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Career & Business

Why A Job Applicant Fails (And What You Can Do About It)

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“Are there any jobs left?”

Every job applicant asks this same question over and over.
You often asked this question especially when you can’t find a job. You’re wondering what you are missing.
You already applied online but it has been like forever and no one called you.
You are qualified for the job, but you can’t even pass the job interview.
You passed the final interview, but you screwed up your drug test.
You have several years of work experience, but they are looking for that “perfect candidate”.
You don’t have work experience and you’re trying to get one, but you can’t land a job interview because you can’t even pass their tough interviews.
You’ve tried your best, but this is real life, sometimes your best is never good enough.

But it is never your fault. Well… not entirely.

Think about it.

Nowadays, no matter how qualified you are, you still can’t get a job. It does not even matter especially when you apply online. As you read this post, you’ll slowly start to learn and understand the several reasons why most candidates like you fail when it comes to searching for jobs and landing the interview. You’ll come to understand why you were not able to get a job is not entirely your fault.

Most people may the same reasons below and may even simple and easy for them to solve. For some people, it’s difficult for them to identify especially when they have been on the dark after failing so many opportunities.

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Your Qualifications DOES NOT meet their “standards”

Starting to feel disappointed and angry?
I hate the idea of a “perfect candidate”. Most companies are looking for that “special perfect candidate” that they would post a strict standard job posting that is highly impossible for a candidate to meet all the description.

Most companies may have posted job vacancy advertisement just so they can attract the right candidates. The odds would still be the same. No matter what they post on the job advertisement. Most of us job applicants won’t even read. We just send our resumes to them even if we are not qualified for the job in the hopes of getting an interview. Some may even try to fit their qualifications to the job even they have a different career.

At the end of the day, these companies would still look for that perfect candidate. If you notice, most job postings aren’t that realistic. Most companies would exaggerate the job description making the right candidates turn their backs and never look back.

Have you noticed several job postings today? Most job postings would be like this:

Job Title: Entry-level sales job

  • fresh graduate
  • with three years’ work experience of sales
  • team player

While you can always apply your training or skills as your work experience, this second job post is a bit unforgivable.

Job Title: Cashier / Server


  • Must have a bachelor’s degree in Business Management
  • Must have 3 years of work experience.

We spent thousands of cash to finish college. Endured long-hours of boring lectures and accomplished difficult projects or assignments on time for four years, you get a piece of paper and… become a cashier. I should not have taken college if I ended up here. Life is great!

What can you do about it? Be the perfect match even if you are not perfect by matching the qualifications that they require for the job. If you are a recent graduate, highlight your skills and training that experience.

When a company is looking for work experience, it could experience like school volunteer jobs and internships. Besides those real-world experiences, you can mention your school clubs. If you don’t have any of these experiences, its time to get yourself out there. Start attending events and panels in your community today.

If you have several years of work experience that slightly fits the job posting requirements, then show it on your resume or mention it during job interviews.

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You Failed the Job Interview

Feeling upset?
It’s tough to get a job nowadays. All job applicants find it difficult to win a job interview. Out of 30 applicants, only one can pass for a job. Imagine having to compete with 29 applicants who may be even more qualified than you. If only you could lure them to another building, so they won’t make it for the job interview. (Just kidding!)

Few candidates may do all they can to get the job, you don’t have to stoop down to their level. You can stab their tires or break their alarms, but you can’t… because you don’t have tracking and hacking skills. (Don’t do it!)

The problem with applicants like you today is you go to the interview as if you want to get that job. It’s more than that. You have to put an effort into winning the job interview so the employers can offer you the job. We’ve always been told that we have to prepare for the job interview, but we still turn to luck or charms to help us land a job. If you couldn’t prepare yourself for the job interview, you have yourself to blame.

What should you do? The job interview is not just about answering the interview questions, but it also has to do with your appearance, manners, resume, cover letter and more.

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You Fail the Drug Test

Can’t believe it?
Even if you won the job interview, drug testing is part of the hiring process. It does not end there yet many candidates fail this part of the process. I know life can be tough, but you don’t have to take drugs. When nothing is going right then you go left. Why would you even stay that lane?

