As a career coach who sees people in transition every day, I’ve concluded that the single biggest obstacle for people in transition is not knowing what they don’t know regarding what it takes to win that fierce competition for getting a decent job.

I don’t intend to blame anyone; I’m merely pointing out the fact. When people become part of the in-transition crowd, they also become numb and find themselves in a state of disbelief. Given some time, reality sets in and they know that family priorities and financial obligations need to be met, so they step out from their shells and attempt to become productive.

They remember from the previous job search the steps needed to be taken to get a job offer. Regrettably, though, the rules of the game have changed–and so drastically that the old rules are no longer valid in any sense. For instance, technology has advanced to the point that the job search game is almost totally dependent on it. Plus, résumés are constructed differently from the way they used to be. They need to be tailored to the specific job the person is applying for.

LinkedIn is the most common electronic tool used by recruiters. A poor image on LinkedIn kicks a candidate out of the competition. And there’s where the problem starts. As I said at the beginning, job seekers don’t know what they don’t know, and so it follows that they don’t know how to improve their condition. What is evident is that it seems to take forever to get an interview–if at all. And then the competition among interviewees is fierce. Only one person of very many is offered the job; the rest feel like losers, and typically, they’re not told why they didn’t get an offer.

So, what’s the solution? My advice is to seek help. There are many job search networking groups that hold meetings where speakers are brought in to provide information pertinent to job search. In addition, job seekers who attend such meetings exchange information with each other, and there often is support by career coaches and counselors. Approach a career coach at a networking meeting to learn what he or she can do for you. You’ll probably get answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask! A current–and comprehensive–list of such groups within a 100-mile radius of New York can be downloaded from Web site via the Networking tab.