Not Landing an Interview? 4 Things Costing You That Dream Job
You’ve polished up your resume and spent hours finessing your cover letter. You feel great about it and press send, confident that you’ll be getting a response ASAP. But 24 hours turn into a week and then a month, and still no call comes your way. You were feeling pretty confident in knowing how to land a job interview. What went wrong? Such a devastating scenario is not uncommon. If the interview for the career of your dreams is continuing to elude you, you might be falling prey to four mistakes job seekers frequently make. Here’s a look at each error, and what you can do to make sure none of them stand in the way of you and that corner office.
You have Skills, But Not the Right Ones
While reading the job posting in-depth, you probably cross-referenced your own résumé. Experience with marketing automation? Check. Familiarity with integrating CRM and marketing automation systems? Check. But wait. Hold your horses, eager one. Maybe the company you’re applying to uses Marketo and Salesforce.com, but your experience has only been with Eloqua and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You might not see a difference, but the hiring manager will.
Failing to specify your exact experience, or having similar, but not exact experience to what is required can cause an employer to pass you over. The hiring company’s goal is to spend as little time training you as possible, so be sure to be explicit about your skills. If you notice a trend in specific skills you’re lacking, try to see if Coursera has a course on the subject, and get busy learning. If you come into the interview, you want your acumen to clearly back up what’s on your CV.
Background Checks Not Checking Out
Not all companies perform background checks on prospective hires, but many do. And seemingly insignificant things you’ve forgotten about can negatively impact such a check. Even though you’ve forgotten it, the hiring manager will see a big red flag and move on to the next candidate. Scour your memory for anything that could taint a background check. Did you have credit card fraud from identify theft years ago? It’s likely that hasn’t been cleared up. It’s advisable to look into a company like Lifelock for an identify theft protection service that’ll protect your reputation and even give you a one-million dollar guarantee.
Another form of background check, albeit more informal, is a look at your social media profiles. Be sure any of your pages that are public present your most professional image. Many a job seeker has been shunned thanks to a poorly worded tweet or an inappropriate Facebook photo.
Timidity and Fear
In life and your job search, you really can be your own worst enemy. People sabotage themselves in a variety of ways without even knowing it when going after a new career. A lack of confidence can prevent you from even submitting your application. Anxiety over being told no can keep you from asking the people in your network for a personal recommendation. A fear of public speaking can hold you back from completing the presentation portion of your interview process.
The best advice for surmounting these self-created obstacles? The old adage, “fake it until you make it.” Force yourself to send in your resume. Remind yourself that some people may reject your request for a recommendation, but that others will be happy to help you. And if public speaking is an issue, there’s never a better time than the present to brush up on this very valuable skill. Look into a Dale Carnegie course or a program like Toastmasters to improve your communication and your confidence.
You’re Barking up the Wrong Tree
Finally, you may have all the rest of the ingredients right, but are just going to the wrong place. When applying for a job, it’s best to go through the channels prescribed on the company’s website. Does it say to submit a Web form? Submit a Web form. You may think you’re being clever and unforgettable by showing up in person and asking to see the CEO, but you probably won’t get past the receptionist, and may cause a lot of annoyance too.
Remember that job applications often go through several layers of people, sometimes starting with a secretary or office manager. You never know who is responsible for the initial sifting of applications, so be courteous to everybody. And if you don’t hear anything back, it’s okay to be persistent but never be pushy.
So, there you have it. Investigate this “How to Land a Job Interview” tips. If there’s a position out there that is calling your name, it’s probably worth pursuing with everything you have. Don’t let avoidable gaffes obstruct your vision for your life. Make sure you have the skills needed, and are precise about communicating them. Keep your background checks sparkly clean by getting identity theft protection, and keep your social media profiles just as immaculate since you never know who’s looking at them. Push yourself to overcome any obstacles you’ve put in your way, and be sure you’re applying to the right person in the proper way. With this approach, you’ll be unstoppable. And that dream job will be inching closer and closer to your fingertips.
(Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.)