After interviewing hundreds of employers and many more candidates, I have developed a focused interview style that clearly identifies the attributes they want to see in a candidate, including those from a cultural, skill set, and experience perspective.
Even though you may meet the identified requirements and attributes, there are a few common blunders that will hinder you as a candidate from getting in front of the employer to express your abilities. First is a poorly written resume. Consider that as a recruiter, I initially assess if I can effectively represent you to my client. I cannot do that with a resume that does not clearly reflect your background, skills and successes. Unless I have time to rewrite it, or help you rewrite it, chances are good it will likely be set aside.
Secondly, employers generally dislike candidates giving extensive detail about what is wrong with their current position or what went wrong in a past position. Companies are fluid and out of need, positions shift and change. Employers understand that and know their value proposition that initially attracted you to join the company, may have changed. What doesn’t work is when your message says you are running away from something rather than working toward the goals of the company and/or your career.
Something I’ve heard more than once from a client is that while you, as a candidate, seem to meet all the requirements, they don’t receive a strong and clear feeling that you are eager to be part of their team. This is a big one! Hiring someone is a big commitment for an employer and they want to work with people they like and that give the same commitment and excitement in return. If you are not giving that vibe, they may mentally move on before you get the chance.
If you are not getting through the process and receiving an offer, you might want to ask yourself a few questions. Are my written documents representing me well? Do I appear to be running from something rather than moving towards the next step in my career? Am I showing enthusiasm for the opportunity and the company? Your answers will likely reveal why you did not make the short list or receive an offer.