What Should You Do About It? It’s simple. Don’t do drugs. If you took drugs, stop it and stay clean. Keep track of all the medications, vitamins, foods or supplements because some of it might show a false positive on your drug test.  Provide medical forms before you took the test so the company would be aware of.

Read and follow this link: Drug Test

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You Failed the Background Check.

Already feel like your head is spinning in circles and confused because of your background record?

As backgroundchecks.com stated, a background check is much more than a simple criminal record. They also check everything about you from your education to employment history to references. The company wants to feel safe and protected. They don’t want to hire someone who has been wanted internationally or even locally. They would also never want to hire someone who was a member of a rowing team but never rowed in her entire life.

What you can do about it? If you don’t have any criminal history, it would be fine but if there were inaccurate records like a false record of arrest, you can always go to your local government to ask for help. If you do have, you can still try to apply for the company, but this can be quite difficult. You have to prepare for any rejection. I would suggest providing assurance to the company. I would also suggest not to apply to a job that is almost related to the crime. You can provide them your reliable references. Make sure you have three people who know you and you can trust to become your references.

Don’t forget to follow me at Follow!

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You Failed One or All Pre-Employment Tests

I know you can’t handle it but there are some tests such as personality test, employment test and skills test that you are required to pass to get a job interview. There are also some tests such as drug testing and that you are required to pass to sign a job contract and become a full-pledge corporate slave.

Taking the employment tests is also one of the hiring processes that you must pass so you could be able to fully win a job interview and land the job you love. The tests are used to help the company determine if you have the right skills, personality, and traits that they need for the job.

What You Can Do? Simply bring and prepare your pen, pencils, eraser, and sharpener for the tests. If you take tests such as personality, employment, and skills tests, you have to research the company. It is very important that you find out about their tests by making friends with a receptionist, networking with their employees or checking the feedback from job sites. Also, prepare for your diploma, training and employment certificates as these are some of your pre-employment requirements.

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Your Resume Is Ignored

Starting to feel hopeless?
You send tons of resumes online or on local companies, but you rarely receive any rings from your phone except your snooze alerts and alarms.

What is happening?

Your resume is basically not getting you interviews. There are tons of reasons on why your resume is not getting you any interviews at all. Your resume could have the wrong layout, spelling or format. If you do get interviews but your resume is not proofread, formatted or optimized, you’ll likely attract employers that don’t offer good jobs.

What You Can Do? Take the time to check your resume. Tailor your resume according to the job and company you are applying for. You can use a free resume builder or have someone write you a simple but powerful resume that can attract the right employers.

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You were not referred.

Don’t cry! You know how it goes in the real world. “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know!”

It’s not what you know. It’s who you know Click To Tweet

Let’s be real. We all know that most recruitment agencies and employers recruit people that were referred to them. Even if you have an arsenal of years and work experience without a referral, you are still stuck on searching for jobs.

What You Can Do About It? Don’t lose hope! Not all recruitment agencies and companies hire people they were referred. I still believe that they would still undergo an interview before they get hired. They still want to hire someone who has the right skills and qualifications. Otherwise, the interviewer will get into trouble if ever trouble happens. They want to avoid fraud because they don’t want someone who is incapable of doing simple tasks.

This is also the time you start networking with people by establishing sincere relationships with them. You can do this with your friends, family, and colleagues.

7 reasons why most job applicants fail on their job search and interview

There are other reasons on why you failed the job interview but that doesn’t mean you have to quit looking for a job. There may even be a time that you thought about giving up. You might have decided to change or improved yourself which is good.

But it’s not just you who needs change, there’s also one thing that needs to be given up or at least improved. That is called the recruitment process.

They should have reliable and realistic job descriptions. They should take the time in checking every single resume they can receive. They provide tests to all job applicants including the ones who were referred.

But… we all know that can’t happen.

It may happen in the future, but we know it’s not going to be today. All we can do is adapt and adjust the company’s recruitment processes. It takes a little more time and effort to adapt. However, if we were able to identify the things we failed to do and act so we can be able to overcome it no matter what situation we are currently in.

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Eleanor W. is the publisher, writer, blogger and creator behind The Eleanor Journal, the digital platform for stories, thoughts and ideas about personal growth and transformation whose sole mission is to illuminate the path to the lost.

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