13 reason why you're not getting a job
So you’ve been searching for a job for some time but still haven’t found one. You’re applying for the right roles and your work experience matches the job description. Yet, even after applying for hundreds of jobs, you’re not getting offers.
If you’re going through this situation, you can fix it with a few minor changes. As long as you’re getting interviews and getting a shot to pitch yourself, a few changes will go a long way. How you prepare for the interview and frame your answers can mean the difference.
Go through the scenarios that I’ve described below to diagnose what’s keeping you from that job offer and fix it.
You’re applying but you’re not hearing back from the recruiter
This is a very common scenario and often the easiest to fix.
1)Your resume is not personalized for the job description -
Every company receives on average 250 job applications for each position. And most candidates get lost in this sea of applicants. So if you’re not getting enough calls, it has got to do something with the structure of your resume or the content. Read more here on how to write a resume.
2) Your resume is getting rejected by ATS -
Applicant Tracking Systems can be a pain if you’re not optimizing your resume. They scan your resume for specific keywords. If the software doesn’t find those keywords on you resume, your profile is not shortlisted.
Yes I know. The software cannot be a good judge and it cannot understand your past experience but we have to work with it.
That is why it is important that you give enough time to each job application and tailor your resume.
3) You’re not applying to enough jobs -
Job search should not be about volume but you have to send a decent number of job applications. It’s a game of numbers.
I’ve met job seekers who said that they’re serious about getting a new job. They then tell me how they applied to 5 jobs last week. This is not enough. Not even close.
Getting a job is a full time job itself. You need to spend a couple of hours each day on sending out quality job applications.
4)You’re applying for jobs without a strategy -
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you need to stand out from the rest of the job seekers. If you have the same generic resume for each job, you’ll be one more candidate with nothing to differentiate.
Besides, your job is not done by sending that email or hitting apply on the job board. According to a study done by Jobvite, only 1 in 6 candidates will get shortlisted for an interview.
You need to show your commitment and seriousness for that job. If you’re serious about that job, you’ll follow up with the recruiter until he/she either says yes or no. You can be polite and ask the recruiter if there is any update on our application status. Read more on how to follow up after applying.
5) You have a career gap -
This is a situation which is manageable as long as you decide to tackle it head on.
Address the elephant in the room and write them a cover letter explaining the gap. Highlight what you were doing during that period. Ensure that you highlight the reasons in a positive manner. You want the recruiter to feel that you were up-skilling yourself.
You’re giving your first interview but not hearing back from the hiring manager
If you’re at this stage, it means that your resume and cover letter don’t need improvements. Even so, if you are committing any of the mistakes mentioned above, it still makes sense to rectify them.
1) You’re not researching the company before the interview -
Every hiring manager wants to hire the perfect candidate. Someone who not only has all the qualifications, but also a job search strategy.
A candidate who knows what they're looking for is less likely to accept a bad offer and leave soon after joining.
By doing a little bit of research, you can mention what you like about this opportunity.
And how you’re going to fit in with the company's culture is gaining importance.
2) You’re not passionate about the role -
During the phone interview, they want to check your technical as well as cultural skills. They may not ask why you love this role. But you can be sure that they are evaluating whether you’ve examined your skills and the job description.
3) You’re not able to explain the career gap -
Explaining the career graph without sounding negative is a skill. Taking some time off for personal reasons or getting laid off is not a deal breaker unless you make it one.
The interviewer only wants to see how you view the whole experience and how you’ve grown. Explain it to them that you’re now ready to return to the workforce.
4) You’re not following up with the recruiter -
Often the interviewer forgets to update your application status and notify you. Sometimes they need some information but get occupied with work and they never get back to you.
It’s easy to assume that your profile was not shortlisted. While it could be a case of the interviewer forgetting to update you. Wait for 4-5 days after the interview to send a short follow up email and inquire about your status.
The interviewer will appreciate it and even if you are not shortlisted, they’ll let you know. Read more on how to write a follow up email.
You’ve given several rounds of interview but are not getting job offers
If you’re at this stage, you have nailed close to everything. It could be your bad luck. The company could have made a tough call and went ahead with someone else. Getting rejected at this stage is generally due one of the 4 scenarios that I’ve described below.
1) Your expected salary was beyond their range -
Quoting a salary that is higher than what they can offer can lead to a rejection even if you had ticked all the boxes. Use Glassdoor to find out the expected salary for your role, company and location. It would be even better if you do this in the initial rounds of interview.
Often the hiring manager will ask you about compensation and you should have an answer ready. My favorite is to not give an exact number and give them a salary range that they would be comfortable with. Of course this requires you to have gone through Glassdoor before hand.
2) You’re not following up -
Several rounds of interviews with many candidates can make it difficult for the interviewer to keep track. They can forget to forward your profile. Or the HR can get busy with other commitments and not get back to you.
You have spent hours applying for roles and giving interviews. So don’t miss out on an opportunity by avoiding a 5 minute step.
And unless you use a job application tracker, you’ll forget important dates or interviews. You can use Jobtrackable to organize all your applications and set reminders. And by using the Kanban board, you can focus on the important job positions in your job search.
3) You’re not tailoring your answers according to the role -
You might think that you gave reasonable answers. You made no mistakes but nothing stands out about you.
Unfortunately, that is not good enough to get an offer. The interviewer is speaking to dozens of candidates each day. And unless you’re able to capture their attention, your resume won't get shortlisted. Even if you have strong qualifications and work experience.
You need to connect with the person on the other end. Practice your answers before every interview. Have a friend go over your responses. If they find your answers to be long, winded and irrelevant, you know where you need to improve.
4) You lack interview skills -
You may be super smart and perfect for the role, and still manage to screw up the interview. You could be getting nervous or you can be fumbling when discussing the compensation.
It all comes down to practice. Interview is a process to understand you, and it involves some difficult questions.
It can be that you don’t ask good questions at the end of the interview. To some recruiters it can signal that you might not be keen about the role. Or if you do, the questions are basic which can signal that you did not do your research about the role and the company.
If you still need some help, you can reach out to some career coaches who can help you prepare.
If you've gone through the above steps, you're on a good track. You would have found the areas where you were lacking. And would be better prepared now to land that job.
Landing a job is not easy. Especially with everything that is happening around us. Determination and a habit of pursuing every job opportunity will play a vital role.
And by organizing your job search and following up with recruiters, you'll stand out. Set up reminders if you've a habit of forgetting important dates. Or let Jobtrackable do the hard work for you.