The job market can be a terrifying place to be. You may have been in a steady role for years just to find yourself unable to find a new position. Or, you might be just out of college and discovering the job market is saturated with candidates just like you.

If you’re getting lots of interviews but are coming up dry in the offer department, here is a few reasons you’re not getting hired.

You’re too pessimistic

People don’t like the Debbie Downer in the office, and if you give off pessimistic vibes in an interview, chances are, your potential future boss won’t be hiring you.

According to an Optimism report by the Social Issues Research Center, over 50% preferred the company of optimists compared with a mere 3% who were more attracted to pessimists with the rest simply not having an opinion. Chances are, that hiring manager isn’t in the 3%.


You ‘downplay’ your achievements

Even if you’re just humble, downplaying achievements can come across as insincere, especially if you included them in your resume. However, don’t go to the other extreme and brag about your skills.



You criticize past employers

It may seem like common sense, but unfortunately many candidates feel the need to honestly explain why they left or are thinking of leaving an employer. While I applaud your brutal honesty about your current job or boss, keep in mind that your perspective is not absolute truth. So while you might really believe that your boss is a tyrant, perhaps he’s only a tyrant with you because you are always late to meetings. Or maybe the reason your company is refusing to promote you is not because they discourage growth but because you aren’t hitting your targets.

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You diss your degree

We get it, your degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. At least that’s how many millennials feel with the market saturated with college educated candidates trying to get a foot in the door. While it’s true that a degree isn’t a magic key to landing a job, talking bad about your degree or the ‘worthless debt’ it might have brought you, certainly won’t impress an employer. If you don’t value your education, why should they?


Your social feed speaks volumes

We all have heard the stories about people that were fired for inappropriate tweets or posts. The same thing can happen in your job search. If you don’t want to filter yourself, set your feeds on private while in a job hunt.


You’re interviewing for jobs below your skill level

Some hiring managers are fearful about hiring someone that’s simply too good. If you keep interviewing and are being rejected for being ‘overqualified’, why are you still applying to jobs you’re overqualified for? If you’ve done the job (or could do the job) of the hiring manager, it’s time to step it up a level. Striking out for manager roles? Try director positions.


The company just can’t see you’re a special unicorn

Sometimes we just don’t get the job because we’re simply too awesome for them to comprehend. Why would you want to work at a place that doesn’t see how valuable your talents are anyways?

However, if this happens frequently, you might want to consider if one of the other sections apply (like being overqualified).

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You make a bad impression with the reception staff

It takes more than just getting called in for interviews to get a job – the real work starts as soon as you arrive, even before you meet with the hiring manager. Always assume that the receptionist and the hiring manager are getting happy hour later. Don’t make jokes or do things like take selfies/snapchat or post on Facebook while waiting.


You don’t have good eye contact

Yes, this still happens and is one of the biggest reasons candidates don’t get an offer. Good eye contact is key – not too much (creepy) and certainly not too little (no confidence).


You make a clothing blunder

It’s always a good idea to ask about the dress code before showing up. Underdressing, over dressing, or making a wardrobe blunder is a great way to not get the job.


Why you’re just not getting hired

Elizabeth Becker

Elizabeth is Marketing Manager at PROTECH. Comments and feedback can be directed to her at