In the midst of looking for a new job? Are you applying, sending in resumes, and interviewing- only to be ignored by potential employers? Securing employment in competitive industries can be frustrating, especially when you aren't sure what went wrong.
Let's get into some of the top reasons employers skip over you- and move onto your competition.
You Don't Have The Needed Qualifications
If your qualifications don't equally match the job description's requirement, you're shooting in the dark. Likewise, if the position requires, say a graduate degree, but you only have a high school diploma, you're essentially wasting your time.
Of course, it's essential to apply to jobs that seem appealing and exciting to you. However, don't expect companies to call you back if you can't or don't meet the basic requirements listed.
You're Far Too Qualified
Just like being underqualified can harm your chances of landing the job, massive overqualification can have the same effect. In reality, most companies hire strategically and methodically. After all, they want to make sure they invest their time, money, and resources in the right employee.
Employers may assume that you'll have high or unrealistic salary expectations that they won't be able to meet. They may worry that you'll become overly optimistic and eager in doing work that's potentially out of your scope. Furthermore, they fear that you'll become bored and complacent in the work role, and they often figure that you'll leave the position as soon as something better comes along.
Your Cover Letter Or Resume Was Just 'Okay'
It's not enough to have a professional, generic application. Even if it doesn't have errors. Even if does have all the qualifications. Generic paperwork is just a surefire way to land yourself in an anonymous, never-ending pile of everyone else who doesn't stand out.
In other words, you don't want to look like the rest of the applicants. You want to rise above the rest of the competition, highlight your expertise, and show off why and how this company benefits from adding you to their team.
Let's be real. Hiring managers parse through dozens of resumes daily. How are you going to stand out from the competition? How are you going to reveal that dazzling personality of yours? How will you prove that they need you- and not the other way around?
Click here for more tips on crafting your resume.
Your Online Presence Is Concerning
In this increasingly digital age, you should expect that every employer Googles your name to see what dirt emerges. While you may have fond memories taking shots in a bikini bar with your girlfriends, that's the last image a reputable hiring manager wants to see. If you do have your social media profiles set to 'public,' spend time looking at your sites as a guest to determine how kosher everything looks. If you don't want grandma to spot it, you certainly don't want an employer to, either.
However, it should be noted that social media isn't the only thing employers scan.
If you're seeking work in a creative industry, employers will probably click around on your personal website. If your site runs slowly, has terrible interface design, or is riddled with copy mistakes, they're certainly not going to be impressed.
You Didn't Sell Yourself
Having all the qualifications, experience, and professional recommendations do necessarily mean that you'll be a good fit for the company. Hiring managers want to know exactly how you are going to help them achieve their business goals. They want to see how you will bring new ideas to the table, conquer responsibilities, and dominate projects.
The interview represents your opportunity to display confidence and pride in the work you do (even if you have to fake it). Businesses want people who feel empowered and self-sufficient in the work they do. A lack of confidence could reveal a sense of incompetence, and most employers will steer away from that.
You Weren't Fully Prepared
Selling yourself matters, but you can't successfully show off your talents and skills if you don't know how they actually pertain to the company. Did you thoroughly research the business before showing up? Or did you just do a thirty-second website search?
Did you think about your answers to common interview questions? Or did you stammer and say ummm far too many times? Did you know the building and unit number you needed to be in? Or were you wandering around the office haphazardly, looking uncertain and frazzled?
Of course, it's impossible to fully know everything that could be discussed or asked during the interview, but you should prepare as much as possible. Ideally, you want to walk into the interview without having any surprises occur.
You Failed To Follow-Up
Landed an interview? Check! Killed said interview? Double check. Silence afterward? Big mistake!
Following up with the hiring manager or interview shows respect, discipline, and responsibility. It also conveys a sense of eagerness and excitement for the job and company.
After every interview, send a brief follow-up email. Even if the interviewer immediately tells you that she can't offer you the job. Even if the interviewer was hostile. Even if you realized the job wasn't for you. Thank you notes go a long way in business, and you never know what connection you could make.
Landing a job represents both an art and a science. If you're in the midst of searching for work, you need to treat the job search like it's a job itself. That means identifying your priorities, acknowledging your strengths, improving your weaknesses, and putting forth your best effort every single time.
Your dream job exists. It's up to you to make it happen.
Nicole is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and professional freelance writer. She is passionate about helping people uncover and unleash their authentic selves (both in her therapy and written work). Nicole enjoys blogging about mental health, addiction, and self-esteem. Check her out on souloftherapy.com