any one can easily analysis his/her position where we are lacking.

  • Nice information, There is obviously a lot. Your points are very valuable and knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this great blog with us.

  • Thank you! Very informative. Keep up the good work!

  • Thanks Jukhairy! I’m happy that you find this article useful. Stay tuned for more! 🙂

  • Thanks! 🙂

  • Thank you! 🙂 Stay tuned for more.

  • Welcome Reem..

  • Hi Mohammed! Thank you for your feedback! I’m happy to hear this, and hope that others like you will find this article useful. Stay tuned for more career boosting posts! 🙂

  • abdullahkattan


  • Fraz Butt

    Thank you very much Reem, really liked your article, I have read full, and will act on some “solid points in easy words” I was missing before. 🙂

  • Hi Fraz! I’m very happy to hear that. Best of luck, and stay tuned for more tips and advice to help you grow in your career! 🙂

  • Moin

    Thanks Reem, it will help me Insha Allah.

  • malik farooq

    Thanks Reem for such an informative article.

  • You’re very much welcome, Malik. Stay tuned for more! 🙂

  • umar zaman

    Thanks Reem , it’s a more +ve words, but we are ignore our mistake…

  • Sajith Zarook

    Thank you very much Reem,I have read full, all points are very valuable ,Thanks again for sharing.

  • Jamal Joldoshalieva

    Many thanks for the useful and helpful information.

  • George Amanamah

    thank you very much

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