Why nobody wants to hire you
Can't get a job, even though you look in the mirror and what you see looking back is pure awesome?
Here are 15 reasons why people don't want to hire you.
You're not a magical renaissance machine willing to work for less than what you're worth. Yes! The first reason is: it's not you, it's them. It's starting to become clear to the people who understand these things that employers are totally shooting themselves in the feet these days. They're looking for candidates with a wide array of skills, who are already experienced at the job in question, because they don't want to spend the time and money on training, yet they're not willing to pay the market rate. So, they go around whining that there aren't enough skilled people out there. It's BS. But I don't know what you can do about it.
You don't already have a job: It's an issue that's gotten a lot of attention lately: employers aren't hiring the unemployed. The thinking seems to be “Who wants someone nobody else wants?” And if you've been out of the workforce for some time, they worry that your skills will be out of date in an economy where things change really fast. At least stay up to date on what is happening in your industry and find a way to showcase this if you can.
You're not getting past the bots: Resumes are usually screened by software these days, a process that means excellent candidates are getting overlooked. Peter Cappelli wrote in an essay last year about a human-resources executive who applied anonymously for a job at his own company as an experiment, and didn't make it through the screening process. The gatekeeping software looks for recognized words and phrases, so pepper your resume with keywords relevant to the job and industry. Don't just echo back the job description. Find related skills and words to use. Do some research in how this software works and how to get past it.
You aren't qualified: If you're going after gigs for which you aren't qualified, you better have some salient selling points to make up for it. Yes, there's the point above about employers looking for too much but it's also true that people often go after gigs they're not capable of doing, particularly in the creative industry, where folks assume skill is not needed and they'll just figure it out. Recently a, uh, friend who was looking for a news writer went through a glut of people insisting they'd have no trouble with the job and who turned out to be totally useless when given a test. Go after jobs for which you are genuinely qualified or adjust your skill set accordingly.
You have a stupid email address: SexyTime69@whatever.com and PartyInMyPants@Imanidiot.ca are bad ideas. This is less common now that email is no longer a novelty but when you have a common name and everything from James.Brown one through 420 @gmail.com is taken, it can be tempting to get funky. Avoid the temptation. I'm told this is a pet peeve among hiring managers and your resume will be deemed junk. Hiring managers are no fun, man.
You're late: Don't be late for a job interview. This is a deal-breaker for a lot of employers. If you can't be on time for the one time you supposedly want to impress them most, what hope is there for the future? Oh, and don't show up late and drunk. I actually heard a story about someone doing this. Bad form.
You lied: If you get caught lying -- and don't assume you won't. How do you know you and the hiring manager don't know anyone in common? -- you are certain to not get the job. But they're not going to tell you that's why they're not hiring you. So, you might go on thinking no one is the wiser, where in reality, you're endlessly sabotaging yourself. Because you are an idiot.
You're not passionate: Employers want you to be excited about the position. They want you to have done your research into the company, the market, the job. They want you to be a keener. The job search is not the time to play it cool. Don't go insane about it and start telling the hiring managers that you know where they hang out and what their favourite movies are. That's creepy. But DO know what the company does and show that you know.
You look like a jerk online: You posted a picture of yourself mooning the camera on your Facebook. Your tumblr is nothing but beer drinking and barf gifs. You rant about your boss and complain about your job. You tweet about your sex life. Even if you're not doing these things, does your web presence make you look awesome? If not, change it. You should be putting your best foot forward online because employers WILL look at your social media. That's a given in most cases. Take down the pic of you grabbing the feature dancer's boobs and put up the one of your rowing team.
You're lazy about your LinkedIn: At the same time, keep your LinkedIn up to date and don't just use it when you're looking for a job. Join groups, network and interact. Make friends and respond to what people post in groups. Treat it similarly to your other social networks but in a more professional capacity.
You lack confidence: You are your only sales representative here. You have to sell what you have and if you don't have confidence in your ability to do the job, employers will not be buying. They are not going look beyond your sweaty sheen of nervous tension and think, “Aw, maybe I should give him a chance! The poor little lamb.”
You're just a bad interview: Some of us just fall apart when faced with the job interview. I know. I'm one of them. I get flustered, I forget what I was going to say, I worry about whether I'm making too much or not enough eye contact. I think there's probably a booger hanging out of my nose. I sweat. It's awful. Experts recommend you practice. Get a buddy, come up with some questions you think you might be asked, then sit down and do a mock interview. Write down your best points and memorize them, but not so much that it sounds rehearsed.
You don't follow up: Who knew you were supposed to follow up after a job interview!? I didn't until I was in, like, my thirties. You're supposed to send an email or a note thanking the interviewer for his or her time, saying how much you enjoyed chatting and, according to Forbes, making it clear that you listened to the hirer's requirements. Follow up. It's important.
You're inarticulate: Like, your every second word is, like, you know? Like, an interviewer asks you what you think you can bring to the company and you're all, well, like, I'm really, like a good communicator? You can't change all of these things but you can learn to, like, talk good at least, right? I dunno, whatever.
You're just not likable: You talk too loud, you dress sloppy, there's an air of sniffiness about you, you're defensive, I don't know. I don't know your life. But employers hire people they LIKE and want to work with, so if there's anything offputting about you, figure out what it is and fix it. Read books on communicating and on How to Win Friends and Influence People (by Dale Carnegie). Then make yourself into the sort of personality people want to have around. In the end, if you have the skills and get past the bots and into the interview room, this is the thing that will matter most.
Category: Job search strategies