Coming in Second on Job Offers? Rethink Your Strategy

job offers

“Always a bride’s maid never a bride” is a cliché with a bit of truth.  If you consistently are told, “You were our second choice,” or “We would have offered you the job but another candidate blew us away,” don’t turn away and vow you’ll do better next time.  Hear the fact in the polite brush off.  You are not fully competitive with other candidates.  What could be missing?  Consider the following.

1.  You sound canned in the interview.  This happens to people who have been through so many interviews they come across as perfunctory.  Each interview has to be treated as show time!  Did you stand during the telephone interview so you’d project energy?  Did you learn forward slightly when you answered questions in person?  Did you come across as vitally interested in the interviewer, company, and job?  Time for a reality check.  Look at yourself on video and you be the judge.

2.  This was a practice interview for you.  There are at least two schools of thought on interviewing for jobs you’re not remotely interested in.  One says that any interview is a learning experience and worth the effort.  Another says don’t interview for a job you wouldn’t take.  For job hunters out of work more than six months, go with the former.  For job hunters just starting the hunt adhere to the latter.  Why? If you’re a long-term job hunter you won’t stay sharp unless you interview several times a month.  However, if rejection has become your middle name, save yourself for serious interviews only.  If you’re just starting out and unfocused interview with anyone who’ll talk to you.  You can only become focused by eliminating all job categories you explore enough to realize there is no fit.

3.  You are more discouraged than you thought and it shows.  Get some professional help!  Without it you can’t sell yourself.  There are multiple options from very expensive to reasonable.  You’ll end up getting advice later so why not do it sooner.  Get references.  Degrees, certificates, and self-proclaimed experts who don’t know squat about discouraged job hunters abound.  Only someone who’s been in your situation can make a useful recommendation.

4.  You’ve changed your job objective.  Revise your resume — again.  The job hunter is not looking for the same job he/she was at the beginning of the hunt but hasn’t given a name to what he/she now wants.  This is far more common than you’d think.  Because interviews are a learning event on both sides the job hunter has begun to realize he wants to do something else, even with the same title or same job category.  Until he/she revises the resume to reflect the new objective he/she faces certain rejection.  How is that done?  By picking different accomplishments necessary to a different job objective.  Remember, it’s called a resume, not my complete autobiography.

What’s important:  Don’t decide it’s bad luck that you didn’t get the job.  Ask yourself how much you wanted it.  Was it really a great fit or are you evolving and need to rethink your job objective and strategy?  If you’ve been job hunting nine months, even in this economy, and you’re not getting offers, your strategy isn’t working.

Contact Marilyn for Help With Career Strategies

Get your career on track pronto. Develop a successful strategy to get the job you want. Contact Marilyn Moats Kennedy now.

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Filed under Boomers, Career Strategies, Millennials and GenX