7 reasons why you might not be getting hired

Fed up with daytime TV and with the scroll bar on another job site becoming increasingly heavy, you may be thinking that entering The Apprentice would provide a better chance of getting hired than blindly filling out another online application.

With all the tabloid headlines condemning the widening skills gap and condition of the job market, you'd be forgiven for assuming that your current lack of employment is as much out of your control as is which flavour you pick out of a Revels bag (please don't be coffee, please don't be coffee!)

One or two rejections can be accredited to bad luck, but continually receiving an 'I'm sorry to inform you' letter, may suggest that there's other reasons why you're sat in your pants at 11 o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon.

Your CV might need a revamp

While there's no doubt that your firm handshake, incomparable wit and Zoolander smile makes a great first impression in person, all of these attributes count for nothing if you submit a CV filled out in red crayon. Your resume is the first thing an employer will judge you on and if it's the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, full of speling mitsakes and makes no reference to the job you've applied for, it will only end up in the "no" pile. If writing and format isn't your strong point, there are CV writing services available for inexperienced graduates to long time runners of the rat race.

How are your references?

Much like a Who Wants to be Millionaire contestant who regrets their phone a friend choice as soon as they enter the seat, job seekers often under-estimate the importance of their references until it's too late. A strong character reference can be the difference between getting the job and sending out more applications, so don't just pick a name out of a hat on a whim.

You need to work on your interview skills

If you constantly find yourself getting an interview but face planting at the final hurdle, it might be your interview skills that are holding you back. There's a knack to succeeding in interviews and strolling in 20 minutes late with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice and wearing a purple velvet suit is not the way to do it. Interview situations are often awkward affairs and candidates should be prepared to sell themselves to the employer and present an altogether witty, courteous and well rounded individual that couldn't possibly be further from the truth.

Start networking

It's not what you know but who you know and if all you're doing is browsing through generic job site x, y and z in your Spiderman boxers, you're not doing enough. Candidates have to be proactive in their job hunt and networking with the relevant people is the best way to do this. In the digital age, LinkedIn, G+ and Twitter offer great platforms for connecting with relevant employers and useful facilitators, although no matter how hard you try, Katy Perry will not get you a job.

You're applying for the wrong jobs

When you've been unemployed for sometime, it can be tempting to take a scattergun approach when applying for jobs. While you might think that more applications equals more chance of a response, you're probably only wasting your time because there's absolutely no way you're qualified to run a Willy Wonker-esque chocolate factory or play the lead role in Annie. The general rule is that if you don't carry more than half of the requested qualifications, don't bother applying at all. You're only giving your motivation a knock and wasting valuable efforts that could be spent perfecting other applications.

Are you limiting yourself?

Though we might all be waiting for the position of bed tester or professional dreamer, beggars can't be choosers and in a competitive market, you have to be flexible. Two day a week jobs that are just 12 ft from your front door are few and far between, so widening your search to include different locations or hours of work will increase your chances are getting back on the corporate ladder.

You've forgotten social media, haven't you?

Remember that time you opened a bottle of White Lightning and went on a mega Twitter rant about Chris Akabusi? Yes? Well unfortunately, so does the internet and employers are increasingly searching online profiles to make a decision about a candidate. Social media can act as an invisible barrier for job applicants who don't realise that their online persona could be tripping up their real life ambitions. So don't let social media ruin your job prospects and make sure you clean up everything from that definitely not witty or clever Twitter bio, to that Facebook profile pic that would have warranted a quality control sticker if it was taken on a 90's roll of film.

Long time job hunting can be frustrating and disheartening but thinking that everything is out of your hands is the number one way to fail. Those who take a proactive approach are the ones who will soon find themselves being embraced by the world of meal deals and crowded commuting. Good Luck!

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