If you're a frustrated job seeker who's working hard to do everything right, you might be sabotaging your chances of landing a job. Anthropologist Ilana Gershon took a critical look at hiring practices and found that advice given to job seekers often didn't mesh up with the reality of getting a great job. Take a look at these reasons you may not be getting hired to help you improve your chances of success.
Focusing on the Wrong Areas
Gershon found that workshops for the unemployed often focused on personal branding through social media and creating the perfect modern resume. In reality, most companies don't care about personal branding; they just want someone who is proficient in their work. Although having a professional social media account and a good resume are important, they are not the keys to getting a great job. Likewise, extending your personal network with new contacts is not an essential element when it comes to finding a great position. Job seekers are better off spending their time renewing workplace relationships from the past with people who are willing to offer assistance and able to vouch for their abilities.
Not Trusting Yourself
Older workers in particular are often advised to forget everything they know about looking for a job. The truth is that older workers typically have a wealth of information and wisdom from years of work experience to help them succeed during a job search. If you are newly unemployed, always check advice you receive against your own personal knowledge and experience. Although it is important to update your resume and follow best practices regarding cover letters, your knowledge of what companies value and how the hiring process plays out are valuable assets that can help you get hired.
Following Standardized Advice
One of the biggest problems Gershon found was that much of the advice given to unemployed workers was so general that it did not apply to many job seekers. Each industry has its own ways of hiring, and these practices vary by company. If you are a job seeker looking for work in the same field you have previously worked in, your own knowledge of hiring practices is more likely to help you than more general advice. If you hope to move into a new field, you are best off doing your own research into how specific companies in that industry hire new employees.
If your job search seems to be never-ending, take a step back, and then reevaluate your actions before moving forward. It's best to spend less time on developing the perfect resume and more time on renewing workplace contacts and learning about the hiring practices in your industry. Job seekers with great past workplace contacts who are ready to share their strengths have the best chances of getting hired.
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