Top Reasons you didn’t get a Job and What to do About It
- Sunday March 2nd, 2014
When your job search results in your being denied a position, especially after a job interview, it can leave you wondering what went wrong. However, employment with Canadian universities being one of the best kept career secrets in this country, you should always be smart in how you go about your job hunting.
Here are some common reasons why you may not have gotten your dream university job, along with ways to ensure a better outcome the next time. These insights are applicable to most jobs outside higher education too.
#1 Someone else was more Qualified
In some cases, there may be no other reason for a refusal other than the fact that someone else was better qualified than you were. Even if you meet all the requirements for a particular job, there may have been another candidate who seemed to have slightly better qualifications, and was ultimately awarded the job. Do you know how many candidates there typically are for an advertised job opening?
Try not to let this one shake you, and instead continue to focus your job search on positions you know you are qualified to do in order to land one that is precisely right.
#2 You Weren’t a Cultural Fit
When two candidates are equally qualified, the choice may come down to the one whose personality seems to mesh the best with other employees. Hiring managers know that even if you have the right skills and experience, you still may not do well if you don’t seem to fit into an organization.
Think back to the interview to see if perhaps you came across as harsh or abrasive, as you may have presented the wrong image to a potential employer. If that’s not the case, continue networking in your job search to find a company that seems to be a perfect match for you both professionally and socially.
#3 Didn’t pay Attention to Details
You may be unsuccessful in your job search if you fail to pay attention to small details. For example, you may have overlooked certain instructions that were spelled out in a job posting, and miss out on an opportunity as a result. Maybe you didn’t respond to an email in a timely manner, or tried to skimp on a point you viewed as mere details although the interviewer probably tried to get you to elaborate. What about how you interacted with the receptionist?
In the future, be conscious of everything you do during your job search, as you never know how important a particular detail might ultimately be to a hiring manager.
#4 Failed to Dress Professionally
Professional dress is a must during every phase of your job search, and not just during an interview. Any time you are cold calling on a business, you should always wear the appropriate clothing, and ensure your hair and fingernails are well groomed as well. If you have visible tattoos, taking the time to cover them up can go a long way toward ensuring you make a positive first impression as well. Before heading out of the house, it can be a good idea to have someone else look you over in order to ensure you haven’t overlooked any details in your quest to appear professional.
Being turned down for an academic job is a part of the process, so don’t let a rejection discourage you in your job search.
Always try to understand why you didn’t get a particular job so you can improve your approach the next time. Do not hesitate to ask for feedback from the hiring committee so you know how to do better the next time. When you are invited to an interview, it means the organization is seriously considering you for the position. No manager or executive would waste their time in a time-demanding interview process with you if they don’t believe you qualify to do their work, at least based on the information in your job application.
Continue to find ways to sell yourself to a potential employer, and you’ll soon find yourself hearing the words “you’re hired.”
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