Home Entrepreneur's Chat Why you are failing in your job search

Why you are failing in your job search


Job search is now easy even with COVID19 scourge

The internet has made job search easier, simpler and quicker than before. The truth is, getting a job nowadays is a little bit harder than it used to be. Things have been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen companies shut down and report massive layoffs. Even then, there are hundreds of Kenyans who were hired amid the coronavirus scourge.

Personally, I have been involved in the shortlisting of candidates for various positions and can talk about some of the things that make you lose an interview opportunity in your dream company.

You were not qualified

Imagine you were hiring a software developer to help create software for your company or integrate some APIs into your system. You post a job advert and then 1,000 people apply. You start the elimination process. If you can see a snippet of what field the applicants are in, you will definitely eliminate anybody who does not have a background in software. But believe me, you will find people with titles such as Teacher, Policeman, Nurse, HR Assistant, Accountant, Social Worker, among others.

job searchThere are many unqualified people who apply for jobs online. If you are not in the field or profession, refrain from sending your resume. However, if you have relevant work experience, you may get a chance.

You were underqualified

Students and fresh graduates apply for jobs online all the time. However, you can be a student who has experience or a fresh graduate who understands how things work. Most employers will give you an opportunity if you prove to have the talent and a good attitude towards work.

[bctt tweet=”If you are a jack of all trades, ensure that you are a master of all.” username=”NairobiKnights”]

In addition, focus only on the skills and qualifications that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

You were too expensive

Companies usually have a budget for a specific position, and before you apply it is good to ask around how much they pay. if you cannot get that information, find out the industry average. The majority of companies pay under 50,000 while SMEs pay about 30,000 per month for most positions.

Don’t expect 100,000/- salary from an employer whose budget is 30,000

As a Content Developer who is also an experienced Management Scientist, SEO Analyst, and critical thinker, I’ve ever asked for a 500,000/- salary from multiple employers and I got none. Not that I would lower my rate after missing several employment opportunities, but I have seen fresh graduates who were not even qualified ask for 100,000 for a position that was paying 30,000. When someone is experienced, they have a good mastery of an industry.

Employers will call you to get your ideas, not to give a job

Nevertheless, like majority of expensive candidates, I was only called by employers who needed to get some of my ideas but never interested in hiring me. I am not saying it’s wrong to ask for a high salary; but don’t set it too high if you cannot go another day without a job. Most employers prefer fresh graduates who do not yet have the experience because experience comes at a cost.

The moment your expected salary goes beyond 60,000 the employer starts to skip your cv. If they call, they either have the muscle or just want to steal some of your knowledge and industry tricks. Be careful, there are companies that post job ads and conduct virtual interviews all year round just to get ideas from the best candidates in the pool.

[bctt tweet=”Remember, high paying jobs do not last long, but a moderate salary is easily sustainable.” username=”NairobiKnights”]

Your qualifications & achievements are not clear

There are people who write a CV just to fill the spaces. An employer wants to see if you have done a similar task. For you to be qualified for a specific job, you need to meet the academic qualifications or have relevant work experience. Highlight those qualifications that are necessary for the job you are applying for, and achievements that show what you can do for your new boss.

In addition, you need to show what you achieved in your previous tasks. There are people who go to work because they have to, and there are those who go out of passion. People who love their job go the extra mile to meet unachievable targets, solve problems, and introduce new products or processes. All these are achievements that you need to showcase.

Loopholes in your cover letter

I am not talking about employment gaps. Of course, there are some very wide gaps that make the employer curious about your drive or competence. Every employer would like to see what you have been doing even if you were not employed.

See Also: Graduate employment lessons for Kenyans

According to Forbes, 93 percent of employers do not read cover letters. However, a few still read cover letters and this is why you need to avoid loopholes such as the following:

  • Giving a fake portfolio
  • Failure to talk about how your qualifications are relevant
  • Failure to talk about what you are bringing to the company
  • Applying for a different job instead of the one advertised
  • Making it too long and boring
  • Typing and grammatical errors


This may not be a major factor in hiring, but the way you package your CV matters. We are living in the age of Twitter and short messages where nobody has time to read. Do not make your future boss spend a lot of time searching for a piece of information in your CV. If anything, 1 page that is properly presented is enough. In addition, specific job positions may require you to go the extra mile. For instance, a Graphics Designer who sends their CV in MS Word may look incompetent or lazy. Try to design your CV rather than write it, and ensure you capture all details in one page. While at it, make it appealing to both the eye and the recruiter’s intellect.

Failure to follow instructions

People who outsource labour online have learnt that job seekers do not read anything the employer posts. Online job search has been made worse by the simplified application process by making it easier for you to apply for a job in a single click. As a result, most job posters attach an instruction somewhere in the middle or at the end of the job post and do not consider anyone who does not follow instructions.

Often, an employer will ask you to attach your portfolio. Since job applications attract so many applicants within a very short duration, failure to follow instructions will kill your dream before you even get started.

Help other people who are looking for a job

Have you ever applied for a job that you felt you were qualified for but did not make it to shortlisting? What was the reason for that?

Alternatively, have you conducted recruitment before? What are some of the things that made you eliminate candidates even before looking into their CVs or cover letters? Are there some that captured your attention but you could not shortlist them? What about those who made it to the interview but never got the job?

Kindly share your experiences and tips in the comments box below and help other job seekers.

Disclaimer: I am not a trained HR practitioner, but have studied and practised as a Management Scientist.

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Linguistics graduate and seasoned online journalist, researcher, content manager and SEO analyst.



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