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Why Am I Not Getting Hired? 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making

why am i not getting hired

Help! Why am I not getting hired?

No matter how great the job market is, the job search process seemingly never gets easier.

You may be following every job search tip in the book but are still not hearing anything back. After shooting off a few dozen application materials and not getting a positive response, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Rejection is hard to take at anything but a personal level, but don’t lose heart — the majority of job seekers actually go through a similar experience. You’re not alone in asking yourself, “Why am I not getting hired?”.

Glassdoor found that only four to six applicants receive an invitation to the interview phase for a job that receives an average of 250 resumes. Of course, only one of these hopefuls will actually get the job. What does this mean for the average applicant? This means that only around 2% of job seekers will get to the initial interview. They will then have a 0.4% probability overall of being the “chosen one.”

It might sound discouraging, but this eyebrow-raising number isn’t that striking if you think about how the average applicant measures up throughout the entire candidate experience. If you strive to be the cream of the crop, here are some of the biggest real-life mistakes to avoid as they could hurt your competitiveness.

job hunting mistakes

10 Biggest Mistakes Job Seekers Make

You might be asking: “Why am I not getting job interviews?” You have a strong resume and good background, but none of your applications seem to stick. We have a few ideas — and they’re mostly connected to what you do before, during, and after the interview stage.

During the Job Hunt

1. Ignoring the fact that AI may be reading your resume

You may have the greatest story to tell, best work ethic, and highest motivation to want to land a dream position. However, this could all go down the drain if your resume is not directly translated for machine eyes to see. Artificial intelligence (AI) has greatly disrupted how the applicant screening process works. In the past, a hiring manager would have been manually leafing through stacks of paper. Now, computers mostly do the cherry-picking first.

To get a shot at getting through that first round, you’ll have to optimize your resume to include measurable results, error-free spelling and grammar, and keywords relevant to the job description. While a robot-targeting resume may not feel as authentic, most large corporations find it necessary — and it’s up to the jobseekers to adapt.

2. Sending out too many generic applications

Not customizing your applications is, perhaps, the greatest job seeker offense and can destroy your chances of ever hearing back at all. If you’re shooting out hundreds of resumes and cover letters without tailoring each bullet point to be relevant to the actual job requirements, you’re probably wasting your time. Read up on the company’s values and what is most important to them, in addition to discussing the position itself, to succeed in getting invited to the next stage of the hiring process.

3. Applying for the wrong positions

Another source of your job hunting woes may also stem from the kinds of positions you’re applying for. It’ll be a tougher sell if you’re either under-qualified or overqualified for a role. If you don’t have enough experience, you might end up having a hard time performing. If you have too much experience, hiring managers might be concerned about giving a higher paycheck and retaining a bored employee down the road.

Those that apply to positions that fit within that sweet spot described in job postings stand a much better chance of getting a call back. This is because almost half (42 percent) of received resumes don’t meet the job requirements.

4. Getting started without a clear strategy

Wanting to get hired or switching careers is a job in itself and should, therefore, be approached with a system. You need to spend time evaluating which job openings fit what you can bring to the table, planning what to say or ask during the job interview, and how to make sure you aren’t easily forgotten well after.

Your strategy should also cover the search process itself, including how many companies you will apply to, how you might use industry connections to influence your entry, which references you’ll tap, and how you’re going to track the results of your efforts. You want that dream job, right? Don’t just hope for good things to happen; do something to make sure you get it.

During the Interview

5. Not minding your manners, online and in-person

Confidence is key, but cockiness or pride may explain why you’re not getting hired. From the start of the application process, be mindful of what you’re writing and how you come across when interacting with a hiring manager. While it can get frustrating not hearing back for weeks about a position, refrain from sending out follow-ups with rude comments or passive aggressive wording. You may have a brilliant resume, but a poor attitude will leave a very bad impression.

Even if you end up not getting a job, coming off as impolite will burn bridges and hurt employment chances at the same company later on.

6. Forgetting interview etiquette ‍and being unorganized

Landing an interview is a great sign!

Whenever you do hear back about an initial interview, the next challenge begins. In-person interactions require an even greater attention-to-detail than online correspondence. Why? So many verbal and non-verbal factors come into play, so it’s critical that you’re aware of any signal you’re giving off during the interview phase.

Remember to follow common interview etiquette. Answer with respect, avoid giving vague answers, dress appropriately, and rehearse your selling points ahead of time. It would help to have a mock interview with a friend before you head on to make sure all bases are covered and impressions are toned down. When you’re waiting to hear back afterwards, remember to send a thank-you message and follow up with any missing documents or information about yourself.

7. Letting your personality rub others the wrong way

Even if your qualifications speak for themselves, culture fit is still a critical piece of the hiring puzzle. “Why am I not getting a job,” you may ask? If hiring managers can’t envision your personality meshing well with the team, then it may be a reason you’re not getting hired. Again, be mindful of how you come off. Overconfidence is a huge red flag for employers. Even if you think you’re just being yourself. If you’re being polite and following interview and email protocol, and still have no success, it may be a sign that it’s not a mutual fit.

8. Lacking passion (and showing it)

Not all jobs will get you up and humming in the morning. However, if you’re aiming to get a job, focus on what about the position gets you excited. What are some positive points that you can focus on? Even if the job is just a way to provide for your family, let your excitement and gratitude show through in your correspondence.

Lack of passion is one of the killer mistakes during job interviews and, if you’re not careful, it will show. So, what can you do? Thoroughly research the company and culture before an interview to demonstrate you care enough to actually dive a little deeper. Lack of preparation also reflects lack of passion, so come to the meeting with true interest in getting hired.

After the Interview

9. Not using your network

Every job search process involves some form of networking with people who might have an influence on your hiring or have valuable information about the company. If you’ve had your eye on your dream job for a while, there’s no better time to start making connections with your potential employers than now. Networking is a long game and it will be the relationships formed along the way that will gain you better chances being considered over other prospective employees whom they don’t know at all.

10. Forgetting to connect after and say “thank you”

After the interview, a great way to make a good impression is to send everyone involved in the process a “thank you” email. Going the extra mile with this step demonstrates that you’re grateful for their time and for the opportunity to present yourself. This will help you stand out from all the others in the candidate pool. It doesn’t have to be a fancy thank you. Even just a short email will do. Hiring managers will appreciate the gesture, and this will reflect nicely on your work ethic.

Boost Your Chances of Getting Hired with BestCompaniesAZ

Getting a job can be challenging, but reaching your career goals shouldn’t be impossible! Next time you find yourself asking, “Why am I not getting hired?”, review these mistakes and try to pinpoint where you can strengthen your job search strategy.

Successful job seekers apply for a position armed with not just the relevant experience and biggest resume, they also come with a positive attitude and a strategy. Don’t waste your time sending out application after application without a plan.

With BestCompaniesAZ you can increase your hiring chances by connecting with the right job openings that best fit your skills. Take your pick of a fulfilling and well matching job for your qualifications. Not sure how to continue with the hunt? Check out Arizona’s best employers hiring now!

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