These days, hardly a day goes by without hearing how the post-pandemic world is a job-seeker’s paradise, with far more open positions than workers to fill them.
Still, if you’re struggling to land a job offer after months of applying, this belief in how “easy” it is to find a position is likely doing more harm than good.
Specifically, many of these “desperate” employers are seeking entry-level or less-experienced employees. The average corporate job, on the other hand, receives about 250 applications. What’s more, most job seekers submit anywhere from 21 to 80 applications, on average, to land a single job offer.
So, it’s important to remember you’re not alone; this realization can give you the mindset to keep going.
But still, a long job search can be discouraging. Perhaps you’ve made it through several rounds of interviews but haven’t received even a single job offer. Or maybe you’re regularly applying but haven’t even been called for a single interview.
Whatever your situation, here are some common reasons you might not be receiving any job offers.
You’re applying too widely (and wildly).
One of the biggest reasons that candidates don’t receive interviews is that they’re not applying for jobs at their level of experience. They may be reaching too high too soon.
On the other hand, they may be so hungry to finally land a job they’re applying for positions for which they’re way over-qualified.
“Are you consistently applying for your dream job even though your experience and education don’t really make you a dream candidate? Or maybe you’re desperate for a job (any job!) and are willing to take something (anything!), even jobs well below your pay grade? Ask yourself honestly whether you’re aiming too high–or too low–and adjust your expectations accordingly,” said Jayson Demers, the founder, and CEO of AudienceBloom.
A similar problem is applying for jobs that seem dull or uninteresting to you, even in the job description. If you’re not passionate about a position and are only applying to reach an application quota or out of fear, your lack of enthusiasm will translate to your application materials and interview.
You’re only using job boards to find and apply for jobs.
If you’re only applying to posted jobs and haven’t turned to network, you’re missing out on a huge number of positions that will never be posted. Many employers rely far more heavily on internal hiring and referrals than job boards to fill their open positions.
“According to research compiled by Interview Success Formula, while there were 3.6 million job openings in the U.S. in 2012, 80 percent of these were never advertised. This indicates that employers were likely looking internally and among their current sphere of connections to find suitable candidates,” Inc. said.
You didn’t customize your application materials or interview prep for the job at hand.
Another job-hunting misstep is using the same application materials for every position. Even if you’re applying for a narrow range of roles, you want to tailor what you’re sending to the specific posting at hand. Not only will your application be first read by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – which only forwards candidates with matching keywords and skills to hiring managers – but also, your materials will seem generic if they are read by a real person.
This issue is compounded if you don’t prepare for an interview. You need to review the job posting and the company’s mission and values beforehand. Also, research your interviewers so you know what matters to them in candidates. What’s more, prepare a list of thoughtful questions before the interview to show that you’re enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the role.
You’re applying and interviewing with companies that don’t fit into the work-life balance you’re seeking.
Employers have been touting how many jobs they have open – far more than the 7.4 million Americans who are unemployed and looking for work.
So, why aren’t candidates being snapped up left and right? One of the most significant reasons is that there is a mismatch between what employers are prioritizing and what workers are seeking. Workers appreciated the new “world of work” they discovered during the pandemic, but so far, employers have been less adaptable.
“American workers are increasingly seeking higher pay, more flexibility, and remote options as they flex their leverage in the current job market, but many companies are not necessarily being more accommodative, continuing to favor candidates with several years of experience in their industry, more availability to work evening or weekend hours, or a preference for those willing to work in-person,” said Heather Long and Eli Rosenberg of the Washington Post.
So, if the work-life balance you mention wanting in an interview doesn’t fit what the employer is looking for in a candidate, you may be wasting your time.
Landing a Job Offer
Job application processes are arduous, with many possibilities for foibles. Perhaps you’re applying to jobs for which you’re underqualified or overqualified. Maybe you’ve let desperation creep in and have been applying for roles that don’t interest you at companies that aren’t offering working conditions that appeal to you.
Alternatively, you might not be tailoring your materials or interviews to the specific position at hand – a misstep that has stopped many candidates from receiving job offers.
This list can give you a sense of where you might be making mistakes in your candidacy. However, it’s always a good idea to get someone new to read over your application materials and maybe even lead you through a mock interview to see if there are other factors that may be holding you back.
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