5 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job Offer

October 16th, 2012

As Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that job searches are hard, plain and simple.

But one of the most frustrating parts of the process is when you apply for a job, land an interview, think you’re a great fit for the position…only to find out the job offer went to someone else.

While there are certainly factors that are outside your control – such as internal hiring – there may be some things you’re doing that are preventing you from landing the job you want. Here’s a look at 5 possibilities:

Reason #1: You Didn’t Click With the Hiring Manager.

In our current economy, employers are scared of making hiring mistakes. As a result, things that weren’t a major priority in the past – such as soft skills – have taken a front seat in today’s hiring process. So if you didn’t click with the hiring manager or showcase the right soft skills (such as team work and communication abilities or flexibility), then that may be one of the reasons you didn’t get the job. That doesn’t mean you’re not skilled or dependable, it simply means you may not be the right fit for that particular organization’s culture.

Reason #2: You Have an Attitude.

One of the biggest turn-offs to hiring managers is arrogance. So even if you know you have the skill set and proven track record to do the job, acting smug and self-righteous during an interview will only land you on the cutting room floor. During an interview, it’s important to demonstrate confidence and restraint…not attitude and arrogance.

Reason #3: You Have an Unprofessional Online Identity.

If you’re in the running for a job opportunity, then there’s a pretty good chance that a hiring manager will search your name online. And depending on the content of your online profiles, that could either make or break your job search efforts.

Reason #4: You Come Across as Negative or Disinterested.

Hiring managers love eager and enthusiastic candidates. What they don’t love are candidates who offer a more negative outlook; for instance, bashing a former boss or employer or demonstrating a lack of interest in the job. While you may think you’re making small talk with the hiring manager or taking a laid back approach to communicating, what the hiring manager sees is a candidate who is unprofessional or who doesn’t take the job opening seriously.

Reason #5: You Weren’t Really Qualified for the Position to Begin With.

If you “tweaked” your resume to make yourself come across as more qualified than you truly are, you will get found out. Hiring managers are trained to ask questions that uncover a candidate’s true skill level and experience. So you’ll simply annoy the hiring manager and get blacklisted from interviewing with the company for future opportunities.

At the end of the day, you may not have landed the position for any number of reasons. If it was a job you really wanted, then consider reaching out to the hiring manager and asking why you didn’t win the offer. They may be able to give you some valuable feedback that can help in your future job search efforts.

For More Tips on Making a Better Impression in Your Next Job Interview…

…check out our Interview Tips Tuesday blog post. As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources has the experience and expertise to help you interview better, so you make a great impression and land the job you want! And be sure to contact us if you’d like more help with your Houston job search!

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t List Your Uncle as a Reference (and Other Tips)

August 20th, 2012

At some point in the job search, you’ll need to provide references. Do it the right way. As Houston recruiters, we at Murray Resources get asked lots of questions about references. And with over twenty years of experience as a Houston staffing agency, we’ve got answers.

Can I use my uncle/BFF/pastor/ex-wife as a reference?
We don’t recommend it. Your potential boss won’t be hanging out with you on weekends, and likely isn’t interested in how devoted of a niece or nephew you are. Sure, it’s probably a nice bonus if your new employer discovers you feed the homeless on Thursday evenings, but when asked for references, employers are really wanting to know how you perform in the workplace.

I’m just out of school. Who are my references?
In this case, your reference could easily be a professor who is intimately familiar with your work, or a supervisor from an internship.

How should I ask someone to be a reference?
First of all, stay in touch with past supervisors and co-workers by providing  periodic updates. Most of us enjoy hearing from past co-workers (and if someone doesn’t enjoy hearing from you, they aren’t the best reference anyway). Not only does this help maintain valuable connections, it also won’t feel so forced when the need for a reference does arise. “Hey Jim, it’s Danielle. You may remember me from 1998? So uh…” becomes “Hey Jim, how’re the kids? Also, I was wondering if I could use you as a reference?”

When do I line up my references?
Before an employer even asks for them. That way you won’t have to scramble about finding up-to-date contact information at the last minute.

What is the best way to prepare my list of references? How should it look?
Don’t make your potential employer have to guess anything. A good reference list will include the name of the reference, the company where you worked together, their title, your relationship (supervisor, co-worker, etc.), their email address and phone number, as well as where they are currently working (if different). Also include their preferred method of contact and the best days/times to reach them, if possible.

What will the potential employer ask my references?
Potential employers ask questions relating to the responsibilities of the job you’re seeking. For example, if the job requires a strong leader, they’ll probably ask a battery of questions about your leadership capabilities, including past examples. In most cases, employers are looking for a clear picture of your qualifications to find out if you fit the role.

What are the most common mistakes job-seekers make when crafting or submitting references?
Not adequately preparing references for the calls and providing friends or relatives as references. Give your references a heads up, and ask them to make an effort to connect with the caller. We’ve seen the hiring process drag on for weeks when references cannot be reached – and in some cases it cost the candidate the job.

And as far as providing friends and relatives, don’t do it unless asked. Of course your BFF thinks you’re grand, but employers aren’t interested in your best friend’s opinion.

Should I include “References Available Upon Request” on my resume?
Nope. These days, it’s obvious that you will provide an employer with references if requested. It’s like saying, “Will come in for interview upon request.” Of course you will! No need to waste valuable resume real estate with these fillers. Instead, use that line to add just one more example of how you saved your last employer some money, or to list another project you drove to completion.

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Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency, providing quality professional-level placement services, as well as temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical services.

Over the past 24 years, Murray Resources has developed a unique placement process to match candidates based not only on experience and skill set, but also on how well a candidate can put that skill set to work within a particular corporate culture. Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009

Top 10 Ways Applicants Strike Out When Interviewing

August 15th, 2012

You’re qualified. You’re smart. So why didn’t you get the job? In a survey of 153 companies, the following reasons were most commonly given as to why they did not hire an otherwise qualified candidate. Avoid these common mistakes and you may just increase your chances of landing the job.

1) Poor personal appearance – If you refuse to have your slacks hemmed or style your hair for an interview, chances are you won’t put forth the effort to excel at your job.

2) Lack of interest and enthusiasm – Remember, employers are thinking about what you’ll be like as an employee. Not interested in the interview? Then you won’t be interested in your work, either.

3) Over-emphasis on money – Think, “I care more about pay than contributing to your company.” Next, please.

4) Condemnation of past employers – Nobody wants a sourpuss trolling around their water cooler. Keep things pleasant.

5) Failure to look at interviewer while conversing – Staring at your pants during an interview says, “I’m a nervous wreck and I won’t have confidence in this job.”

6) Limp, fishy handshake –Some are keen to dole out the limp fish specifically to women. Appalling! Give everyone you meet a solid grip, which conveys confidence, as opposed to fear.

7) Late to interview – Sure, traffic was a nightmare. It’s always a nightmare. Plan ahead.

8) Failure to express appreciation for interviewer’s time – If you don’t thank your potential employer, they’ll take note that you likely won’t thank their clients, either.

9) Asks no questions about the job – Employers will translate this to mean you don’t put much thought into details, like the projects for which they’re considering hiring you.

10) Indefinite response to questions – Houston recruiters look for confident candidates. Practice articulating what you can do for a company.

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency, providing quality professional-level placement services, as well as temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical services. Over the past 24 years, Murray Resources has developed a unique placement process to match candidates based not only on experience and skill set, but also on how well a candidate can put that skill set to work within a particular corporate culture. Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or visit www.murrayresources.com.

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