Learn why you could have lost out on that open job position.
The job search process can be frustrating. You have your resume, online profiles, and cover letter ready to go. You’re applying to positions and maybe you have even gotten an interview or two, but then comes the waiting game. You can wait an unspecified amount of time until you decide you didn’t get the position. Or you wait for the dreaded phone call or generic email stating that you weren’t the type of candidate they were looking for. So where did you go wrong? The truth is, you might not have done anything wrong. Sometimes getting hired is about being in the right place at the right time. But if you did make a mistake somewhere along the line, then you want to fix it. Take a look at these reasons for being rejected, and see if you fit the bill.
- Lack of interpersonal skills. Sometimes, looking good on paper is the easy part. If you are a person who has a hard time in social situations, considers themselves introverted, and dreads small talk, then this may be a very real reason you have been rejected after an interview. While your resume might have been sparking, hiring managers are still looking for someone who they believe will fit in well at the company. This typically means a person who has good interpersonal skills, has empathy, can carry a conversation, etc. If you dread interviews because of your lack of these skills, then doing mock interviews with friends could be the solution you’re looking for.
- You didn’t talk about your achievements. While it’s always good to have work experience that is relatable to the job for which you’re applying, potential employers also want to know how you contributed to those jobs. In the last five years of your career, what have you accomplished? Did you bring in new customers, contribute to a large group project, or increase sales? Your resume is where you want to list all of these things and sell yourself. There’s no room to be modest.
- Someone else had connections. Sometimes you are rejected through no fault of your own. A great way to get jobs is through connections. When a hiring manager is looking to hire someone, and gets a recommendation from a face he knows, he is more likely to hire that person than a stranger off the street. Knowing someone can be the difference between landing that dream job or being rejected. That’s why networking is so important to the job search process. The more you network, the more connections you make. The more connections you make, the more potential you have for getting an in at a company that’s hiring.
- You were too eager/arrogant. There is a fine line you have to straddle when it comes to the interview. You want to seem interested in the job, but not over-the-top interested. If you’re offering to do the job for less pay than advertised, showing up too early, or talking too much about your love of the company, the hiring manager is likely to be weary or even annoyed. On the flipside, being too confident, bordering on arrogance, can also cause problems. The hiring manager may not think you are taking the interview, or their time, seriously.
- You revealed your weaknesses. The dreaded question : “What do you consider your greatest weakness ?” will likely come up during any interview. This is always a tricky question, so it’s important to practice what you will say ahead of time. You don’t want to give any false answers, like being too organized or too punctual. A hiring manager will see right through this. You want to be honest, while also talking about how you are working to fix your weaknesses and better yourself. You definitely do not want to talk about how you can’t meet deadlines or have problems getting along with co-workers.
- You have a bad online presence. It’s the 21st century, which means employers are looking you up online to see what you’ve been up to. This could mean your LinkedIn profile, your page on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, a blog you keep, etc. This is all visible to anyone who looks. You want your online presence to be squeaky clean and professional, even if it’s not business related.
- You don’t work there already. A lot of the time, if possible, a company likes to fill a position from within the company. This could mean bumping someone who is entry-level up to a management position. It could mean shifting people around from other departments. These people already have an in at the company and have proven themselves. This just isn’t something you can control.
- Your resume is too long. A resume should be like a short pitch about yourself. It should be short, simple, and to the point. You want to include only the information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. You don’t need to talk about how you have a black belt in karate or that you were a lifeguard back in high school. Hiring managers only take about 6 seconds to scan your resume. You want them to look at what makes you the best candidate for the job, not information that is irrelevant.