Getting a job usually involves a lot of steps. You apply, do a phone interview, then one or more in-person interviews, followed by reference and credential checks, then, perhaps, an offer.
Along the way, a lot of things can go wrong. Sometimes it seems like everything has gone well and you're on track to getting hired, but you never get offered the job.
You may never know the reason. It's possible that a better candidate came along. In some cases, though, you don't get the job because you made one of the easily avoidable mistakes below.
Getting hired is about more than doing well in an interview.
You lied on your resume
Nearly half of people (46%) lie on their resume, according to a recent survey from staffing service OfficeTeam. The problem with lying (aside from it being morally wrong) is that technology makes it easier for you to be caught.
Claims like degrees you never earned or awards you didn't actually win will probably be found out. Smaller lies may slip through, but the chance of getting caught and sacrificing a potentially great new job simply isn't worth it.
Your social media
The person interviewing you or someone else involved in the hiring process will probably check out your social media. In fact, 70% of employers are using social media to screen candidates, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder report.
A lot of seemingly innocent things can spike your job candidacy. That picture of you doing a keg stand at spring break? That might be enough. Your posts sharing political views? That could be enough as well.
Before applying for a job, sanitize your social media. Have it be about your family and friends and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date.
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You didn't say thank you
It sounds silly, but in a competitive situation even something small can be the difference. If you fail to send a thank you note after an interview and your competitor does, that could tip the balance against you.
Cover all your bases. After every interview send a thank you note to anyone you spoke with during the process.
Your references were weak
More than once I have gotten reference calls for past employees unexpectedly. In some of those cases the people I was being asked about were not great employees and while I did not go out of my way to kill their chances of getting hired, I was honest.
Let your references know you intend to use them and that they may get a call. Ask if they are comfortable being a reference for you and if someone isn't, thank him or her and find someone else.
You lack a required skill
Certain jobs require that you have certain skills or qualifications in order to hold them. In some cases, you can get through the interview process without meeting every requirement as long as you lay out a clear plan to acquire whatever is needed once you get the job.
People often do this well in their cover letter, but forget to reinforce their plan to get up to speed during the interview process. Make sure you reinforce how you will gain any required certifications, skills, or how you might fill holes in your experience should you get hired.
It's a lot easier for a recruiter or hiring manager to find a reason not to hire you than it is for him or her to hire you. Work to take away reasons that someone might pass on you. Have every base covered and try to think about things that may never matter just in case, as luck would have it, they do.