Tuesday, July 27, 2010

JOB TALK: Why wasn’t I hired?

Contributing columnist

During today’s tough economy, we are forced to consider some difficult questions with our job search.
• Why wasn’t I hired?
• What can I do to improve myself?

• Can I learn from my experience or mistakes? 
Everyone applying for work cannot possibly be invited to interview, and even less people are actually offered the job. There simply are not enough jobs and when jobs are so scarce, we should consider a personal assessment to explore any area worth improving. Feedback can be a catalyst to personal growth. 
So why weren’t you hired? You may have done everything right, presented yourself professionally and appropriately and still not have been offered the job. There are a number of reasons — one reason to consider is your competition.
Many applicants will be more qualified, have more education, skills, talent and present themselves in a dynamic way that captivates the attention of the hiring professional.
Remain hopeful as most employers love soft skills above all else, and here is where you can outshine your competition.  Ask yourself some questions — and give yourself some real honest answers.
• Did you do your absolute best?
• Did you invest your all into the preparation and your presentation?
• Did you thoroughly consider interview questions, practice ahead of time and communicate effectively?
• Did you convince the prospective employer that being a team-player is important?
• Did you convince the employer you are dependable?
• Did you look your absolute best?
• Did you arrive on time, without friends or family? 
• Was your personal hygiene, appearance and grooming in good order?
• Did you project energy and charisma?
• Did you really dress for success? 
These areas could be great opportunities for making improvements. Consider goals for personal fitness, a new and updated hair style, ironing your clothing and practice interview questions.  Check with a friend about keeping your child. Preparation, practice and persistence are your keys to success.
Is your application clear, concise and complete in communicating your objectives, goals and your employment history? Your application is the only item between you and the actual interview.  Make certain your answers reflect what you are searching for and who you are as an applicant.  Your application will make a difference over the competition.
If you think you are qualified and an excellent candidate — maybe you need to consider what, if anything was on your application that could have been used to eliminate you.
• Did you limit yourself by your shift preference?
• Did you eliminate yourself by your salary requirement? 
• Do you have misspelled words or illegible handwriting? 
• Did you list business references or did you list your friends?
These are tough questions — but, you need to ask yourself — the answer could make a difference. 
If you didn’t get the job — some personal evaluation should be considered.
Focus on areas that you know may need some improvement for the next application or for the next interview. If you did your absolute best and feel that you were beat by the competition,  accept the decision graciously. Consider asking the employer to give you feedback so that you can improve for the next invitation to interview. All employers will not comply.
When the decision is communicated and you are told you did not get the job, you should respond with the same professionalism, maturity and respect in which you responded to the actual invitation to interview. Consider the lasting impression if you send a note, an e-mail or make a telephone call and let the employer know that you appreciate the opportunity to interview, and you were impressed by the company and would certainly like to be considered for a position in the future.  You may be the runner up — and the offer may fall through in any stage of the background investigation. 
There is probably nothing more devastating to an individual than rejection. None of us like rejection or hurt feelings. When it comes to job-seeking, we need to be able to ask the tough questions and be courageous enough to consider the truth. We must consider how we can improve if we hope to make positive changes, attain personal growth and present ourselves for a successful future.
• Harris is a human resources manager with Unique Industries, Inc. with more than 20 years of human resources experience. She has volunteered as a career counselor for 10 years at various local nonprofit organizations. Contact her at Job_Talk@ymail.com or become a Facebook fan of Job Talk.

Original Article

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