It’s a year or so since you’ve graduated college and you can only pay off your loans with waitress gigs. At this point, you’ve lost count of sent job applications, reorganized your job search strategy twice, and now you just can’t seem to figure out why you still haven’t landed an interview much less an emailed response as to why you didn’t get the position. In a time where silence is rejection, how is there any way of knowing what to improve on or learn from a failed attempt?
Here are some possible illogical and depressing reasons as to why us educated grads living with our parents, working jobs outside of our degree, cannot get jobs.
Your experience isn’t enough or the right kind
You have as much experience as one can have without having flunked out of school due to an overload of work. By now, job experience standards require us to have started working in our field at the mere age of five. How can we manage gaining any experience without being hired in the first place? It’s a vicious cycle where connections are the only way out.
You’re not “in the family”
You have everything it takes to do the job and do it well. You have the knowledge, experience, personality and skill set to really impress the employers. You fill out their application with grace until you come across the ever-dreaded question: “Are you related to anyone who is currently employed with us?” The answer is almost always no, and so is the answer to your question, “Did I get the job?”
It’s not what you know anymore (was it ever?), it’s who you know. We may have more experience or better grades or more talent in our field but no matter what, the one who knows someone on the inside will get the upper hand.
Make connections. Start a conversation with those around you; the guy at the bar, your manager at the restaurant you work at, your neighbors, your customers. You never know who may lend a hand.
You spelled something wrong
You could have spelled something wrong or have punctuation/grammar errors in your cover letter. Mistakes are tacky (and ironic if you’re applying to a writing job). Period, end of sentence, it’s an easy way for recruiters/employers to lessen their application load.
The cover letter you spent hours/days/months working on just isn’t entertaining enough
Recruiters admit to how dull, tedious, monotonous, and all other words for boring it is to read application after application after cover letter and resume. There’s a hefty possibility that you didn’t receive a callback purely because you weren’t entertaining enough on paper. Someone else’s opening line of their cover letter was cleverer or they nailed the perfect formula for a resume the recruiter was looking for on that particular day.
There’s a fine line between standing out and appearing unprofessional. It is up to you to research and implement the best way to comfortably catch your reader’s attention.
They made up a reason
I’m sorry, somehow now we don’t have the funds to hire a new employee (thanks for the false advertisement). You didn’t quite match our websites tone, here’s what we’re looking for (but I did exactly that). Someone else spent one month longer interning than you did (FINE!!) The excuses are endless and usually bogus, but the worst reason is no reason.
You have no idea
Since most companies will leave you hanging, a lot of the time, you will never even find out why you didn’t get a job. You can follow up call and email all you want and still never hear anything back as to why you weren’t the chosen one.
Friends, family, and colleagues come in handy. Let others read your resume and cover letters. They will most likely pick up on anything you missed, should add or definitely remove.
Hey! The bright side is that after sending more applications than you can count and still have no job, you can definitively assume something is just not working.