Have you ever done everything you could to get a job, but still didn’t get it?
Truth is, sometimes, no matter how badly you want it you don't get the job.
And while it may be tempting to pin the blame on the judgment of the hiring manager, it can often be more productive to look within when figuring out what went wrong.
If you don't receive the job offer you'd been hoping for, here are five questions to ask yourself to determine whether you would hire you for the opportunity.
If one or more of these apply to you, you may need to re-evaluate how you're going about applying for jobs.
1. Were Your Resume And Cover Letter Customized?
When you don't receive an invitation for an interview and you know that the employer reviewed your resume, then your job-search materials may be to blame.
The job market is too competitive, particularly online. Sending out the same generic resume and cover letter to each company you're targeting makes the hiring manager’s job of tossing them aside easier because it is not even addressed to the job you are applying for.
Your job search materials need to be clearly tailored to each company and position to which you're applying.
2. Did You Clean Up Your Social Media Pages?
Another reason why candidates might not make it past the early rounds in a job search is that they neglect to prepare their social media sites for prospective employers' eyes.
Before you start sending out resumes, be sure to conduct a thorough review of all of your social media profiles, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and others, to ensure professionalism.
One careless tweet or post can be enough for an employer to decide not to call you back.
3. Did You Blow The Phone Screening Interview?
Many candidates underestimate the importance of the initial phone screen in getting a job.
Some assume that a phone interview with a human resources manager or recruiter isn't the "real" interview and doesn't need to be treated as such. That's a mistake since approaching a phone interview too casually can ensure that you never get to talk to the hiring manager.
If you answered the call in an unprofessional tone or were clearly unprepared for the interview (for example, asking "Which job is this for?") then you may have blown the phone screen – and a chance at that job.
4. Did You Ask For Too Much At The Wrong Time?
If you made it through the initial rounds but didn't get the job, then you may have made a misstep at the pre-negotiation stage.
Though recruiters and managers may try to pin you down on your desired salary early in the process, it's smart to keep your cards close to the vest for as long as possible.
Your goal in sharing salary information prior to being offered a job is to avoid stating specific numbers first. Otherwise, you might price yourself too high or too low and miss the opportunity.
5. Did You Make An Interview Gaffe?
It's just as easy to make a critical mistake at the interview stage as earlier in your job search. If you went in for an interview but didn't get asked back, you might have said something that was a red flag, or maybe you asked a wrong question of your interviewer.
For example, if you jumped the gun in raising issues about salary, benefits, working from home or how quickly you might be promoted, it could have signalled to the hiring manager that you were more interested in the perks than the position.
Shining a light on yourself to determine what went wrong with your job application or interview isn't easy, but it can be time well spent.
By understanding how you got off course, you'll be in a better position to do things differently the next time around.