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11 Reasons You’re Not Getting Hired (and What To Do About It)

11 Reasons You're Not Getting Hired (and What To Do About It)11 Reasons You're Not Getting Hired (and What To Do About It)
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An inevitable aspect of the job search is not getting the job you hoped for. It’s not always clear why you weren’t able to secure a position you felt fit your experience and skills perfectly. Knowing the reasons why you weren’t hired will help you better prepare for the remainder of your job search and obtain an exceptional position. In this article, we explain why knowing the reasons you didn’t get the job is important for your future job search success, the most common reasons why and what to do to fix them.

Why knowing the reasons you weren’t hired is important

Knowing what possible reasons may be preventing you from moving forward in the hiring process will help motivate you during your job search. When you have an understanding of the areas you can improve upon, you can take action to become a better candidate impress hiring managers. Additionally, knowing which areas you can refine will help guide you in the right direction during your job search and reduce confusion, making the journey more enjoyable.

Can’t Get A Job

Reasons why you’re not getting hired

  • You’re passively participating.
  • You’re showing a lack of passion.
  • You’re undervaluing your talents.
  • Your application needs work.
  • You didn’t research the company.
  • Your expectations are high.
  • You have too much experience.
  • You’re underqualified for the job.
  • You need an industry connection.
  • Your interviewing skills need improvement.
  • You’re lacking references.

1. You’re passively participating

Having a proactive personality is directly correlated with career success. If you are applying to jobs without following up or simply applying to too few jobs, you are missing a key piece of the job search.

Work on strengthening your proactive approach to job searching by applying to more jobs a week, actively pursuing any possible leads by reaching out after interviews and strategizing your search. Strategies include knowing what type of job you’re looking for and what areas you are willing to adjust, such as salary, benefits, location and duties. It also entails knowing your strengths and weaknesses, setting time aside daily to search and apply and refining your resume.

2. You’re showing a lack of passion

Employers can sense if excitement for a position isn’t quite there. Skills can be taught, but employers desire to see passion and enthusiasm when considering applicants.

Convey how excited you are for a position in your cover letter and during your initial interview. When you apply for a job, read through the description and research the company thoroughly. Make a list of all the details that make you eager to work for that company and be sure to explain why you love your work and how you can be beneficial to the company’s mission and objectives.

3. You’re undervaluing your talents

Job searching is one of the most important times to show confidence and pride in your skills, knowledge and education. If you don’t demonstrate your greatest strengths and accomplishments, you may be overlooked for a role you are otherwise well-suited for.

Improve your ability to sell yourself by first understanding what your greatest strengths and accomplishments are and how they relate to the job you’re applying to. Then, carefully choose the traits and achievements that show the value you bring to a company and detail them in your resume and cover letter. Echo these in your interview with a balance of pride and humility.

Can’t find A Job

4. Your application needs work

Your resume and cover letter are likely one of the most common reasons you’re not getting interviews. Your application is the first impression a hiring manager has of you and is the first step to getting an interview. If your resume doesn’t highlight your abilities well, is missing a sense of uniqueness or lacking keywords, you may not be chosen to move on in the hiring process.

Enhance your resume with an interesting introduction to get the hiring manager’s attention. Be sure to focus on your previous successes and accomplishments, and tailor your resume to each job. Even if two jobs are very similar, you still want to read the job posts and pick out the desired keywords and skills. Compare these to the skills you already possess and include the ones you have in your resume to help you stand out from other applicants.

5. You didn’t research the company

Another area that may affect your ability to find a job is forgoing research on the company and role. Many employers ask questions during an interview to test a candidate’s knowledge of the company and the job. They want to know a potential employee has taken the time to learn about the organization and shows a true interest in working there.

To help fix this, spend some time researching the company online and learning the following basic information:

  • Who the owner or CEO is
  • What the company’s goals, mission and values
  • What company culture is like
  • What the role entails

Your keen interest and attention to detail will impress employers.

