‘Why am I not getting hired? I’ve got the right skills, experience, education, training, industry contacts… My resume looks great and I’ve got cover letter writing down to an art! It’s these God-awful job market conditions, that’s what it is! I’m simply unlucky!’
If the above speech sounds at all familiar, then – welcome to the current employment scene. Competition is running rampant, there are far more job candidates than there are new openings and it takes a lot of effort and patience (plus a little luck) to make it out there in this day and age. However, if you feel down and out, where your job search efforts are concerned, then you ought to be glad to know that there are some very clear and simple answers to the question ‘Why am I not getting hired?’ Read on, then correct any mistakes you might be making, in order to improve your odds at landing that job!
Why am I not getting hired? Because…
1. Your resume doesn’t pan out
There are countless of tips, tricks, advice, and articles out there on what a professional resume should look like. Forget all about them. There is no rule set in stone as to what a resume is specifically supposed to look like… save for these two simple ones:
a) Your resume needs to look professional. Scan it for spelling mistakes. Get a professional email address. Clearly delimitate between its sections. Use an appropriate font and don’t go crazy with using too many colors or a font face that has no place in a resume (we’re looking at you, Comic Sans).
b) Your resume needs to be honest. Yes, lying in your resume can work and has actually been known to work… for a while. If your recruiter is at all experienced, they’ll check for inconsistencies. They will have questions to ask about long periods of time spent in inactivity (without any freelance or volunteer work). And they will also frown upon a resume that’s too long or too short – stick to two or three pages and you’re good to go.
2. Your cover letter is bland
As with the resume, the cover letter can be plagued with mistakes that will easily answer your ‘Why am I not getting hired?’ question. First off, it’s very important to make sure that the letter is spelling and grammar mistake free. Then, it’s just as pivotal to personalize each letter. Yes, recruiters are people, too, and during recruitment periods they see hundreds of cover letters every day. Make yours sound as if it was written especially for them, if you want to win them over.
3. You’re not looking in the right places
Why am I not getting hired?, asks the person who resigns themselves to submitting resumes to online job portals or recruitment agencies. Do this and you will remain a mere statistic in a database for a long time, before you actually get a chance at a job interview. Get creative and you might soon reap some results. Check out professional networks in your field of choice, or even LinkedIn. Read articles and publications that are relevant for the industry you want to work with. Identify top companies, recruiters, influencers, and other actual people who might bring you closer to your dream job. Follow up with a Google search on their position and look into openings. You never know when opportunity can come a-knocking.
4. You lose them during the phone interview
Nowadays, due to the massive number of job applicants, many companies have added the intermediary stage of the telephone job interview before calling a candidate in for a face-to-face meet-up. It’s important to keep your cool during such interviews. Don’t ask for too much money at this point, even though the relative remoteness of the phone conversation might make it tempting. Be honest, upfront, and on point with answers to the interviewer’s questions.
5. You fail to convince during the live interview
We’ve covered this topic before – as have many other career experts. To sum up all that knowledge, you need to sell yourself. Be an individual, but also listen carefully for hints on the kind of person the organization you’ve applied for is seeking to find. Respond casually, in a relaxed manner, and make sure to add depth and thoughtfulness to your answers. Easier said than done, right? It might be, but it’s the only way to make sure you never have to ask yourself ‘Why am I not getting hired?’ again.