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Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Hired (and Solutions That Work)

2 months ago by Gravitas Recruitment Group
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As recent reports suggest, the job marketing is ‘cooling’, as a reduced amount of vacancies continues to contribute to the competitive nature of the market.

That’s why it’s important you know how to navigate the jobs market to understand what you could personally be doing better. Your current approach could be the reason you’ve not been hired yet. The good news is that you can turn things around. 

We've highlighted some of the top reasons that could be stopping you from being hired, along with some simple solutions. Discover: 

  • Why tailoring your CV matters

  • The reasons why it pays to widen your search

  • How adjusting your expectations can help you

  • Why the right interview preparation is the key to closing the deal

  • How networking and connections can give you a huge boost long term

You’ve not tailored your CV to the job you’ve applied to

Before you start applying, do you just update just your latest work experience? Remember this is your chance to create a lasting first impression.

If you haven’t tailored your CV to the job, you are missing a trick. A cover letter is another great way to personalise your application, but it’s important to understand that a hirer’s time is short, and they may first ‘skim read’ your CV before digging into a cover letters detail. Make sure your CV is clear and addresses the key requirements of the role.

Whilst it’s good to have a standard CV that you can use for each application, you can highlight a further 3-5 skills or experiences that are relevant to the job role. Using the job description as a checklist can help guide you with this. What are the essential skills highlighted on the person specification? Are there any projects missing on your CV that might be worth detailing? 

A strong, targeted CV can help you stand out further amongst other CVs, increasing the likeliness of getting an interview. You might also find yourself understanding the role better and how it fits your career goals. 

If you are applying for a job through a recruiter, they may be able to suggest CV improvements to help pull out relevant skills and projects for the job you are going for. Ask for their guidance, i.e. a meeting to go through your CV; recruiters have a great understanding what a successful CV looks like for hiring managers in your technical specialism!

For further advice on tailoring your CV, read our useful blog here.

Only using one jobs board or channel to search for jobs

If you are only using one jobs board to search for jobs, or only looking for jobs on LinkedIn, you could be missing out on the breadth of jobs available. 

Not every job is visible on every job board, so you could be missing out on opportunities that you are a perfect candidate for. Almost 50% of all applications come from job boards, shortly followed by internal career sites at 35%. Likewise, each company has their own hiring strategies that differentiate from others, whether that is using their own internal recruitment team, company website or LinkedIn. Gain the advantage by identifying which areas you might be missing from your jobsearch so you have as much choice as possible and a better chance of getting offered that interview.

It’s also useful to research the industries you are interested in working for. Identify what companies you would like to work for and explore their career sites. Alternatively, if you find it a challenge to keep on top of these things, use job alerts and allow the jobs to come to you.

If you haven’t considered using a recruiter, recruiters are a great way of taking that pressure from you whilst you are on the market. From identifying new relevant opportunities, keeping you updated on market conditions and working on exclusive roles not available on jobs boards, its beneficial to reach out to a recruiter that specialises in your area of expertise. 

Not having realistic expectations

There are two sides to this point. Some people undervalue their skills which can put them off applying to suitable jobs, because they don’t have 100% of the skills or experiences needed. Other people overvalue their skills and apply to jobs they aren’t qualified for, and will never be considered for. 

The answer lies somewhere in between. 

Whilst you are job hunting, its useful to have an idea of where you imagine yourself to be moving into. The idea of developing of a particular skill, trying out a new industry, as well as going into more senior positions can all be exciting goals to have for the next step. However, you must also make sure what you are aiming for has realistic steps forward. 

Before applying to a role, make sure you read the job description thoroughly and compare it to your own skillset. Perhaps delve into the essential skills and desirable skills to compare to your experiences. Identify if it is a suitable job role that isn’t asking too much of your skillset. If you are applying to jobs that are out of your skillset, not only is it furthering the unlikeness of getting past the application stage, but also using time that can be used in applying for better roles. 

It’s important to clarifying this isn’t a tick box exercise. Those with low expectations of themselves may deter themselves from applying to roles that they may not have a couple of the skills listed. No one is perfect. If is only a couple of the skills that you don’t quite have, consider how you can show in your CV or cover letter how you would be interested in developing these skills. 

Failing to prepare for an interview

Made it to the interview stage? That's fantastic! However, many people fail to get hired because they haven’t full prepared for the interview or researched the company. Here is a checklist to help you get started. 

  • Research the organisation you are applying for and the job role. Explore their website, their LinkedIn profile, the LinkedIn profile of the interviewers as well as the job description. From there, start looking at the areas of interest you have for the organisation - they will be delighted to know you took time in learning about them as well as why the reasons why you might be applying for the job.

  • Study your career history. Identify which skills are most important in the job description and where you developed these skills. Are there any projects worth mentioning or highlights of your career? Practice how you would explain your career history to gain confidence in in wide open questions about your experience.

  • Select and practice a selection of STAR examples. One of the most difficult areas of an interview can be giving situational examples to demonstrate overcoming challenges or what you would do in certain situations. Pick out five different examples in your career that you can apply the STAR technique to, so you can avoid feeling uncertain what to say in these types of questions. 

Interview confidence is a work in process, so make sure you learn from each interview experience. For more detailed interview guidance, visit our guide here

Failing to develop meaningful work connections

Can you depend on any of your colleagues or past managers for recommendations and references? If the answer is no, then this could potentially be a blocker to getting hired.

Most organisations will ask for up to two quality references before they offer an opportunity to a candidate as part of their hiring process. Therefore, it’s important to leave previous organisations with a good reputation so they can speak highly of you as you explore a new opportunity. Each person you leave a positive experience with could be the next person who refers you to recruiters, reaches out about opportunities they’ve seen, or gives you a great reference.

You could be more proactive by asking colleagues to leave a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Overtime, you can build a valuable portfolio of recommendations to impress future employers. 

Networking is also a proactive way to establishing relationships across your industry. You can look at local community groups, online groups, or local industry events as a way of building up a useful network and make steps closer in finding potential opportunities. You might even be able to get more understanding around what qualifications or exams you can work towards by being inspired by the career paths of others. 

You might have heard of the phase, ‘it’s not about what you know, it's about who you know’; this is a great phrase to think about when building meaningful working relationships. This is a really fun and creative way of looking at career development and you might find yourself making some friends along the way. 

Looking for your next career opportunity? 

Our consultants are market experts in helping talented professionals across Technology and Insurance industries find a great organisation to work with in their next career move. If you are finding the job market difficult, find out how we can provide a solution for you by registering your cv here

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