The Main Reasons You Aren't Getting Hired

Amy White |
Categories: Applying

Your job search has been going on for ages, but you still haven’t landed the perfect gig. 

You know your skills are on point. You’re friendly and competent. Why isn’t anyone hiring you? 

As awesome as you are in real life, it’s likely that your unique, amazing qualities aren’t coming across in your job application. 

It’s also what you do (and don’t) say during the job interview that can make or break your chances of scoring the job. 

Avoid these five pitfalls to make yourself mega-desirable to hiring managers. You’ll score that new job in no time!

Mistake #1: You look like a job hopper

Take a peek at your application and resume. How long have you stayed at previous jobs? 

If your employment has been in one- or two-month stretches, that’s a red flag to recruiters. It makes them nervous. 

They think, “I can’t hire this person. I’m going to waste time and money training them and then they’re going to leave.” 

How to fix it:

Leave any jobs that were less than three months off your resume. 

Of course, if you’re a student, that might be all of your work history. In this case, it’s okay to list short employment stints, which are usually done during the summer months. 

If you can’t skirt around your short work history, address it very (and we mean very) briefly in your cover letter. You don’t want to make it the focus of your letter or it will ruin your first impression.

Say something like, “I’ve held a few short-term jobs while I was a full-time student. I’m now looking for a permanent position and I’m interested in working at your company.”

This shows the employer that you aren’t going to flake on them the second they get you up to speed. 

Mistake #2: You act like you don’t want the job

So, you’ve filled out a great application and your skill set has caught an employer’s attention. Sweet!

The hiring manager calls and leaves a voicemail to set up an interview. You’re busy and assume she’ll just call you back. 

But she doesn’t! Days go by and she doesn’t hear from you. 

She’s going to assume you don’t want the job and will move on to other candidates. 

How to fix it:

Don’t assume that a company will always call you back. You need to use this opportunity to show how much you want the job. 

Call or email the hiring manager back ASAP. If you can’t reach them with a phone call, that’s okay. Leave a message. Persist until you finally get to chat about your application. 

Also, if you know you’re applying to jobs, be careful with how you answer the phone. You're going to get a lot of phone calls from unknown numbers. 

Don’t answer with, “...Hello?” It’s unprofessional and sets a weird tone for the relationship.

Answer all calls like this: “Hello, this is Mary speaking.” 

That tells the hiring manager they’re reaching the right person. It also shows off your A+ phone skills. 

Mistake #3: It looks like you’re hiding something

Is your job application full of blanks? Is your professional social media presence nowhere to be found?

That matters to employers! While the Snag system will send your data to potential employers, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t fill out your information first. 

Employers need to know your experience at a glance. They need to know your work history, education, accomplishments and what kind of person you are. 

Leaving your application blank is a surefire way to end up in the “reject” pile. We know it’s tedious filling out application after application, but quality efforts will lead to landing a perfect job. 

P.S. You only have to fill your info out once with Snag, so there’s no excuse for blank applications!

How to fix it:

Look over your Snag profile and LinkedIn. Make note of all the blank areas. You can ask a friend to look over your application for an unbiased opinion, too. 

Did you list all of your relevant work experience? Did you write an interesting “Tell Us About Yourself” section? Did you showcase all of the things you bring to the table? 

If not, now's the time to fill in those fields.

Mistake #4: You freak out the hiring manager

It’s easy to make a misstep in the professional world, especially if you’re applying to your first job. You have to understand professional norms. 

That means knowing the fine line between “being unique” and “being weird.” 

Maybe you have all the qualifications and skills to excel at a job. That’s half the battle! 

If your application email is, employers will raise an eyebrow. 

How you come off matters. Inappropriate tattoos, crazy facial piercings and Instagram Stories of rowdy nights on the town won’t impress employers. 

How to fix it:

We’re not saying you have to change your personality or hobbies. 

However, remember that employers don’t know you. They're going to make snap judgments when they see anything odd. 

When in doubt, keep your public image clean and professional. 

Put yourself through the Granny Test. If your grandma would disapprove, then an employer won’t like it, either. 

If you’re serious about getting a job, watch how you come across. Use a professional email, keep your social media presence clean and showcase your professional talents.

Mistake #5: You come across as careless

It doesn’t matter what job you’re applying for: if there are tons of mistakes in your application, employers won’t hire you. 

You don’t need to be a world-class spelling bee champion. But your application needs to show that you have a reasonable understanding of the English language. 

Submitting a resume that says “Worked in resorant as a bartinder” shows that you aren’t putting care into your application. 

That’s a red flag for employers, who want someone responsible and hard-working.

How to fix it:

Get somebody to spell-check your applications. No matter how many times you’ve gone over your application, you can still miss something. A third party has fresh eyes that will catch more. 

In a pinch, you can download free tools like Grammarly or Hemingway to check your spelling and grammar. 

The bottom line

It’s frustrating when you’ve been job hunting forever and still don’t have a new job. Use these five tips to take an honest look at your application and interview style. Make these small changes to finally find a job. Good luck!

Need to find more job opportunities? Invest in your network to find a great job.