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7 Reasons You Can’t Find Your Dream Job

Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
June 1st, 2010

When on a job hunt it is always important to have your game face on and to be equipped with the mentality that you are going to succeed. There is absolutely no room for stupid mistakes including, showing up late for the interview, answering your phone in the middle of the interview, failing to demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched the company that you are interviewing with, bad-mouthing your old boss, etc. Of course, nobody reading this article is a culprit of performing any of these deal stopping acts. Although these issues stand out like a sore thumb, there are several other issues that tend to break the interviewee’s chances of moving forward in the interview process. Here are seven of the most common, little-known, reasons that prevent job seekers from being hired.

  1. You’re asking for too much. Everybody is always in search of their dream job, but the reality of it is that some criteria might have to be sacrificed on the track to finding that perfect job opportunity. If your criteria are just too difficult to meet, you might give off a very demanding vibe to your potential future employer. The simple truth is that no employer wants to hire a “prince” or a “princess” with unreasonable expectations. A good way to come off firm in your decision making, while still being open to compromise, is to list out your job search criteria for yourself. Then go through and choose a few that are extremely important to you. These criteria will be set in stone. Now it’s important to decide which criteria can be compromised, and which can be thrown away altogether, if it gets to that point. This should make you appear more reasonable to possible future employers.
  2. You need to diversify your search techniques. Many people get stuck in a rut by only using one job search technique. For example, only using the online job boards, only using a recruiter, or only using networks of friends and acquaintances to help get your foot in the door. All of these methods are a great way to hunt for jobs, but don’t limit yourself. Just like the stock market, if you diversify your search techniques, you’re more likely to have favorable results. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Companies look for people who take the initiative to set themselves apart by trying innovative techniques.
  3. Your cover letter is riddled with the word “I.” Many people fall into the trap of talking about themselves in their cover letter instead of focusing on the company that they are looking to work for. The cover letter is your opportunity to show that you have researched the company, you know what they are looking for, and then go into detail describing how you can satisfy their needs. This will be sure to grab their attention and have your resume sitting at the top of the stack.
  4. Where will you be in five years? Many people believe that employers ask this question just to see how you answer it, but for the most part, this question is meant to see how the candidate views their future with the company. While many candidates are looking for a job because they need an income, companies are making the move for the long haul. They are looking for someone who will come into the company and be there in the long run, so it is important for you to stress how you can make an impact on the future of the company.
  5. You haven’t taken the time to review the mistakes you made during an interview. A lot of the time, when you do not get a job, the reasons are usually out of your control, but this is not always the case. Have you been taking the time to evaluate yourself after every interview to determine some of the mistakes that you made so that you can make the necessary changes for your next opportunity? If this is not part of your plan, then it could be the little mistakes that you are making that are preventing you from getting past the interview process. A good way to find out some of the mistakes that you are making is to ask the company why they said “no.” This will at least provide you with some feedback and ideas for the changes that need to be made.
  6. Rehearsing can make you sound more professional. Some people hesitate to rehearse answers because they don’t want to come off as if they are providing “cookie cutter” answers. Instead, they want to appear as natural as possible. It is great to appear natural, but it is usually beneficial to at least have a general idea of the answers to some of the most common interview questions. Not only will rehearsing some of your answers create cleaner and crisper responses, but it will also help give you more confidence throughout the interview process. Even if you do not want to memorize your answer word for word, it is good to at least have a general idea of the facts and statements that you would like to use in some of the most common interview questions.
  7. Discontinuing your search while you are waiting for a company to get back to you. Most people tend to fall victim to this seventh vice. It is so easy to get caught up waiting to hear back from an employer that you have had multiple interviews with. The reality is that multiple interviews are not the equivalent of a job offer. The offer is not finalized until you are holding that signed agreement in your hand. There is no doubt that you may need and deserve a break from the stresses of finding a job, but if you really want a job, it is imperative that you do not stop your search until you are holding a signed agreement in your hand.

Noticing these inconspicuous mistakes can be the key to landing that potential dream job with the next hot company. The key points to avoiding these common mistakes is to be willing to compromise, become creative with your search techniques, explain how you can benefit the company now and in the future, and make sure to be prepared for every interview. Being prepared does not just mean rehearsing answers for your interview coming up, but also reviewing mistakes made in previous interviews so that they do not occur again. With these simple guidelines at the forefront of your job search knowledge, you will be sure to portray absolute professionalism to every employer you come in contact with.