Why Can't I Land A job? Here are Common Reasons And Solutions

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Why Can't I Land A job? Here are Common Reasons And Solutions

Why Can't I Land A job? Here are Common Reasons And Solutions

Job hunting is a long grind. And it appears that the longer you work at it, the worse it seems to get. It can be disheartening to put yourself out there and be rejected again and again or to be met with radio silence.

Instead of keeping your head down and sending out another flurry of applications, you might benefit from taking a step back and thinking about why you're not getting the results you want. What's the real reason you're not getting your next job? In the long run, accurately diagnosing the problem now will save you time.

Examine the scenarios below to see which one best describes your situation, and then read on to find out what you need to do to fix it and get hired!

Problem: Being rejected (or not hearing back) after the first interview.

If you're getting phone interviews, your resume is probably fine. But if you're not getting past the first round of interviews, it's because of what you're doing and saying in the first place.

Here are a few of the most common problems and tips on how to solve them.

You Don't Do Your Research;

Choose a specific area of interest in your job search and research how it relates to this company. Companies want to know that you've considered your job search and understand what you're looking for.

If they ask, "why do you want to work here?" you now have a great answer

Do some research to learn about the company's operations, how it made money when it was founded, and so on. This will assist you in answering the initial questions they usually ask, such as "what do you know about us?" Overall, you'll appear much more prepared.

Prepare to explain why you were fired or laid off. A poor explanation could be a deal-breaker. (Also, never blame coworkers or previous employers.) Just be accountable and demonstrate what you've learned from the experience and your readiness for the next challenge).

Your resume and cover letter are not job-specific;

If you've sent out a slew of applications and haven't heard back from more than a handful of them, a common cause could be that you're sending out the same generic resume and cover letter each time, without changing how you present your experience to match the job.

Your resume is not properly formatted for an ATS.

Perhaps you've done everything you can to tailor your resume and are still hearing crickets. Your application could be stuck in applicant tracking system (ATS) limbo, never to be read by a human being. If you apply for jobs online, your resume is most likely routed through an ATS. This computer program scans applications, tracks applicants, and generally assists recruiters and hiring managers in managing the search on their end. Hiring managers can also use ATSs to search for resumes that include keywords relevant to a specific job.

To ensure that the ATS reads your resume correctly, do the following:

  • Don't go overboard with the formatting: Tables, graphics, and columns should be avoided.
  • Include keywords in the appropriate context: Recruiters and managers are likely to search for relevant applicants using terms directly from the job description. So scan the job description for the skills and experiences they're looking for, then pick out the ones you have and include them in your resume—using the same language.
  • Make use of standard section headings: Consider headings such as "Experience" and "Education."

Problem: If You're Getting a Lot of Interviews But No Offers

You've got the abilities, but not the story;

You have all the right skills, you're applying for the right jobs, you're getting through the screenings and early interviews—but no offers. What exactly is going on? You might not be telling the correct story. The "right story" is a hazy concept, but you don't want the hiring manager to leave the interview thinking, "Yes, they can do the job, but why do they want it?"

In interviews, you must make a case for why a job is a good next step in your career. Are you looking for a management position, or do you prefer to work in the trenches, dealing with technical issues rather than people issues? In other words, how does this job fit into your professional development story? This can be addressed directly in your response to "Tell me about yourself" or "Why this role?" and weaved throughout the interview.

You're coming across as a little...strong;

It's one thing to be enthusiastic about a job opportunity; it's quite another to come across as overly excited. The latter can occasionally (and unfairly) raise red flags for interviewers.

To demonstrate your interest by knowing a lot about the company and sharing it. Don't arrive an hour early for your interview, awkwardly wait in the lobby, and make everyone feel bad because they aren't ready for you yet. Send a thank-you note to your interviewers, including specifics from the conversation. Don't call every day to see if there has been any progress on the position. Don't add them as friends on Facebook or any other social media platform. You get the picture.

You don't make enough of an impression;

You don't want to be remembered for the wrong reasons, but you want to be remembered for the right reasons if no one remembers much about you when the hiring committee meets to discuss candidates.

To stand out in the right way, be prepared to demonstrate your enthusiasm for something related to the job. You can also highlight an unrelated but exciting hobby, such as baking bread or biking. Find things you can talk about enthusiastically, and then do them! For example, when asked a more open-ended question like, "What is your most proud accomplishment?" Respond with a work-appropriate response, and then briefly mention your latest sourdough triumph at the end!

​​You failed to prepare your references;

If your references say things that contradict what you said in the interview, that can be a big red flag for hiring managers. To avoid having a reference accidentally contradict you, make sure you're giving them plenty of notice that a call is on the way. Ideally, you should also tell them what role you've applied for and why you believe you'd be a good fit. Sending your customized resume and cover letter can also be extremely beneficial. In a nutshell, you want to ensure that their story and your story are in sync.


Are you quoting a ridiculously high figure to scare off potential employers? Ask some close colleagues or friends if you're unsure. When they ask what you're looking for, use my favorite line: "My priority is to find the best-fitting position for my career." After that, I'm willing to consider any reasonable offer."

How to Apply for a Job Using This Information

You will be much more likely to find a job if you follow these steps to determine where your job search is stalling or going wrong, and then take the recommended steps to fix the problems.

We're not saying it'll be easy, and if you've found this page, you're probably frustrated and feel like you've tried everything.

All of this is to say that sometimes you can do everything right in your job search and the reasons you haven't landed a position yet are entirely out of your control. Perhaps you were competing against an internal candidate who the hiring manager had in mind from the start, or maybe they interviewed people with more years of experience to narrow down the applicants.

You CAN, however, improve. This page has something for every job seeker to improve. So, if you can't find work, bookmark this page and use it as a guide to adjust and improve until you do.

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