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I meet people every day who are down on their luck. They’ve applied for job after job online and nothing is clicking. They’ve had a few phone interviews and even an in person interview or two. Their resume seems virtually flawless. They’re actively engaged in LinkendIn and regularly attending networking events.

They feel like they’re doing everything possible. But they must be doing something wrong because they haven’t landed their dream job yet. What could it be?

First, let me say that most people can improve on something. Whether it’s your elevator pitch, your resume, you cover letter, or even your wardrobe, we all have room for improvement.

However, when it comes to interviewing, it’s not always all about you. Just like in dating, sometimes it really is them. There are a number of situations that could be going on behind the scenes you may never know about. As you read these scenarios, consider the reasons an employer might not want to share these important details with you.

For example, what if the company you’re interviewing for just went on a hiring freeze? They may be waiting until their budget frees up at a later time to start again. This happens a lot in the advertising agency world. Agencies must scale their size up or down depending on the amount of business they have.

I have personally had a situation where the hiring manager was unexpectedly promoted to another department midstream. Suddenly, all the jobs he was hiring for were dropped until they could backfill his position. Unfortunately, it took months to refill his role and then the boss that was brought in was fired shortly after. As a candidate, how could you possibly influence that situation?

Another thing we rarely think about is internal candidates or preselected external candidates. Often, companies have someone in mind for a role before they even post the position. In fact, they may have created the job for that person. This can happen when an internal candidate is receiving a promotion, or when a contractor is being brought on full time. But many big companies often have rules that they must post all positions before someone can be hired. Sometimes they even have to conduct a full search. That means, you may be interviewing for a job that isn’t really open in the first place. And, how would you know?

Competition and market also play into your search. In certain fields, jobs may be low in quantity, but high in demand. An employer may be flooded with hundreds of applicants for each role. If you’re looking for a position in a highly desirable field but has few jobs and many candidates, you may have a tough time finding something – even if you’re a catch.

So back to the beginning. We can always improve ourselves. But before your frustration leads you to completely give up on your search, just remember that there’s more at work than what you know about. Keep knocking on doors and soon, someone will answer.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


Author: Angela Copeland

Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.

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