GNcareers, from Gulf News

Why tone and tenor matter in any job search

Why tone and tenor matter in any job searchImage Credit: Supplied

Are you doing enough to get a job? The answer is never straightforward. You may be hitting all the job boards, sending your resume to any potential employer and responding to their inquiries if any, but still an offer hasn't landed in the mailbox.

It is often hard to know why the effort is not paying off. The reason may be related to your industry or approach. If caught in this situation, review the steps taken and make sure there is nothing you are doing that continues to undermine your position as a good fit for a job. There are many factors that can be a cause — from the covering letter's formatting to the quality of the writing.

That is why it is important that you run over the entire process with a fine-tooth comb. In particular, pay attention to the following areas that might be blocking your opportunities.

* Your perceived interest

How you express your interest can make a whole lot of difference. Between appearing to be desperate for any job to being enthusiastic about a particular opportunity, there are many levels. Make sure your level of interest doesn't lead the employer to shelve the application.

The best way to express interest is to do so with total respect for the employer. For example, don't try to pressure individual interviewers, inappropriately reach out to current employees or push for an interview without letting the process run its course. Similarly, don't just sit back and expect the job to come. Follow up when needed and be proactive and prompt in schedule the various interviews.

* The job type

If you've not been getting any interviews, you may be applying simply for the wrong jobs. Take a closer look at those positions — not only in terms of industry but also in hierarchy. You may have overestimated the qualifications, knowledge and experience.

For example, if you've been a public relation managers in a small company, you may not be the right fit for the exact same position in a multinational, while a step below that may be a good starting point. Take a look at the job duties to seriously evaluate where your experience falls.

Being overqualified can also be in your way. So make sure your qualifications are a fit for the job you are applying for.

Many candidates also make the mistake of assuming their skills are transferable to certain fields while they are not. For example, if you've worked on fixing some IT issues in a company, the experience and knowledge — even if they are significant — may not warrant you a full-term job as an IT technician.

Many organisations, in fact, may require education and specific certification for the person handling these issues. The point is, if you're not getting responses to the application, make sure you are not completely on the wrong track.

* Your communication

Similar to how you express your interest, the entire communication approach may be discouraging to future employers. Do you overlook file size and just send loads of files in PDF and JPEG format to future employers? If yes, you may be setting yourself to having your applications immediately deleted because of this simple fault.

Have you adopted an over-the-top casual tone with a future employer, where the cover letter and application read like a post on a friend's Facebook timeline? You probably need to reconsider.

Similarly, if you have been roughed around by the job market and can't simply find a positive, constructive tone for an in-person interview, you probably come along as aggressive or simply run down. These examples and much more may be contributing to why you are having hard time landing a job. Improving your communication skills is to first step to solving them.

* Too late to apply

Although many jobs may be open for several weeks, others are not. If employers are pressured by a departing employee or a need to increase staff for whatever reason, they may go with the first viable choice. If you're always late to apply, you may be missing out to someone else who has already in the process, has done an interview and seems like a good candidate.

That is why it is important whenever you're looking for a job that you remain alert to new posting. Get your application in as soon as you can and as complete as you can — regardless to the deadline that is posted on the job.

Get that job

• Check your tone and interest.

• Review your communication.

• Match the job with your qualifications.

• Be prompt in applying.

Know what to do when the past haunts your job search

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to

The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor