Do you want to know the real reason employers aren’t hiring you? They won’t tell you, but they tell us. For more than twenty years, through bad economic times and good, we’ve been helping people get good jobs. Along the way, we’ve been asking employers why they do and don’t hire people.

Because they don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings or getting sued, they can be brutally honest with us. And we’re here to be honest with you.

So, what’s holding you back? You might be surprised to discover that it’s not just the economy, or your personal barriers.

Every day thousands of people start new jobs, and you only need one! In fact, during the worst part of the recent recession, 4.3 million Americans were hired in a single month. And for every barrier you have, there is someone who has faced it, overcome it, and is working today. If they can do it, we know you can, too! Choose a positive mind-set from the start, because what you believe matters. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re usually right.”

Over the years we’ve discovered two key things that hold our clients back. The first is not realizing that talent alone rarely gets you hired. Usually the candidates on the final short list all have the ability to do the job, so the deciding factor is something more.

That “more” can be found in the six areas employers scrutinize, consciously or subconsciously, when deciding who to hire and who to screen out. If you view them from the employer’s perspective, everything that is holding you back and every strength that will get you hired can be found in these six areas: presentation, ability, dependability, motivation, attitude, and network. Each area sounds familiar enough, but as we explain them you may be surprised at how employers judge them. The second thing that holds people back is the fear of doing things differently from everyone else. The rational side of our brain says we need to job search the way everyone else does—look for advertisements in the Open Job Market and submit dozens of résumés or applications each day. Yet experience shows that it doesn’t work. Chances are, that’s not how you landed your last job and it doesn’t seem to be working for you now. Perhaps it’s time to try something new. The fastest way to get a job is to stand out from the crowd, rather than follow it. That’s where we come in.

This book will challenge many of your beliefs about job searching. It will teach you how to step into the employers’ shoes, so you can discover and remove all the reasons you’re getting screened out, and prove you are the ideal candidate for their job. It will teach you how to fi nd side doors that lead directly to decision makers, while your competition is still waiting in the lobby. And, before we’re done, we’ll even show you how to get hired for a job you’ve never been paid to do. In these pages, you’ll meet many of the people we have helped—from professionals, to skilled laborers, to first-time job seekers—and see how they got hired. Their goals and barriers may be similar to yours or very different, but what led to their success can get you hired, too. As you read their stories, look past any differences to the techniques and concepts being taught. As we share the insider information we’ve gained over twenty years, notice how it renews your confidence so you can face your fears and execute a job search that turns the reasons you’re not getting hired into the six reasons you’ll get the job.