Why Won’t They Hire Me? | Articles & Tips | WNYJobs.com | Buffalo

Articles and Advice

 Why Won’t They Hire Me?

By Joe Stein

One of the most common themes of Job Seekers, who e-mail us at WNYJOBS, is a general frustration over struggling with his or her job search. This is typically reflective in a lengthy job search with (perhaps) some starts and stops to the process. We certainly feel your frustration and hope you find employment soon.
 
Typically, there is one general ending to their e-mail and that is a simple question: “Why Won’t They Hire Me?” This is such a general question that is impossible to provide a productive answer to without knowing the details of the situation. We can, however, look at what are some common reasons why an employer won’t hire you.
 
One point, before we get started, is that often in these difficult situations, there is a minimum of personal accountability reflected. Most often, it is entirely the potential employers fault in the eyes of the Job Seeker. While there are certainly instances of bigotry, nepotism or just bad decision making (I have made a few hiring mistakes…we all have), generally the person hired is the best person for the job (at least in the opinion of the Hiring Manager). Until, a Job Seeker takes ownership of his or her job search, finding a new job will continue to be a challenge. We will try to show you how, even in situations that appear totally out of your control, you can impact a hiring decision in some way.
 
So, now that we have covered that point, let’s take a stab at solving the riddle of…”Why Won’t They Hire Me?”
 
·         Number of Applicants – This can be considered directly a result of our challenging economy. For some positions, there are just so many applicants for an available position. It may be challenging to even have your application or resume reviewed. If you are reviewed, you may be one of hundreds of applicants for the position, therefore requiring your candidacy to really stand out. You may, because of this, chalk this issue to being completely out of your hands, but there are things you can do to improve your odds. This is an area where networking really pays off.  You can also really assist your search by being persistent and following-up every step of the process.
 
·         Your Past History – What is done is done regarding your work history, and the question is how you can overcome the issue. So many Job Seekers have hopped jobs (worked several positions in a short period of time) or have multiple gaps in their employment history. If you were/are a job hopper, then expect to have to speak to that issue. Do not continually make your supervisor or your pay the reason for your leaving a job. A prospective employer will probably assume you will have the same issue with them, and decide to pass. Be prepared to explain the situation for any gap longer than three months.   When explaining, do not use “taking time off”, or “wanted a summer vacation”, or “I had saved up some money” to address the situation. If the employment gap is current, you may receive a pass on this one due to everyone knowing the challenges faced right now.
 
·         No Attention to Detail – I am using this area to cover a wide variety of ills. A Job Seeker, in this competitive market, can’t afford to have typographical errors, formatting mistakes, or missing contact information. I know some Job Seekers feel that these errors should not matter, but the reality is that these are quite frequently the reason candidates are knocked out from competition. Please have another person (or multiple people) read everything you present to the prospective employer. This includes not preparing for your interview. There is a laundry list of Frequently Asked Questions on www.wnyjobs.com for you to review, if necessary.
 
·         Negativity – I know, in this economic environment, it is very easy for a Job Seeker to feel down very quickly. It is very important to keep the right outlook (at least in front of the employer). This is an area that some Job Seekers frown upon, feeling that they should not have to “play the game” by telling the Hiring Manager what they want to hear, and placing a rosy view on the situation. Ultimately, it is your decision how you want to play your search, but those who work closely with the Hiring Manager, keep a positive outlook, and display enthusiasm will usually win over those who do the opposite. Whatever you do, don’t speak poorly of past supervisors. Search for how to turn your negatives into positives. You will also want to temper your displeasure over the economy. This in itself is not a mistake, but it places the conversation in a negative tone, rather than using the time to sell yourself. 
 
·         You Lack Flexibility – I realize that, for many, a lack of schedule flexibility is rooted in family responsibilities. In those situations, there may be little you can do to adjust, but I still suggest you do try to seek alternatives. For those who do not have such restrictions, displaying flexibility will provide you a competitive advantage. Flexibility towards hiring, benefits, commute, etc. will also help you in landing a position.
 
Hiring Managers realize that no candidate is perfect, but unless you have a skill or knowledge that is scarce and in-demand, you are facing a tough labor market. There are jobs out there (the pages of WNYJOBS.com are proof of that) for those who run a savvy campaign. Understanding all the reasons why an employer might not hire you, and comparing that list to your candidacy, will help you realize your weak spots and allow you to prepare accordingly.