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Why Didn't I Get the Job? Twelve Reasons They Didn't Hire You

You didn't get the job. Why? Was it something you did -- or didn't -- do? Are they discriminating? Did you do something wrong? Are you unlucky? Here are real reasons applicants don't get the job. And, for a bonus, some things you can do to increase the likelihood of being chosen for the next job you want.



12 Reasons You Didn't Get the Job (Plus Tips to Improve Your Chances!)

You applied for a job and didn't get it. Worse yet, they didn't even get back to you to let you know why they didn't hire you. It's frustrating, for sure. To help you figure out what's going on, here are some of the possible reasons you didn't get the job you wanted.

Some of these reasons have little or nothing to do with you. Others -- GASP -- are your own fault!

  1. They didn't receive your application. Email goes astray. Messages don't get delivered. Voice mails get deleted. They can't hire you if they don't know you applied. Follow up once, perhaps with a different type of communication, to see if they received your application.

  2. You hounded them to death. Not literally, of course. But, you expected an immediate replay, and when you didn't get one, you called or emailed multiple times. You contacted them so often they view you as a pest. Persistence is one thing. But contacting so often that they think you are a pain in the rear won't get you the job. Give them time to reply to you, then follow up once.

  3. You didn't follow the application instructions. If it said to email, it meant to email; so don't expect them to hire you if you called and left a voice message. If the ad said to send a photo of yourself and your rig -- and you didn't -- then don't expect the job. Yes, I understand some folks have issues with sending a personal photo with a job application. If you are one of those folks, then the job isn't for you. Look for a job where the application instructions don't conflict with your values.

  4. Your voice mail message was difficult to understand. Perhaps you spoke so fast the words you said sounded all garbled together. When you left your call back number, perhaps you rattled it off so quickly they had no way of knowing what you said. Speak clearly. When you say your phone number, say the numerals slowly; then repeat the entire phone number.

  5. You didn't provide contact information. If you don't give clear contact information, you won't get a response. Not everyone has caller ID. Be sure to put at least one, and preferably two, ways people can reach you on every contact you make. Email and phone numbers are the most common, but a mailing address, Facebook address, or website address can also be helpful.

  6. Your spelling and grammar were poor. Yes, this really can be the reason you didn't get the job. Those seemingly pesky commas and apostrophes are part of our language for a very good reason -- they help convey what you are trying to say. It isn't that the employer is a grammar snob. Without proper punctuation, it is difficult to know what you are trying to say. Next time, use the "grammar police" and ask them to proofread your cover letter and other correspondence.

  7. You badmouthed your current or former employer. When you speak poorly of one employer, it sends the message that you may do the same about others. Your grievances can also make you come across as a complainer. Remember the old adage, "Say something nice, or don't say anything at all."

  8. You beg, sound desperate, and want a "chance." The employer's first thoughts may be along the line of, "What's wrong with this person that he is so desperate?" or "If no one else will hire you, why should I?" A business manager has a responsibility to hire staff that he believes will be an asset to the business. Be positive!

  9. You convincingly downgraded yourself. When you tell an employer your faults, you are stacking the deck against yourself. Next time, play up your strong points. Focus on what you can do, instead of what you can't.

  10. You lack the required education, experience, or credentials. Enthusiasm can get you jobs you don't qualify for -- sometimes, but not always. Is the position one that you'd particularly like? If so, look at whether or not it is feasible to get the training or whatever is required.

  11. Your timing was off. This is one of those that might be more luck than anything else. The employer may have hired the RVer whose resume was on top of the pile. Your email may have arrived, and been deleted, the day before someone quit the job. The hiring manager may have been tired when he read your resume. Someone equally qualified and already staying at the campground may have asked for the job.

  12.  The boss is a jerk or a poor businessman. I get it. Not everyone who hires staff knows how to run a business. Not everyone who hires staff is fair. There is legal and illegal discrimination. Some managers just don't recognize the traits of good workers when they see them. If you run into this situation occasionally, it may be because we don't live in a perfect world. If you run into this situation often, it likely has something to do with where and how you apply for the job.

There may be another reason why you didn't get the job. You probably will never know for sure. Likely, it was a combination of things. But, for next time, be aware of these common reasons that job applicants aren't hired. Follow the tips. And good luck -- we at Workers On Wheels wish you the best with your job search.

More employment tips and articles about finding work.



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