Ten reasons why you can’t get a job

Our guest contributor this week is recruitment and career management expert Peter Cosgrove, who is a Director of CPL Recruitment (www.cpl.ie).

Here, Peter runs through ‘ten reasons why you cannot get a job’ – insights accumulated from a long and successful career as one ofIreland’s leading recruiters.

  • Your CV stinks. It is too long and confusing, it has a spelling or formatting error, it has fancy graphics that take an age to download, it has terrible colours, or sundry other problems. Save employers the hassle – throw it in the bin yourself.
  • Your CV has the look and feel of a ‘draft’ about it. It is not edited properly, and it has not been thought through. Don’t just list your duties. Don’t just say what you do. Say what you do well.
  • You rely on applying for jobs online. This is only one method of finding a job. Face-to-face meetings or referrals increase your chances of getting a job exponentially. Over 50 per cent of jobs are not advertised. Make a two-page CV come to life by networking. Start meeting people.
  • You’re getting frustrated by a lack of feedback. Never send an application that you cannot follow up. Take control of this part of the process. If after three attempts to talk to them have failed – guess what, they’ve filled the job or they just don’t want you. Learn to take rejection. Focus your efforts on jobs you can get.
  • You don’t look like the person they want. You can lose the job in an interview after just 30 seconds. Know how others perceive your appearance, clothes (even your smell!) and focus on what the client wants. The basics are appropriate interview attire, firm handshake, eye contact, and smile.
  • You don’t believe you’ll get the job. People focus ten times more on what they see than what they hear. Your body language will show an interviewer whether or not you have the confidence and self-belief needed for this role. Attitude and passion are critical. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be obvious to the interviewer.
  • You’re interviewing for “a” job not “the” job. If you don’t really know why you want the job, it will be obvious. Clients want people who are passionate and interested in the specific role for which they are interviewing. Always know why you want the job. If you make up a reason, employers will see through it.
  • You blame recruitment agencies. Remember, a recruitment agency only makes money when they put the right candidate in front of their client. If this is not you – your CV is not good enough or you haven’t convinced them. It’s not personal. What can you do to differentiate yourself to the recruitment agency?
  • You are just o.k. at interviews – not good enough! Most interview questions can be predicted but candidates don’t prepare their answers because it’s boring. If you don’t practice before the interview, don’t bother going to it. Standing in front of a mirror practising your interview may seem embarrassing…but it’s not as embarrassing as choking in a live interview.
  • It’s not fair! There was an internal applicant, the recruiter doesn’t “get” you, no-one understands your unique skills and the market is really, really, really tough. Guess what – it’s the same for everyone else! Finding a job is hard work. A positive attitude, resilience and persistence are the ingredients of the successful jobseeker. Don’t give up – others will.

Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com) carry out Mock Interviews. To obtain the form they use for marking candidates in Mock Interview, email getthatjob@slinuacareers.com with Mock Interview Form in the subject line. 

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