Job Search Tips

7 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

Written by Jessie Liu

If you’re searching for a new job, you want to be sure you don’t make any obvious mistakes that might keep you from finding work—especially after spending a lot of time on job search sites. Although most people know it is a bad idea to cancel at the last moment or wear a running suit to an interview, smaller mistakes can also keep you from being considered.

1. You didn’t proofread your resume

With just one glance, a resume can tell a recruiter a lot about a job applicant. A resume that’s messy and contains bad grammar or typos is not likely to be taken seriously. You can fix problems with your resume by using an online grammar checker and rereading it carefully to look for mistakes. If you have a friend who is a whiz at grammar and punctuation, ask him or her to look it over for you. Whatever it takes, make your resume as perfect as you can.

2. Your resume is unfocused

Did you write your resume a year ago and are now just recycling it to apply for jobs? The days of using a general resume are over. Because hiring managers are busy people, they want to interview the best candidates for the job and not waste time on applicants whose qualifications aren’t a good fit. Rewriting your resume to include your qualifications that fit perfectly with the job description can get you that interview.

3. You didn’t write a cover letter

Hiring managers go to the cover letter first before looking at an applicant’s resume. Even when applying for a position by sending your resume via email, you really need to include a cover letter. Many hiring managers won’t consider an application without one. Remember to include the reason you want the job in your cover letter, and don’t make it a mini copy of your resume.

4. You went into the interview cold

Let’s say you’ve been invited for a job interview. You’re feeling pretty confident at this point. But, overconfidence and lack of preparation has cost countless people a job offer. Do your homework. Job interviews normally consist of knowing about the company where you are applying, asking questions that are relevant, telling the recruiter why you are qualified and how you can be an asset in the job, and doing a follow up afterward.

5. You cast your net too wide

One mistake some job seekers make is not focusing on the type of job itself. Think about opportunities, not one particular job, and you can find yourself employed faster. Maybe you have your heart set on a job with the Widget Company, but you would have to start at the bottom and work your way up because there are no openings for someone with your qualifications. Focus clearly on the position you want to fill, and expend your efforts in that direction.

6. You weren’t on time

Time matters when it comes to hiring managers. Showing up late for an interview reflects badly, as does showing up too early because it can make you appear anxious and make the interviewer feel pressured. Do leave early to get to your interview about 10 minutes before it is scheduled, but find a spot to relax if you arrive before that.

7. You got too personal

Making a personal connection with a hiring manager can be a good idea, such as sharing an interest in a ball team or certain things about the city. However, going overboard and supplying too many details about your personal life takes up the hiring manager’s time and may not reflect well on you. Rambling on, whether in a resume or during an interview, can leave a bad impression. If you do relate personal information, keep it in context with the job.

After spending time searching classified job ads and sending in a resume, common mistakes made by a job applicant can cost that person a job. Just as knowing how to be a successful job applicant and sail through an interview is valuable information, knowing how to conduct a job search in a practical way is also. Instead of looking at countless job ads in different locations, TheJobSearch does the work for you by sending you email alerts when jobs fitting your qualifications become available. Fill out your job interests and qualifications, sign up with TheJobNetwork, and that is all it takes.

About the author

Jessie Liu

Jessie Liu is a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, Digital Analytics, Content Marketing and Social Media. She helps lead TheJobNetwork’s content marketing efforts, including content strategy and promotion strategy. She believes in data-driven decision making. She recently adopted a Beagle mix puppy named Happy. Feel free to tweet her @jessiecliu for pictures of her adorable new puppy or just any marketing related stuff.