What’s coming between you and the job of your dreams?

You’ve been job searching for a while now and nothing is turning up. Is it just the economy or is there some other reason employers are not interested? While there are many factors at play, it’s important to be real with yourself and carefully assess whether there is something—be it personal or professional—that is preventing you from getting hired.

From someone who has worked in the staffing business nearly 25 years, I can give you some helpful insights into areas that may be hindering you. There are five culprits that may be coming between you and your dream job:

  1. Insufficient skills.  I hear it all the time from recruiters. Candidates are applying for jobs that don’t match their skills. I recently saw an infographic that showed 56 percent of job seekers believe they know the qualifications required for employment, but 69 percent of hiring managers said only ‘some’ job seekers (as opposed to most or nearly all) have the skills and traits required. This is a good area to evaluate. Are your skills up to par for the positions you are seeking? If not, you need to reevaluate your job pursuits.
  2. Poor interview preparation. If you are one of those people who like to wing it, your interviewer will know it and you will effectively take yourself out of the running for the job. Preparation is critical. If you really want the job, you need to do your homework. Learn about the company, prepare answers for common questions and prove yourself worthy of hiring.
  3. Weak resume. What kind of statement is your resume making about you? Did you take the time to customize it to the position you are seeking? Are there gaps in your work history with no explanation or a list of jobs with short stints of employment? Review the job description again and scrutinize your resume to see if it is working for you or against you.
  4. No future potential. Employers want to know they are making a hire that will add value to their company. While you may have one goal in mind (getting hired), you need to show the interviewer you have something to offer and you’re going to stick around. Consider this when they ask the notorious question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?
  5. Not checking out. From social profiles and background checks, to drug tests, credit scores and references, employers are looking for evidence that you are hiring material. Any one of these areas with a grimacing story to tell could eliminate you from the list of eligible candidates. Make every effort to clean things up before your interview and be prepared to explain anything that may pose a problem.

The right job could be right around the bend. By addressing these five hiring barriers, you may discover there is nothing left to come between you and the job of your dreams!