It's a soul-crushing feeling. I know, because I've felt it. You probably have, too. You're legitimately talented, knowledgeable, and hard-working— but you're not getting called back. Meanwhile, your loudmouth Facebook friend who still manages to party Thursday-Sunday just nabbed a great position in your same field. What gives, universe? Related: Overqualified? So What? The unfortunate truth is that talent, even when backed by experience, does not always win. There are three main reasons someone less qualified got the job.
1. Your resume doesn't do you justice.A recruiter has a limited amount of information to go on. (That is, they can't just lounge around your house and get to know "the real you" the way a new friend or romantic interest might.) So it's up to you to communicate exactly what you want them to know through your cover letter, resume, and/or online presence. You have to show them that you’re great, in the most obvious way. And to do this, I recommend focusing on "punching up" and "paring down." "Punching up" is about starkly highlighting your strengths— really selling them with concrete language. For instance, you may currently be saying:
"During my time at Company, Inc., I managed five accounts, doing my best to ensure that the projects moved forward in a timely manner and that the clients were satisified with the result."But what you should be saying is:
"While with Company, Inc., I juggled five accounts, blasting through any administrative obstacles that threatened progress, facilitating clear conversation between the client and web development team, and maintaining highly cordial client relationships that ensured everyone always felt heard and taken care of."The second part, "paring down" is about cutting the fat; getting rid of anything that dilutes or distracts from your most impressive points. Since it can be difficult to judge your own resume, you'd be well-advised to get outside help with this revision process— asking others to pick out the parts they find most impressive, so you can punch them up and pare down the parts that aren't as electric.