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Wondering Why You Didn't Get That Job?

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by Lisa Johnson

almost 4 years ago

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Looking for a new job can be hard.  Too often you have no idea where you are going wrong and why you are unsuccessful all the time.  Maybe it's time someone told you.

Recruiters have a dreadful reputation with job applicants.  I, for one, am not going to say that we don’t deserve a certain amount of vitriol from candidates.  It’s too easy to forget the emotional (and time) investment that a candidate makes to the job search process and to be glib and insincere with our communication.  But I have to tell you: this job is hard.  You might think you are darned good at what you do, and perhaps you are, but that doesn't mean you are necessarily right for the job.

And look, this is not all about YOU.  A lot of the time, it's about the client themselves.  Just like there are applicants who are clearly not right for a company, there are companies that are just not right for you.  For example, let’s say you hate being micro-managed and the idea of working for an old fashioned bloke who routinely calls his staff "the girls" makes you vomit in your own mouth.  Well, those managers are out there, and sometimes they work for the company that on paper looks ideal for your next career move.  If we ignored his management style and personality and encouraged you to take the role, what do you think would happen?  You got it – you would be running as fast as you could before the 6 month probationary period was up. And sometimes, it IS about you.  I know you think that all recruiters are airheads with an ego the size of a small planet, but we want to put the best person forward to the client.  It’s in our best interest to do so! And the best person is not going be someone who:

  • Fails to  turn up for an interview with the consultant with no call or explanation. Oh my God, you have NO idea how many people think that this is acceptable behaviour!
  • Turns up for interview dressed completely inappropriately – if you want to work in a professional office, you need to demonstrate that from the get go and ensure when you meet a consultant that your clothing is completely appropriate for a corporate environment.  Heads up: if we can see the flesh on your stomach, your undies or your boobs, we are going to raise an eyebrow and question your understanding of the word "appropriate."
  • Bad mouths their current or last employer.  It makes you look petty and unprofessional.
  • Is dismissive or aggressive with the recruiter – we are going to look at that behaviour and ask ourselves how we can present you to a client at all.
  • Is unrealistic.  We all want to work for Google and take our dog to work with us every day.  But very few of us are ever going to be chosen. So have high expectations but not stupid ones.
  • Doesn’t think about the job they are applying for before they hit the apply now button.  Seriously, there are lot of you who don’t appear to read the advertisement before you apply.  You see the job title, maybe the location and you apply faster than Sheldon Cooper can solve a differential equation.  Just don’t be upset when you get an email to say you have been unsuccessful because what you failed to read was that experience using SAP was essential and clearly you have never used it (or if you have, you didn't bother to tell us in either your cover letter or in your resume).

So there you go.  Sometimes you won't get the job because the client is not right for you, and sometimes you won't get the job because you stuffed up your application with the recruiter.  And sometimes you are right – the recruiter is an airhead with a massive ego and little talent.  But not as often as you think.

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