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March 12, 2022

There's a good reason you can't find a job, career coach says

Been out of work for awhile now?

If you've got 10 years experience in your field, don't even think of starting off at the bottom again -- all you'll do is annoy the employer, says outspoken career coach John Heckers. You'd be much better off consulting or starting your own business than to apply for entry-level jobs.

When he sees someone with extensive experience applying for an intern job, Heckers admits he's not even going to interview them.

"I know that they’ll be gone in a heartbeat if something in their field comes along, and that they won’t stay and grow with my company," he says. "I also know they’re going to second guess me, not be coachable and generally be a pain in the neck."

Other things that turn him off: the smell of smoking, visible tatoos, piercings, and face stubble.

Grumpy, but at least he's honest.

Aside from his own personal preferences, there are other reasons your job search may be stagnating, Heckers advises.

* You aren’t networking enough. Almost all jobs these days are found through networking. If you’re applying through job boards, searching the internet, counting on recruiters or responding to want ads…you’re not doing enough, he maintains.

* You’re evasive in interviews. If you’re asked a question, answer it. Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t give stupid canned answers, he suggests.

A clear example of this is the number of people who say, when asked about a weakness: “I guess I’m just too much of a self-motivated, self-starter who's too hard on himself.” Stupid answer, Heckers declares.

* Your past is catching up with you. Whether you like it or not, hirers are using social networks to screen job applicants. This means it's important to carefully manage your image on these types of sites. Click here for a useful visual.

Has your job search been stymied this way? What steps have you taken to kickstart things?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...