6. Your expectations are high

It’s important to be flexible with salary and benefits expectations if you can afford to be. Some jobs may ask for an expected salary range, while others will have a set hourly wage. Going into an interview with a list of non-negotiable requirements may be a red flag for employers.

To improve upon your expectations, work on being as flexible as you can. Make a list of the benefits you need like health insurance and paid-time-off. Then, make an additional list of benefits that would be ideal, but negotiable such as hourly rate, salary or a retirement plan. Going into the interview explaining your needs and showing flexibility gives employers the positive impression that you are adaptable. Many employers may negotiate benefits with you if they have the authority to do so.

Job Interview

7. You have too much experience

While not always the case, large gaps between your experience and actual job requirements can cause you to be overlooked. Sometimes employers don’t pursue over-qualified candidates because they cannot pay what they believe an applicant will expect, or they want to be sure the applicant will stay with the company long-term and not look for a better job soon after hire.

If you are overqualified for a job, you can still keep yourself in the pool of applicants. A few ways to do this include addressing your experience outright in your application, explaining your salary flexibility and focusing on your interest in the work itself. Making it clear why you are applying will give employers more reason to invite you for an interview. Another way to increase your chances of getting hired is to match the skills on your resume to the job. You should always demonstrate that you have and are willing to do the tasks required, even if they are of less complexity than your last job.

8. You’re underqualified for the job

Many applicants shy away from applying for jobs that seem above their experience and skillsets, since employers often pass on applicants who lack the necessary skills for the job. This said, if you know how to approach the hiring manager with what you do bring to the job, it is still possible to be considered.

To improve your chances of getting hired for an advanced job, take the time to show the hiring manager you are a match for the position. A few ways to do this include listing as many key skills and experiences you can that are mentioned in the job post and mentioning education, volunteering, internships and any other learning experiences related to the role.

9. You need an industry connection

In today’s job market, having network connections can be of great benefit to applicants. Many companies have referral programs to bring in new hires because the success rate of referred employees is much higher than candidates acquired from job postings.

To work on your networking skills, attend conferences and events within the industry you’re looking to work in. When you receive leads or a referral from a contact, be sure to ask permission to use their name when you reach out. Remember, your network can also include friends and family. Letting people around you know what type of work you’re looking for can open up more opportunities for you.

10. Your interviewing skills need improvement

The initial interview is one of the most pivotal moments in the hiring process. Hiring managers base a lot on the first interview including how well you communicate and think critically, as well as your attention to detail and level of professionalism.

To improve your interview skills follow, these suggestions:

  • Dress appropriately. Your attire may vary depending on the type of job, however, your outfit should look professional and polished.
  • Arrive early. This shows your time management skills and respect for the company and interviewer’s time.
  • Silence your phone or turn it off. Focus on listening, making eye contact and paying full attention to the interviewer’s questions. This shows you are fully invested in the interview and avoid distractions easily. Make sure your phone is away and out of sight.
  • Keep your answers clear and succinct. Interviewers want responses that are straight-forward and directly answer their questions. If they ask you to provide an example, this is the time to go a bit more in-depth with your answer while remaining on track.
  • Speak positively or neutrally of past jobs and managers. Always speak well of past jobs to show your maturity and conflict-resolution skills. Explain difficult past experiences by discussing the issue and the solution, while remaining neutral of the other parties involved.
Getting Hired

11. You’re lacking references

References are useful for hiring managers because they attest to the skills and experiences a candidate has listed on their resume. Lacking appropriate references, or having no references, can affect your eligibility for a job.

To fix this, you’ll need to reach out to individuals that can confirm your abilities and would be willing to recommend you for a job. References are usually former bosses or coworkers, but can also be former professors, vendors or colleagues you worked closely with. If you are just starting out, using character references like friends, neighbors and fellow volunteers can help. Make sure your references are reliable and aware of the specific job you are applying to.


Agolo Uzorka
the authorAgolo Uzorka

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