Job searches can be frustrating. We know because we’ve conducted them ourselves many times before. And one question that every job seeker has asked themselves at one point is, “Why am I not getting hired?”
It’s terribly unnerving when you don’t know why employers are passing you over for jobs, and they aren’t exactly forthcoming with their reasons … until now.
Let’s take a look at some common reasons you’re not getting hired:
1. Common reasons people don’t get hired
- Not differentiating themselves from other candidates or showcasing their specific strengths for the particular position.
- Not showing interest or enthusiasm for the role.
- Not preparing for the interview – it’s obvious to employers.
- Not demonstrating that they’ve researched the employer before an interview.
- Not asking questions during the interview, or asking questions that are way too easy or obviously answered by research. Employers want more specific questions that show you’re thinking deeply about the role.
2. Common mistakes that stop people from even getting an interview
Peter Shankman, author, entrepreneur, speaker, and uber-networker, is telling job seekers exactly why they’re not getting hired.
The reasons are shocking in their simplicity: 50% of the folks that Shankman didn’t hire for a recent opening at his company were cut from the running because they made genuinely dumb mistakes.
Do yourself a big favor as a job seeker and read on to find out the four mistakes that kept these people from getting hired.
Out of 481 resumes received for an Assistant Editor position …
- 33 didn’t follow instructions: “33 resumes were immediately disqualified for not being able to follow the simple instruction of where to send it.”
- 184 didn’t include a cover letter: “184 resumes simply had a resume attached with absolutely no cover letter, no subject line, no information insofar as the position you were applying for, and no reason for us to even bother opening the resume.”
- 52 didn’t proofread: “52 resumes either had one or more spelling or grammar errors or were addressed to the wrong person, or were applying for jobs at different companies entirely.”
- 28 didn’t have a professional email address: “28 resumes were eliminated due to their email addresses. Now while you think this is harsh, hear me out. I’ve never met you before. Do you really want the first thing I know about you to be that your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org?
So let’s do the math. from 481 resumes received, 297 of them were immediately rejected because of silly mistakes that could have very easily been avoided. That’s 62%!
If you’re a responsible job seeker who takes the time to not make mistakes, this should make you feel more confident. If not, read on for the key lessons and actions job seekers need to take to avoid not getting hired.
Job seekers, take these actions when applying to the next job listing:
- Follow instructions and send your resume (and a cover letter!) to the correct place (whether that is an email address, online application system, or both).
- Always write a cover letter (in the body of your email is fine), no matter how short, which describes what you’re applying to and why you’re qualified.
- Check, re-check, and triple-check your cover letter and resume to ensure that you’ve eliminated grammatical and spelling errors. Also, check to make sure you are addressing your materials to the correct person at the correct company.
- Sign up for a professional email address TODAY. Email addresses are free, so this should be the easiest step in your job search. Yahoo and Gmail offer free email addresses. Your name is a perfect choice – no one can accuse JaneMDoe@gmail.com of being unprofessional.
- Prepare and research before an interview. Employers want to see that you have more than a cursory knowledge of their organization and that you’ve done some deeper thinking about the role itself.
Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting, flexible schedule, and freelance job listings. Find Brie on Twitter, @briewreynolds.