The Biggest Reason you can’t get a job and 3 things you can do right now to fix it!

When I write about how to get a job and how most of what your being told to do is crushing your chances of getting back to work, the thoughts come more quickly than I can type.   These thoughts are usually of the “grab you by the shoulders and shake you” variety for over qualified candidates.

Here’s why… this is an excerpt from an actual interview I did recently.  Tell me what job this person is applying for and would you hire them?

“I used to own a restaurant for 10 years, I’m a papered chef, I ran a ski school for 5 years, I’ve been in sales for 20 years and opened a few different sales departments?”

So what do you think, what job is he applying for?

He was applying for… a sales rep!

Would you hire them?

My goal is to empower you to go out and get a job, a great job, one that you are truly excited and fired up about.  But to be empowered you have to be strategic and informed, so let me inform you about one of the biggest reasons your quest to get a job is failing and the top 3 things you can do to fix it – right now!

Biggest Reason you can’t get a job after the interview is…

When you have a wealth of experience (or you’re over qualified) and you’re trying to get a job it’s important to focus on the experience a hiring manager is looking for and NOT ALL OF YOUR EXPERIENCE (like our friend above).

Now I know it’s tough.  You may not have had a lot of interviews recently despite sending dozens of resumes out, you have bills coming in at the end of the month with no prospects in sight.  What happens is… you want/need the job so bad that you over sell your self.  Remember, being over qualified or “have done it all”  WILL get you eliminated as quickly as being under qualified/experienced.

A hiring manager’s job is to find reasons to eliminate you – That’s the truth!

They’re not there to sift through everything you say and find the good stuff.

They are they to find the red flags, the little gremlins in your closet that can get you eliminated, keep you from getting a job. No matter how much amazing experience you have. They are constantly looking for the one little things you do or say that they can use to eliminate you.

It is YOUR JOB to keep them focused and on point about the experience you have that they are looking for.

Let me give you an example.  I once spoke with a gentleman, Chris who was a very young looking 45.  He had some crazy experience and was finding it hard to get a job.  He had a degree in Oracle, a degree in political science and he had been an Olympic Medalist and Professional Boxer (which he proudly displayed on his resume).
Chris was applying for Oracle jobs and each time he got an interview he was asked about his professional boxing career (I think he actually fought Lennox Lewis) and he was more than happy to relive his glory days of boxing.  Long story short, Chris never got any job offers because he never talked about his experience and expertise in Oracle.  Companies don’t hire people with a cool back story. They hire experts in the role they are looking to fill and it is your job to keep them on point.  It is their job to pull you in every direction.

Here are the top 3 things you can do to keep the hiring manager focused and get a job:

  1. Focus on the experience that relates to the job you are interviewing for and nothing else.  For example, if we look at Chris.  He was more than happy to talk about his boxing career which was actually getting him eliminated.What he should have been saying is, “I would be happy to tell you all about my boxing career over a coffee after you hire me.  But I am here to talk about my Oracle experience.”
  2. If you know you are a little weak in the exact experience a company is looking for make sure that you know EXACTLY how your previous experience relates to the job you are interviewing for. Don’t ramble on using general terms and buzz words – these will only improve your chances of getting eliminated.  Or you will make INTERVIEWING MISTAKE #1 – YOUR ANSWERS CREATE MORE QUESTIONS
  3. Be a “Me” Expert.  Yep, knowing exactly what you love and want to do, where you want to do it and how you want to be managed at a very deep level will give you incredible clarity and focus to answer any questions thrown at you.


So, if you consider yourself to be over qualified to get a job, remember to keep the hiring managers focus on the experience they are looking for because you now know that they will do everything they can to get you off topic looking for a reason to eliminate you. Now go get em!

Don’t forget you can sign up for my FREE eBook and start changing the way you approach resume writing.

Sign Up Here ===> The 7 BIGGEST Resume Writing Mistakes Keeping You From Getting Interviews.”

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world… usually do.” Apple Commercial from 1997…

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  • Good blog post. I absolutely love this site.
    Continue the good work!

  • Andrea

    Reply Reply June 28, 2012

    Great article. Definitely accurate. Candidates need to focus their attention on the role they are interested. TMI is unnecessary and demonstrates a lack of focus.

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