Qualified, But Can’t Get Hired?

Recently a job seeker posed this question to a professional LinkedIn group: “Why is it so hard now a days to get a job on purchasing i know im good but no one gives me an opportunity?”

This very same question is asked daily by other job seekers in every job category and industry.

What perplexes me is this. The majority of people who responded put the blame on the economy and employers hiring policies, and some responders started venting off-topic on how employers no longer contact them to explain why they were not chosen. (This last point is a discussion of its own for another day)

Yes, it is true that there are fewer jobs available today in most professions than in the past, other than in new and emerging industries and technologies, especially as you are climbing the ladder and want a higher level position at a higher salary level.

What job seekers like the one who asked this question and those that answered it tend to forget is it does not matter if there is a lack of jobs out there for everyone else. What their mindset must be is this, “How do I find the one job out there that interests me and how do I get that employer to take notice and hire me.”

One answer is to keep your guard up and be conscious of how you present yourself at all times, a lesson the person who asked this question evidently never learned.

From this post, what I see is a job seeker posing a question to group members who are potential hiring managers, recruiters, and people who are sources to network with.

Considering his audience, look closely at the question; not the context but his grammar and spelling!

No matter what his qualifications are, in my mind at least this candidate is an un-hirable turn-off. Why, because he exhibited a lack of communication skills which are essential to every employer.

Then, as a professional resume writer, I offered to critique his resume for free. When he sent it to me I saw that he did have qualifications but his written presentation was beyond poor. Besides being devoid of any marketing appeal and lacking any achievements, the resume had very poor verbiage that again showcased a lack of requisite communications skills.

The lesson I hope other job seekers take from this is that you must be careful about everything you put in writing i.e. your resume, cover and thank you letters, social media and LinkedIn profiles, and especially your participation in group discussions.

When you post intelligent, well-worded questions and answers, people take notice, even if they do not agree 100% with your opinion and views, and they will not be afraid to reach out to you if they are hiring or to refer you to someone they know who has a job or to network with. Why, because you showed these people that you are thoughtful, articulate and possess some expertise in your field. These are all qualities that make a candidate hirable.

On the other side, if a job seeker posts poorly worded and grammatically incorrect questions and answers, or if they vent and go off-topic rather than offer serious feedback, people will see you as un-hirable regardless of what your qualifications are.

Spoken words may be forgotten or explained away as being misunderstood. But once people see it in writing this is rarely the case.

Perry Newman CPC/CSMS is a nationally-recognized career services professional; an executive resume writer and career transition coach, certified social media strategist, AIPC certified recruiter and charter member of the Career Rocketeer team. Passionate about all things related to career management, Perry has been critiquing Career Rocketeer readers' resumes at no cost since 2009. For a complimentary critique, email your resume to perry@perrynewman.com.

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  1. I agree that a crucial part of improving your job search involves being aware of how you present yourself online. When posting comments and questions to places like LinkedIn and Twitter—where potential employers are bound to search for you—it’s important to be courteous and reflect good grammar and spelling. Sloppiness may follow you throughout your job hunt and hurt your job prospects.

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