What Is Keeping Me From Getting A Job?

Elizabeth Witbeck

What Is Keeping Me From Getting A Job?

It is difficult to be unemployed. You can spend months applying to jobs, going to interviews — and still end up without a job.  It can be frustrating to spend all of your energy in the job hunting process and wind up empty handed.

Many applicants wonder what they are doing wrong and why they have not secured a position.

We will look at some of the reasons why you have not received a job offer yet and what you can do to make yourself a more competitive candidate.

It is important to understand that there are many other people applying for the same positions.

Studies show that on average, 250 people apply for one job opening. Hiring managers have the task of selecting one person to fill the role, out of hundreds of people who apply. They are basing this decision off of the information provided to them in the job applications.

As difficult as it is to be unemployed and in the midst of job hunting, understand that there is not necessarily something “wrong” with your candidacy.

It is often the case that, given what little information there is available, and having to make a decision between many different people, the hiring managers chose somebody else.

Yes, there are a lot of other people applying. It is important to do your best to separate yourself from the crowd. Let’s look at some of the mistakes you may be inadvertently making on your job application or during the interview process. These are things that are within your own control and that you can change.

If you are sending out job applications but aren’t getting any hiring managers contacting you back asking for an interview, then the problem may exist in one of these areas:

First, be sure that you are applying for a job that you are qualified for. It is important to look over the job requirements of a position and see if you fulfill everything that a company wants.

If you are passed over, it may be because there was somebody with more experience or education than you. Remember that with many people applying to a single position, hiring managers will pick people with the most experience and who fit the qualifications the best.

When you apply, be sure that you are sending in a complete job application. Sometimes a hiring manager will want simply a cover letter and a resume. Other times they may want more information, such as their own company job application, a set of references, completing an online assessment, and more.

It is important that you include everything necessary in the job application. If you miss something, it will seem like you do not pay attention to detail or do not care much about the position.

Are there mistakes in your cover letter? A cover letter is the first document that a hiring manager reads as part of your application. It explains why you are applying to a particular company, what interests you about the position, and why the manager should hire you.

Your cover letter may get passed over if there is nothing included that mentions your achievements and makes you stand apart from the crowd. Having spelling and grammar errors will also get your application quickly rejected.

Remember to check your cover letter, because it helps you make a good first impression.

Are there mistakes in your resume? A resume is a document that includes a listing of your experience, education and skills. A hiring manager looks at your resume to better understand what experience you have and what you could contribute to the position.

You may not be getting contacted for interviews if your resume not does sufficiently outline your accomplishments. The hiring manager may look at your resume and not understand how your experience fits into the position.

Research shows that a hiring manager spends less than five minutes looking at a resume. Be sure that what you write stands out and is attention grabbing.

Interviewing Issues

Let’s say that you are sending out job applications and are getting plenty of people asking you for a phone interview or an in-person interview. Congratulations! In this case, you know that your resume and cover letter are working.

When you go on interviews,  are you invited to the next stage of interviewing? You may make it to round one of interviews, but don’t get asked to meet with the manager. What could be going wrong?

It’s important during an interview that you come prepared. Anticipate what kinds of questions might be asked, and have answers ready to go. Interviewers often ask about how your past experience is relevant to the position you are applying for, and how you could contribute to the team.

Be sure that you research the company and show that you are knowledgeable about the business and the position you are applying for.

During the interview, there is one question on a manager’s mind: “Why should I hire you?” You need to have answers ready for this question. Be able to give your interviewer reasons for why they should hire you, pointing to your past experiences and education. The interview should leave little room for doubt that you are the best person for the position.

  • Did you establish good rapport with the interviewer?
  • Did you and the interviewer get along well?

An interview is about getting to know you as a person and understanding your personality. It is important to work at a company that is the right fit. Sometimes we do everything perfect in our cover letters and resumes, but the chemistry just is not there. The interviewer may have connected with some of the other candidates better.

So let’s say you get to the final rounds of interviewing, and it is down to you and one or two other candidates. This is great news, because it means you are doing very well at interviewing.

The hiring manager tells you that ultimately they selected another person for the position. You feel frustrated because it seems like it was a lot of hard work for nothing. What happened?

Remember that there are many people applying to any given job, and one candidate can be chosen. You can do everything right and still not get the job. It is quite possible that you are very good at interviewing, and the job went to somebody who was more qualified.

The job hunt is just as much about how you like the company, as it is about how they like you. Sometimes rejection is a good thing, because you truly would not have enjoyed working at that business.

If you believe you did everything correct, keep on job hunting. Rejection means you are one step closer to the position you want.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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