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Home > Blog: Job Seeker Tips > There's Only So Much You Can Control in the Job Search

There's Only So Much You Can Control in the Job Search

Hiring ProcessIf you’ve been searching several months for a new job, or if you’re unemployed and wondering when and where you’ll be working again, you’ve probably had at least one moment when you questioned your abilities or wondered why you haven’t been able to land a new job.

Have you ever thought that it just might not be your fault?

Hiring is not a science. In fact, any of the following factors can hurt your chances:

  • The hiring manager was in a bad mood when he or she read your resume;
  • You wore a nice, conservative blue suit to the interview–but the hiring manager just doesn't like blue;
  • You have a funny last name, like Howerschnitzer or Flutersnoot, that elicits a snicker from a hiring manager;
  • Your name is James and there are already three Jameses in the hiring manager’s small department; or
  • Your last place of employment, where you made great career progress, happens to be the same company that fired the hiring manager's wife.

OK, anyone who makes hiring decisions like those deserves a huge can of whoop-ass. But those are factors you can’t control. One of our favorite bloggers, Alison Green, herself a hiring manager, offers six key insights into how employers choose their job candidates. According to Alison, it all comes down to who stands out above the rest, how the candidate would get along with his or her boss and mesh with the company culture, and who really wants the job.

The truth is, you can’t really control the hiring manager's perceptions, either. All you can do is be honest with yourself and others in the hiring process and give it your best shot.

Have you ever lost out on a job for what you thought was a weird reason? Please share it with us.


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