Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are a strong candidate, but we’ve decided to go a different direction.” It’s one of the worst things to hear if you’re a job seeker. It means that after all your effort to make it to the interview round, some other job seeker nudged you out of a job. Bummer.
There’s no second place in the job search. When you get beat by the job search competition, you have to wonder why someone else got the job and you didn’t. Was it your education, personality, certifications, references, experience, interview skills, or some other factor?
If you get the chance, ask the recruiter why you didn’t get the job. It can provide insight into your job search. Unfortunately, it’s most likely some tiny factor that you’re totally unaware of that will determine the final hiring decision.
We stumbled upon a cool press release from CareerBuilder, that looks at what those tiny factors are. They consulted with hiring manager about the folowing situation – if they were given two equally qualified candidates, what factors would determine their hiring decision. Here are the results:
- Better Sense of Humor – 27%
- Community Involvement – 26%
- Better Dressed – 22%
- One Recruiter Has More In Common With – 21%
- More Physically Fit – 13%
- On Top Of Current Affairs and Pop Culture – 8%
- Involved In Social Media – 7%
- Knowledge About Sports – 4%
Some of these things you can study up on and add to your job interview routine. Other’s you can’t. The press release highlighted that “the key is selling your personal brand” – you have to be qualified and fit in to the office culture. We’ve talked about personal brands before on the JobMonkey blog. Be sure your personal brand is ready for the job search adventure.
As you can see, it’s the little things that matter in the job search, but it’s the little things that matter when you are seeking a promotion or asking for a raise too. The same CareerBuilder press release highlighted 12 reasons why candidates are less likely to get a raise or promotion. Here are the results:
- Says “That’s Not My Job” – 71%
- Is Often Late – 69%
- Has Lied At Work – 68%
- Takes Credit For Other People’s Work – 64%
- Leaves Work Early – 55%
- Takes Liberties With Expenses Charged Back To The Company – 55%
- Gossips – 46%
- Doesn’t Dress Professionally – 35%
- Swears – 30%
- Doesn’t Say Anything In Meetings – 22%
- Cried At Work – 9%
- Dated A Co-Worker – 8%
No one ever said the job search or the career path were fun. The job search is a job in itself. And just like in life, you can’t overlook the small stuff. The details are what gets you ahead.
Take this information and apply it to your job search or your job. Build your personal brand and be a professional. That’s what it takes to find a job.