To my friends with plenty of experience who find themselves filling out endless numbers of applications and receiving no call-backs: it might be time to audit yourself. There's nothing more frustrating than the feeling of not being taken seriously as a job candidate, as usually this comes with no explanation. Companies that don't call back for interviews or even after interviews aren't likely to give you any feedback on how to improve, so before you go further in that next application, there are some things to consider:
You don’t take yourself seriously
How do you carry yourself? This is a serious question. Do you walk with an air of confidence? Do you sit up straight? Do you feel confident? If you answered no to any of the above questions, get to work! Confidence in yourself reflects confidence in your ability to do your job. If you don't appear confident (notice I only said appear), then why would a company be happy to bring yo on board? Fake it until you make it, smile big and stand tall. That's half of the battle.
People say this over and over again, but it's because we clearly don't hear it enough. A professional brand image is a MAJOR key. Clearly, entering a field just out of college, it's going to be hard to have an established name in a given industry. But what are you known for? Think of three pillars that define your personal and professional brand and do the best you can to represent them on paper and in-person.
You don’t have #Goals
If you don't know what the hell you want to do with your life then what is a company supposed to do with you? I'm not just talking about what you want to achieve in your career, but in your lifetime! In an interview a hiring manager once asked me about my 1 and 5 year plans. I was speechless, I laughed, and I somehow thought of those on the fly. Don't be like Tati. Having a plan filled with attainable goals helps you get to where you want to go faster. So think long and hard about goals for yourself, and don't be afraid to share them with a potential employer when they ask. It shows that you've got some kind of plan going and that a career is an integral part of that.
You don't do your research
This last one is a simple task that can have a huge negative impact on your chances with an employer. Research. Before you speak to anyone in a potential company you need to understand what they do, who they do it for, why they do it, and how they get it done. Consider a company's "About Us" page to be your personal cheat sheet. What's their mission? Vision for the next 10 years? What are their core values? Most importantly, do all of these align with your personal perspective? A big consideration in hiring folks is how they "fit", so knowing and aligning with this important information about a company can complement your skills and experience. Not knowing what a company does can be the biggest insult to a hiring manager. It simply shows that you don't care...and thus they aren't taking you seriously.
So if you came to this post wondering why companies aren't taking you seriously, I hope you take away this much:
- Learn to take yourself seriously
- Have some goals
- Do your research
Good luck! I appreciate feedback of any kind in the comments!