In a perfect world, you come across an opportunity that you love, you apply, and you get hired! But more often than not, the job search is not this simple. Often, our search consists of applying to dozens of jobs with the hopes of securing an interview. If your search doesn’t yield the results you anticipated, it can be quite a blow to your self-esteem and motivation. To make matters even gloomier, constructive feedback as to why you were turned down is not always shared. Without insight that creates a meaningful, positive change, a candidate can be left in the dark, not knowing what they’re doing wrong.
If you find yourself passed on for the job opportunity you really wanted, don’t get down on yourself. Instead, control the things you can control; try to make small improvements in these two areas to create a lasting impression and transition from candidate to employee.
You could be the perfect fit for a position; however, if your resume doesn’t communicate this, you probably won’t get the chance to demonstrate this. If you aren’t specifically tailoring your resume to fit each position you apply for, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Different companies and roles will stress different requirements and skills. It has become more common to preliminarily filter resumes with an ATS before they’re even viewed by a hiring manager. If you failed to include the information the software has been set to identify, you’re robbing yourself of an interview. Instead, analyze a job description and be able to highlight the key skills or experiences desired and ensure they are reflected in your resume. Never lie about your experiences, but make sure you don’t sell yourself short by leaving off key information.
Even if you make it passed the resume stage, you still have a long way to go before officially being hired. The next step is an interview, often with the hiring manager or a panel of individuals who collectively make hiring decisions. Failing to answer a certain question or demonstrate that you’re a fit for their culture are examples of when an interview heads south. While companies won’t try to trick you, they want to create a setting that forces you to demonstrate the abilities you claim to have. We acknowledge that even the most qualified of candidates can feel nervous. Combat this with practice and research well ahead of your interview. Prepare answers to commonly asked questions like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “Why do you want to work here?”