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When you’re trying to land a job, facing a series of rejections can be disheartening. In some cases, it occurs because there happened to be another standout candidate that stole the show. However, in others, it’s because of a problem with your application.

If you want to make sure you can land entry-level contract work or any other kind of job with ease, you need to address issues that may be holding you back. Here is a look at four reasons you may not be getting hired and what you can do about them.

1. You’re Underqualified

Many professionals want to go after their dream job right away. The problem is, if you don’t have the skills and experience required to handle the responsibilities, no amount of applying is going to get you that position.

When you begin a job search, take an honest assessment of your capabilities. Then, focus on jobs where you bring a minimum of 70 percent of what the hiring manager is after to the table.

2. You’re Overqualified

While it may seem like being overqualified for a job should work in your favor, it usually doesn’t. Typically, the hiring manager will have reservations about hiring you. It could be concerns that you wouldn’t be happy with the salary or the duties. They may also worry that you’ll head for the door if something more befitting of your skills and experience comes along.

If you’re intentionally aiming for a lower-level position, there are two things you can do to help you advance in the hiring process. First, adjust your resume to match the requirements of the job, removing achievements that showcase more advanced capabilities.

Second, be open about your desire for a job at that level in your cover letter. If you are honest about the situation, you can often ease some of the hiring manager’s worries.

3. You’re Sending Out a Generic Resume

Most hiring managers have to sort through dozens – if not hundreds – of resumes when they are trying to fill a position. As a result, their first step is usually to skim the content, not read it from beginning to end, looking for the best fit.

Even if you have the right qualifications, sending a generic resume could cause your application to hit the discard pile. Mainly, this is because it won’t be immediately clear to the hiring manager that you’re a match for this specific job.

Before you send a resume, tweak it to speak to the particular job you want to land. Reorder your skills list and achievements to put those that are most relevant front and center. Adjust your professional summary so that it’s enticing to that hiring manager. If you do, you’ll get far better results.

4. You’re Not Using Keywords

Keywords are a critical part of the job search process. More often than not, resumes are screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS). That process involves reviewing the text for specific keywords, using the number of hits to estimate whether a candidate is actually a strong match.

While you don’t want to resort to keyword stuffing, you do want to make sure that as many as possible are represented in a natural way. Review the job ad to identify the words and phrases that were used to describe critical skills, experiences, and capabilities. Then, make sure to use them in your resume if you have what’s requested.

Ultimately, whether you’re after entry-level contract work or any other type of position, all of the issues above could negatively impact your job search. If you want to learn more or would like assistance from skilled recruiters, Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

 

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