Updated: Aug 24, 2021
If you have been looking for a job for a long while without much success, it is time for you to examine the reasons and learn from your failure.
"Too much competition", "Market is tough", "Not enough opportunities", etc. are some of the reasons that we get to hear from job-hunters explaining why they have not been able to land a job. Finding a job is tough and quite frustrating when you are not selected after several interviews. It is even more disappointing when you fail to even secure an interview. At this time, you may look for all kinds of reasons but fail to examine your own approach or the fault within you.
Before we look at the reasons, we also need to realize that rejection is a part of the job-hunting process. It is simply impossible to be selected for every job that you apply for, especially when a single job listing receives an average of 250 resumes. However, it is in your hands to adopt the best practices, learn from failures and boost your chances of succeeding. Here are some of the reasons why you are not landing a job -
1. You are not tailoring your resume or cover letter.
As we stated above, with plenty of resumes being sent for a single job application, you need to stand out from the rest. It is a very common mistake to not tailor your resume or cover letter to the job that you are applying for. Some do not even bother with a cover letter. (Click here, to know why you need a cover letter).
Employers and recruiters make use of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which looks for keywords in your resume that match the job description of the job opening. It is important to include those keywords in your resume to increase your chances of passing the ATS.
Besides that, it is also important to demonstrate your skills, experiences, and achievements on your resume. Show your value through a resume and you will create a great first impression.
Related - 5 common resume mistakes to avoid!
2. You are not applying to enough jobs.
You need to treat the whole process of applying for jobs as a job itself. Wake up earlier if you need to and spend time actively searching for jobs, tailoring your resume, cover letter and applying to the jobs that are relevant to you. Jobs will never come to you if you are not actively seeking them. Merely spending 5-10 minutes a day applying to them may not work out. The more jobs you apply to, the higher are your chances of landing one. Also, bear in mind, that you will still need to follow the rule of Quality over Quantity. Do not apply to jobs for the sake of applying especially if they are not of interest to you.
3. You are not addressing a big employment gap.
You should not address your employment gap in your resume but instead in your cover letter. This is one of the reasons why you need a cover letter. Short employment gaps do not require an explanation but if the gap is too large you may explain your reason in a couple of sentences. It is a lot better than saying nothing at all and may also give the recruiter a reason to not discard your job application.
4. You are not selling yourself.
A job involves selling your services and skills to a company that is in need of them. Every company looks for the best candidate and it is up to you to show how you are that best candidate. One way to do this is by conveying your knowledge, skills, and experience in the best possible way in your resume and also during an interview. Read books and watch videos to brush up on your interview skills and learn the art of selling yourself.
5. You do not have the right qualifications.
A very common reason for being rejected - you may have certain qualifications but not all of them or you may be overqualified for the position. Recruiters and hiring managers expect your experience, strengths, and skills to align with at least half of those listed in the job posting. To avoid being rejected over this, simply do not apply to jobs that you do not have the qualifications for or the jobs that are below your level of experience. Job postings mention the qualifications needed and the type of work to be performed, yet many do not read it and apply to the job by just looking at the job title.
6. You are not connected in the industry.
It is often said that 80% of jobs are never advertised. Employers prefer hiring internally as it saves them time and money. Hence, it becomes increasingly important to put yourself out there and network with people from your profession and target industry. In this age, it has been proven that what you know is not as important as who you know.
7. You are not networking enough or at all.
This is related to the previous point, networking helps you establish contacts and gets you noticed. Applying for a job does not end with sending your job application. You can then take further steps to reach out to employees at the company over a professional network such as LinkedIn. More often than not, they are happy to help and may even recommend your application for the posting.
8. You do not have good references.
Companies do not check references until you've been selected for the job. If you’re getting to this point and not getting hired, the references you’re providing or the lack of it may be the reason why you aren't securing the job. Check with your references and see if they are willing to speak in support of you.
9. You have poor interview skills.
You could submit a stunning resume and cover letter with great qualifications and experience yet you may still be rejected for being unprepared for the interview. Being nervous, arriving late or not knowing enough about the job or the company are some common mistakes that candidates make when attending an interview. Learn the art of mastering an interview - there are plenty of videos on YouTube that can be used as a reference guide for building interview skills.
10. You have mistakes in your job application.
It is quite frustrating having to fill out several pages for the application of a single job posting. At times, we may do it in a hurry and forget to proofread. Mistakes in your job application may cost you that interview. Double-check to ensure that all the details that you have submitted are correct. It is also important to proofread your resume and cover letter.
At The Side Hustler, we realize the importance of a resume, which is why we are offering you an opportunity to avail of our Professional Resume Writing Service.
We can help you create an eye-catchy Resume, Cover Letter and an optimized LinkedIn Profile with an appropriate layout that is relevant to your target industry using professional language that is proofread without any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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