Securing the exact job that you want is challenging. You need to be able to prove your value in minutes, often - seconds. In a highly competitive workforce and you have to be on top of your game, as others, both internally and externally of the organization, are competing against you to fill vacancies. Employers must be selective – they are utilizing their resources and time on investing and training you. Employees expect a superlative hire, so prove you are impactful.
Below is a list signifying possible reasons to why you aren’t being hired. At the end of the list, reflect upon what could be causing you to miss out on job opportunities and make some refinements to the suggested areas.
Resume The first stage of contact is the submission of your resume. Is your career drive visible and your objective apparent? Make sure to be specific - yet concise, include updated contact information and an appropriate email. Check if your resume is readable, succinct yet expressive, properly edited for grammar - checking for formatting errors and inconsistencies. Update your work history, tailored to match the job description and watch your present and past tenses. If your resume fails to show what you can contribute or have delivered to other organizations – employers may quickly overlook you.
Cover Letter Cover letters are seen as important documents within the application stage. Cover letters suggest more of yourself – than what has been presented on your resume. Elimination may occur if you have no cover letter, or if you do – it is too lengthy or non-descriptive. Also, not being inclusive of the company and only focusing on yourself in the cover letter is normally a turn off for employers – they want to see that you see that you fit and want to see, quickly, how.
Location You are just too far to be a reliable employee.
Social Media Be careful what you make public online, and if so, keep it professional. Most employers search for your social media account – through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other relevant platforms to visualize how you are identified within the community.
Qualifications You may be unskilled or too skilled for the job you have applied to. It is unfavourable if you’re too picky with where you work, as your selectiveness is eradicating your future job potential.
Attitude Your attitude is everything, verbal or non-verbal. Are you showing the capacity of your emotional intelligence? Displaying a negative disposition, bearing a lousy handshake or hygiene, lacking overall enthusiasm and interpersonal skills are unacceptable. It is advisable to be more relatable, timely, optimistic and acquiring a positive mindset. Importantly, one should be personable with everyone at the interview location – possessing polite mannerism and distinguishing oneself from the rest.
Communication Skills Communicating effectively is essential. Make sure to sell yourself in a short amount of time without interrupting or overstepping the interview. Stray from engaging in slang, voicing lots of ums and pauses, using inappropriate language and expressing poor body language – slouching, yawning and eye rolling are to be avoided. You need to be expressive enough - but not enough to announce all your weaknesses.
Wardrobe You are being judged by what you wear – probably all the time, but especially in a job interview. Try to look groomed and professional – if you are un-tucked, un-ironed and simply sloppy – employers will believe to think you do not pay attention to details personally and professionally.
Salary Expectations Bringing up the salary range before the employer brings it up is seen to be risky. Employers are led to think you only care about the money and are not passionate about the work involved – further leading to them choosing someone else. When asked the salary question – are you unrealistically aiming too high or are you desperately aiming too low?
Job Search You are ruining your chances of finding a job if you aren’t searching everywhere - everyday, both online and in person. If you are not asking friends, you are not networking, or not joining an association - you are neglecting the seriousness of the process and undoubtedly missing out on connections. When you apply for the same position more than once in a close timeframe – kiss any chance you had goodbye.
Interview Do not come unprepared to the interview - relax and rehearse prior, bring copies of your resume – memorize it and follow instructions given by the employer. Major red flags are raised if you know nothing about the company before the interview and if you are asking for things before you’ve been hired. Did you follow up with a thank you note after the interview, including why you should be chosen and classifying once again that you were interested in the position? Make sure that you can provide examples and stories of accomplishments, maintain eye contact, and prove that you are able to be loyal to the company.
References Glowing references are a must. Ensure there are back up references if your chosen contacts are not available to speak on your behalf. These references should also be able to offer rich reviews, as they are your advancement into the workforce.
Other Reasons The lack of securing employment may be due to other circumstances. The position could have been internally filled, the job search was cancelled, or you were excluded by mistake. It may also be that you just aren’t the right fit, personally or culturally.
Complete Application Did you complete the application fully? This is a process established to retain the ones who are serious and eliminate those who are not.
Remember, what is meant to be, will. Everything that happens in your life is for a reason, so keep pushing. It’s all about chemistry and you being qualified enough. Gain perspective - think of the characteristics of someone that you would want to hire - do you possess them? If not, it’s time to reinvent yourself. You should leave the employer feeling confident.
Rob Peacock is a Certified Fund Raising Executive with 30 years of fundraising experience and is CEO of Peacock Philanthropic and a Senior Associate with Charity Careers Canada. Rob is Past Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Canada and is a faculty member for the Masters in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University, Canada’s first Masters program in Philanthropy, where he also sits on the Advisory Committee.