HR AGENT BLOG
Thoughts and strategies related to HR Consulting, HR Outsourcing, HR Compliance, HR Oversight, HR Administration, HR Daily Tasks, Talent Acquisition, and Talent Retention...
Have you ever applied for a job and didn’t hear back? It’s a vulnerable feeling, I know. It feels personal and may lead to self-doubt and insecurity. But, before you internalize the pain of rejection, let’s examine why you might have been overlooked for a job that you’ve applied for…
You Were Under Qualified. When an applicant is under qualified for a position, though he or she may have a strong desire to do the job, most employers can't risk that the expectations, pace and day-to-day demands of the role may be more than the candidate can handle. When a candidate's skill set is unproven or otherwise limited, the probability that he or she will buckle under the pressure and abandon the position (or be terminated by the employer) is high. Remember, employers do not want attrition in their workforce. So, their decision not to consider you for the job isn't about YOU but about THEM. Keep in mind, fast-pace corporate environments are rarely conducive for slow, gradual growth. Employers need someone who, based on their past work experience, has a high probability that they'll plug in and add value right away.
You Were Over Qualified. Hiring Managers have a specific job description they need to fill. The description includes details that address the day-to-day responsibilities, key duties, educational requirements and general characteristics necessary to make the potential employee successful in the role. If an applicant has too much experience or education, hiring him or her could lead to boredom in the role or unmanageable growth expectations. This happens more often than you might think.
Your Resume Didn't Fit The Job Posting. While it is tempting to submit your resume for every dream job you see on-line, it is not ideal. Apply for jobs that are at least similar to your work experience and/or educational background. If you are a Customer Service Representative finishing up a Bachelors degree in Business Administration it isn't likely you'll be hired for a Controller role, with requirements of a Masters degree in Accounting or Finance and a CPA certification. Your resume will be glanced over and dismissed quickly. Instead, consider applying for a junior role in Marketing or even one as an Accounting Clerk. While there may be distance between your current role and the role you want, there should be enough similarity to entice the Hiring Manager to read past the first few bullet points. Remember, the goal is to make an impression and be remembered as a strong candidate for the current, or even a future role.
Steep Competition Edged You Out. Sometimes, a candidate's resume is similar to the job description, but there were twenty or thirty others with resumes that were stronger. In this case, you may be overlooked NOT because you weren't a good candidate, but because the competition was steep. Strong competition can change the playing field. Here is a bit of good news. Your recruiter or even the Hiring Manager will place your resume in the "possibles" file and revisit it when a similar role comes open. Remember, just because you didn't get that job doesn't mean another one isn't just around the corner!
You Were A Strong Candidate, But Someone Else Was 'A Hair' Stronger. I can't tell you how many times I've worked with Hiring Managers who had equal interest in two candidates (for the same role). They conducted second, third and even fourth round interviews trying to decide between the two. Managers sometimes sincerely struggle to choose between two qualified and well-rounded candidates. And, they make their choice hoping it is the absolute best one. Truth is, either selection might have been a great fit, but one faired a hair better than the other.
Regardless of why you weren't chosen, under no circumstances should you ever blame yourself or assume that you did anything wrong. The decision wasn't a personal one. Remember, the company doesn't know you. Whether you wore a bright red shirt, showed extreme signs of nervousness or walked away leaving your briefcase on the conference room table...none of these were real factors in their decision. It wasn't about you. It was about the company and their needs. And, even though you may have had your heart set on that particular job, there will be others. So, get back out there and keep looking!