If you’ve been job hunting for a while, you know that job hunting today is a long, hard slog. The world as you know it hangs in the balance throughout a long, anxiety-ridden jaunt through the unknown.
When it's taking months or even years it's hard to stay positive all the time. An unfortunate side effect is that you have probably concluded that you’re just not that employable. But the truth is you don’t control the whole process, no matter how hard you try, so not landing a job is not, most likely, truly a reflection of your quality. Many significant issues are probably impacting your job search. Here are 4 things to consider when you start doubting yourself:
Other Candidate Was a Stronger Match
They liked you a lot. They may even wish they had two openings right now and will keep you in mind for a job later on, but there was someone who was a better fit for reasons only someone with internal knowledge can know.
The hiring manager might know something you don't about the job that's totally unrelated to your qualifications. Whether to hire you or not isn't just a question of having the skills to do the job, it's also a question of fitting in well with this particular position, with this particular boss, in this particular culture, and in this particular company.
Maybe you seem like you're too fast-paced to thrive in their slow, bureaucratic environment. Maybe they need someone with an insanely thick skin because the boss is a jerk. Often, one personality type will simply fit better into a team than another. If a manager is choosing between two qualified options, those little points of common ground can be a deciding factor.
It Was The Wrong Job For You
HR manager knew it even if you didn’t. And it's not your fault. To help avoid that in the future, make sure you do your research ahead of time and target your resume and cover letter to EACH job, using your real skills and experience to get picked for job interviews you do match more closely. It’s also OK to apply when you don’t have every skill or requirement; just use your cover letter and resume to show you have transferable skills.
They Hired Someone From The Inside
It’s not uncommon for a company to advertise a position even when they have an internal hire in mind. But the company wants to make certain that they hire the best possible person, so they test the water and conduct a traditional search. You’re better qualified but not as well known as their internal candidate. Why go throughll the work of bringing on a new person when you have someone they can do the job internally. It makes sense.
Hiring Manager Was Incompetent
Many recruiters aren’t trained to conduct interviews to capture the most complete candidate. Their priority is usually hiring someone who has the best technical qualifications. In finding someone who can handle the responsibilities in their sleep, hiring managers neglect another important aspect of the job—the personal fit. Great interviewers realize an interview that involves a combination of traditional and behavioral-based questions is the most effect way to find the best overall candidate, you.
Of course, there can be other reasons you didn’t get that job offer that you’ll never know about. Nor does it matter. Learn from each interview, and then move on. Your job is to give your best, most natural interview, using real workplace stories to help show that you do match the job.