Finding a job isn’t easy (especially when searching for a job you’ll love). As a result, the job search process can often be tiring, discouraging, and tedious. If you’re going to interview after interview or even not receiving interviews at all, you may be asking yourself, “Where am I going wrong?”
Reflection is an important part of growth in any situation, professional or personal. So we’ve outlined 10 possible reasons you may be falling short in your job search to help you reflect, grow, and land that job.
1. Your resume isn’t beating ATS
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) may be a hiring manager’s best friend, but they can also be the enemy of job seekers. If you haven’t heard of ATS before, don’t worry. Many job seekers aren’t aware of what ATS is and how it’s impacting their job search.
ATS refers to artificial intelligence software that many companies use to sift through the resumes of potential candidates from those that are qualified and those that are not. However, much like any other AI system, the software isn’t perfect and it can sometimes weed out candidates who would have been perfect for the job. If you weren’t aware of ATS, you may not know how to beat it to ensure your resume lands in the hands of hiring managers. Read this article to learn more.
2. You aren’t asking questions after the interview
If you’ve made it to the interview and did an excellent job answering your questions but neglected to ask any of your own, you’ve already done yourself a disservice. Hiring managers are sifting through tons of applicants. You have to do something that makes you stand out from the crowd.
If you were asked if you had questions and responded with, “No, not at this time,” you’ve already hurt your chances of hearing back. I say it so bluntly because I’ve made this mistake, and it didn’t turn out well for me either! During your interview, take advantage of your attentive listening skills and formulate questions to ask at the end. If you’d rather have some standard questions in your back pocket before the interview begins, check out this article.
3. You aren’t following up with your interviewer
Another way you can hurt your chances with hiring managers or recruiters is to not follow up after your interview to thank them for their time. Again, they’re interviewing tons of applicants. They need someone who is a go-getter and who is eager for this opportunity. Also, it’s simply polite.
The rule of thumb for when to send that thank you message is to send it the same day as your interview once you have the chance. If you wait until the next day or the next week, they may have already made their decision by then. The hiring process doesn’t work the same as dating; there are no weird rules on when you should contact them again after the interview. Sooner is better than later. Oh, and don’t forget to include a small detail from your interview in your note to help them remember you.
4. You aren’t being open-minded in your job search
I learned this lesson pretty early on as a college student applying for internships. I was being too picky when applying and getting tunnel vision. It got me nowhere. You have to be a little open-minded in your job hunt. Have a few titles or roles that you’re interested in instead of one.
Now, I’m not saying to throw away your dreams and accept any position. That isn’t what’s going to make you happy or successful. Instead, conduct research into what other roles you are qualified for that are similar to your desired role. When I first began my job search, not doing my research and understanding my full scope of options hurt me just as badly as my tunnel vision did. Please, learn from my mistakes and understand all of your options.
5. You’re looking for jobs that aren’t the right fit
Sometimes, we can be too ambitious (or the complete opposite). It’s important that you look at yourself and your experiences in an honest light. Perhaps even ask a friend for their opinion. While it certainly is possible to advance your career and jump roles, it isn’t entirely common.
Unfortunately for job seekers, hiring managers are looking for candidates who fulfill the exact needs of the role they have to fill. If you lack experience, they probably aren’t going to take the risk of hiring you because you haven’t proven yet that you can handle the responsibilities. On the other hand, they also don’t want to hire someone who is beyond qualified for the role because they may assume that such a candidate will only want that role temporarily.
When hunting for jobs, you’ll have the highest success when you’re applying for jobs that align well with your previous experiences. If you’re struggling with how to figure that out, we can help.
6. Other candidates are performing better in interviews
A piece of advice I like to give that some may not like is this: You can’t control other people. It’s as simple as that. You have no power over how well the other candidates are performing in interviews or how qualified your competition is for the role.
When I was in college, I had an interview for an internship that went so incredibly well. The interviewer and I hit it off immediately because we had both been a part of Greek life at our shared alma mater and he knew about my organization’s values and work ethic. I also felt that I was extremely qualified for the position. But guess what, I still didn’t get it.
I contacted my interviewer when I received the news to ask if there was anything more I could have done during the interview to have gotten the offer. They said no. While our interview had gone incredibly well, they had simply decided to go with a different candidate. And that was all there was to it. When situations like this one happen, all you can do is brush it off and keep trying because as much as you prepare, ultimately, you can’t control the situation.
7. You aren’t getting your name out there properly
Knowing how to properly market yourself is a big part of finding a job. If you aren’t actively getting your resume out on job boards, you’re seriously hurting your chances of a recruiter finding you. The good news is that there are tons of job boards out there to help you do this.
If you haven’t created your LinkedIn profile yet, get that done immediately! Over 90% of recruiters actively use LinkedIn, so you want to not only have an account on that platform, but you want it to be as close to perfect as your resume is. In addition to being on LinkedIn, you’ll also want to create accounts on different job boards to help widen your reach. Check out our article on the top 50 job boards to know where to begin.
8. You’re applying for jobs too late
Unfortunately, many people at this time are applying to jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, that means the competition is greater than ever. To help your chances of landing an interview, keep a close eye on those job boards, and apply to jobs as quickly as you can once they’re listed.
Hiring managers are extremely busy, and they may not take down listings for filled positions in a timely manner, which means you could be wasting a lot of your time applying for jobs that aren’t even available anymore. Apply early and apply frequently.
9. You embellished your resume
If you’ve been searching for a job for a while now and not having any luck, you may consider starting to embellish some of the minor details on your resume. What’s the big deal, it’s just a few minor details, right? No! Embellishing your resume will get you blacklisted with recruiters so quickly.
Recruiters have a large network and a lot of experience doing this. If you get caught embellishing your resume, they’ll know it, and it will come back to bite you. Do yourself a favor and check out this article and what to do and what not to do on your resume.
10. You’re lacking in passion
Like I’ve said before, hiring managers are looking to bring in someone who is going to love what they do. When people love their work, they’re much more productive. Ideally, you will be able to showcase your passion within your interview by being friendly, personable, and legitimately excited.
Now, if you’re anything like me, interviews are extremely stressful. I’m not going to lie, I can be extremely awkward and shy, which means interviews are not always where I thrive. That doesn’t have to mean I can’t showcase my passion for a job. If you have trouble expressing yourself in the interview, be sure to do so in your cover letter that you submitted along with your resume. Use that first short paragraph to really highlight why you want that role and that company. It seems like a small gesture, but it will help. I promise.
These are simply 10 mistakes we see many job seekers make all of the time. If you’re looking at this list and don’t know where to begin, don’t get overwhelmed. Our team at BrandResumes is prepared to help. In fact, we have a package exactly for this. Our Ultimate Professional Package is tailored to help you land a job. For more information, check this out on our page and schedule a consultation with one of our experts. Good luck!