Have you ever wondered why companies won’t hire you, let alone even bother to look at your resume or cover letter? I have put together the top 15 reasons why you might be currently unemployable. Straight from the source.
Warning – this blog is maybe a little sarcastic. But, this morning I was clearing out my email and I had the same 10 – 15 emails that I receive every month from job hunters who hit me with the reoccurring themes of “stuck in a communication black hole”, “unable to find a job”, “recruiters suck” etc. These emails are usually filled with anger, and they often contain threats that the job hunter will hit the keyboard and tell the world via social media how badly and unfair they are being treated.
Why am I writing about this? Well if any of these shoes fit, get a new pair of boots quickly. Better yet, share this with people you know that could benefit from this blog.
Do you know who I am talking about? Did you suggest to the known culprit how they could approach or deal with people differently? No? Why not? It wasn’t your place? What good would it do? Unless you do something, you’ll never know if it will work. This is a plea to help a fellow job seeker by providing them with the honest, maybe even brutal feedback they need. If they hear you and if you are authentic in your message and its intent, they’ll thank you later.
So, stop playing it safe and take some risks. Let’s help our fellow job hunters, OK?!
These are the 15 most common reasons and descriptions of job hunter behaviour my team and I have witnessed that prevent some job hunters out there from getting a job. Feel free to add yours!
#1 You’re not paying attention
Employers want to know you took the time to read the job ad properly and more importantly, to learn a bit about the company. Not knowing some details about the business or where head office is could convey that you’re disinterested or even lazy.
#2 You just don’t get that ‘this isn’t about you, it is about the employer’
If you are still obsessing over what to say in your resume or personal pitch and using the same resume and standard cover letter to apply for every job, then you are missing the boat. No one cares just about what you’ve done and where you’ve been. They want to know how you can solve their problems. Enough said.
#3 You display a sense of entitlement
It’s never a good idea to display entitlement on paper or in a job interview. If you go in with a list of demands, you will be out before it even starts. Having a general salary expectation is expected, but requiring six weeks of vacation from the get-go??
#4 You’re over / or underqualified
This is perhaps one of the biggest issues for chronic job seekers. Are you bullet-spraying the big job-sites , applying for your dream job even though your experience and education don’t really make you a dream candidate? Or maybe you’re desperate for a job (any job!) and are willing to take something (anything!), even jobs well below your pay grade? Ask yourself honestly whether you need to adjust your expectations accordingly. Enough said.
#5 You have no connections
It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you. No one cares anymore if you have 500 connections on LinkedIn. It takes 3 mouse clicks to work out how well connected you are to your 500 LinkedIn friends. This has never been truer, especially in today’s competitive job market. You can’t fool the world.
#6 You still don’t know how recruiters work
Seriously guys, for the last time, recruiters do not find you a job. They work for the employer. Get informed! Here’s a post about the differences between a recruiter, hiring manager and HR … they all have different missions.
#7 Your LACK OF DRIVE shows
If you find yourself applying for positions that don’t excite you, don’t be surprised if potential employers sense this lack of passion. Employers know that skills can always be taught, but that passion is either there or it’s not.
#8 You have ZERO self-confidence
We can hear it in your voice in the first three seconds. The way you are speaking can clearly show you have zero self-confidence. I can sometimes hear it in the way you actually say “Hello”!
#9 You’re sloppy
I don’t care if I am just a career coach. If you are writing me an email or a message on LinkedIn or Facebook, follow the protocol of how to reach out. Write my name properly. DO NOT WRITE IN ACRONYMS! I am not your friend. I am your business associate, and I want to assist those who want to be helped and have the right attitude. I don’t care if no one said anything to you before — maybe, just maybe, that’s a reason why you are still looking for work.
#10 You are not following directions
If a company or recruiter writes “Submit cover letter and resume to” or “Do not submit cover letter, just resume to…” then FOLLOW THE RULES! Read carefully. If you can’t submit your resume properly, how will you submit a proposal properly?
#11 You do not fit the career or the culture
I want you to find a job, and even more than that, I want to help you get there. But if you do not fit in because of your qualifications or your personality, there is nothing I can do on your resume or otherwise until something turns up that matches you and your background.
#12 You’ve got nothing to say
If you aren’t reading the news and you aren’t up on current events, you may have very little to contribute to any conversation. This is probably the reason why you aren’t getting much from LinkedIn and why you think Twitter is a waste of time. These tools are social. My point is, you have to have ‘conversational currency’. Get with it or prepare yourself for a long search.
#12 You are waiting for people to get back to you (hand you a job)
I’ll admit that employers generally aren’t very good at responding to applicants. Let’s just all agree the process is broken. You are the job seeker, on a hunt for the job. You have to prove you are interested in the job. Be persistent and follow up. Take ownership of your job hunt.
#14 You are too mature
What I mean by this is you are maybe displaying these two examples:
- Too expensive (your salary expectation are out of wack for today’s job market and the position you are going for)
- Behind the times (your skills or knowledge are not up to date)
Who created this perception of being an ‘old dude? You did. Change this by making sure that on paper, online and in person you are perceived as contemporary.
#15 You are too immature
The flip side of being too old is being too inexperienced. As any new graduate realises, it is hard to get experience without some prior experience. This catch-22 is not new. Get your foot in the door and gain some real work experience so you’ll have something to build upon. Heck, we all have to start somewhere and when you’re starting out, don’t ignore the option of internships and other ‘starter’ roles.
Did I mention that your attitude sucks?
You’ve met these people. They complain, criticise and blame others. They are negative and exude a dark black cloud. Please, somehow, some way, let them know that their “bad vibe” is showing. Your attitude determines your latitude.
The really good news about these 15 reasons is that they are all easily fixable.First you have to admit which ones are yours and then work on them pronto. The most important step in getting your new job is the step of working on one or more of these issues.
Get started today and remember to hunt wisely!