We all know that job search can be tough and there are so many reasons why your search may take longer than you had hoped. The economy, your industry, your experience and competition are just a few of the factors that will impact your ability to land a new job.
But what if it’s more complicated than that?
What if it’s the unthinkable – you are the reason you are not getting any job offers?
Maybe you’ve thought about it, but if you haven’t, you should.
Think about it -
YOU are the single largest factor in getting a new job (or promotion or raise). It’s just not enough being the best and the brightest (and it never was). It’s about the entire package – how you present yourself, your resume, your cover letter, your network, your interview skills, your experience – and the list goes on.
So now that you’ve given it some thought, what are the reasons you won’t get hired?
1. Your Resume is All About You and Does Not Meet Hiring Managers’ NeedsYour resume obviously needs to include what you’ve done as well as a list of your achievements, but you know the old saying – “What have you done for me lately?”
Hiring managers want to know that you can do the job and the only way they will consider interviewing you is if your resume clearly demonstrates that you have what it takes to get the job done. If you’re not sure what to include, take a look at some job descriptions for your function (you should be able to find lots if you do a search).
Does your resume include enough job specific information to convince a reader that they should hire you (be honest with yourself)? If not, time to make some changes. You may need to have a few versions of your resume depending on the types of jobs / functions that you apply for.
2. You Didn’t Bother to Proof Read Your Resume, Cover Letter, etc.My biggest pet peeve when reading a resume or cover letter is errors.
All of your job search documents should be error free. Just running a spell check is not enough. You should focus on sentence structure, punctuation, word usage, etc. Once you think that it is perfect, send it to some friends, family and peers in your network to read it as well. You will be surprised to find out how many errors may have slipped by.
But wait, you’re not done yet. When you forward your resume to a recruiter, they (I would argue) should be reviewing your resume as well and suggesting changes as appropriate. They see more resumes than anyone else and are best placed to help adjust your resume for the best possible error-free profile.
3. You’re Not Qualified for the JobIt makes absolutely no sense to submit your resume for jobs that are “close” or maybe not even close (for the same reasons as indicated in #1 above). You will be wasting your time, the recruiter’s time and the hiring manager’s time. Additionally, you will potentially be “burning bridges” which may mean that when you submit for a perfect match, your resume and application may go directly to the trash folder.
That being said, consider carefully how/when you want to leverage multiple resumes.
4. You Don’t Know How to InterviewJust because you are great at what you do, have the perfect resume and are generally the life of the party, does not mean you are good at interviewing. It’s not only about qualifications and being well spoken, it’s also about being able to answer those “soft” questions.
Every manager has a different interview style. Some prefer to ask technical questions while others prefer to see what “makes you tick” (and some like to do both). Read up on interview questions for your industry and job function. Also take a look at all of those “soft questions” and ensure you know how you would answer them.
Don’t worry about those “why is a manhole cover round?” questions. You can’t possibly know the answer to every one and the general thought these days is that those questions don’t add any value.
One more important point, make sure you are prepared with the questions you want to ask as well (see below)!