4 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get the Job

man sitting on chair in row of 4 with head in hands

Recently, BioSpace issued a poll, and the questions revealed many thoughts and questions from life science professionals. One hot topic was about how it’s hard for some people to find a job. Specifically, one person asked, “Why is it hard for me to find a life sciences job when it’s a candidate’s market?” Have you ever experienced rejection when others seem to land a position quickly? Or have you struggled even when industry experts claim that there is an abundance of job opportunities available?

When you are constantly hearing, “Thank you for your time, but we went with another candidate,” or you’re regularly submitting applications online, but not ever getting a response back, it can be frustrating. It’s natural to start to wonder if there is something wrong with you. While your friends and family can be a great source of support, they often don’t have the experience or expertise to help you figure out what’s going on. Gaining insight from a trusted mentor or career coach can be most beneficial. Here are four possible reasons why you didn’t get the job.

You’re not focused

It’s common for life science professionals to decide that they want a new job, so they start applying for everything they see online. Many people look at a description and think they can do the job, so they submit for it out of desperation for a new position. In a short time, they’ve applied for 8-10 different kinds of jobs. Since they aren’t focused on a particular area or a reasonable number of job targets, their efforts don’t usually generate results. Do you know what your top three positions are? Once you have clarity and focus, it’s much easier to create a job search strategy and be compelling during an interview. 

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Your professional branding isn’t effective

When you submit yourself online for jobs, how often do you hear back? If you aren’t regularly receiving responses for phone screenings, to take an assessment, or for an in-person interview, there’s a good chance that your resume and cover letter aren’t effective. The most effective resumes include keywords that are relevant to the position being applied for, which helps them score highly during technology scans. If your resume has a high ranking, it is often flagged for a recruiter to review. If your resume doesn’t score highly, sometimes it is never even looked at by a human being. Recruiters and hiring managers also usually check out your social media profiles to find out more information about you. How is your professional presence and reputation online? 

You don’t stand out

Are you memorable? What is the first impression you left when you initially met your current colleagues? The process of landing a job also involves many intangible aspects. Often many top candidates for a position look the same on paper. They all may have similar levels of education, degrees, and previous experience. You must set yourself apart in a positive and distinctive way. Many hiring managers make decisions subconsciously or consciously, simply based on how they felt around you. Be aware of your body language, non-verbal communication, and how you appear.

You stumbled during the interview

Some life science professionals are able to gain visibility as a high-caliber job candidate and stand out amongst the group. However, they fail to close the deal because they stumble during the interview. Perhaps they drew a blank and forgot how to respond to fundamental facets of their background. Maybe they were so nervous that their responses didn’t come out as compelling or complete. Most people don’t truly know how to prepare for job interviews. They do some quick research on frequently asked questions and read those over. The best preparation occurs when you know the type of interview you’re going into (behavioral, technical, or situational). From there, you can come up with memorable responses that show the interviewer you are the best person for the job.

It can be frustrating and deflating when we don’t land a job that you think you’re a perfect fit for. If it happens to you frequently, think about getting focused on your job targets and improving your professional branding documents and presence. Working with a mentor or career coach to make sure you stand out in your presentation and are prepared for an interview can be extremely beneficial. What was a reason you didn’t land a job in the past? How can you prepare yourself to be successful next time?

Porschia Parker is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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