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The key to a successful career switch: discover the 5 common pitfalls of job applicants

Finding a new job can often times be a challenge, especially if it takes longer than expected. But don't despair, because there is good news! International recruitment firm Robert Walters has identified the five common traits that unsuccessful job applicants often share. The good news is that each of these characteristics can be addressed and improved. 

An exaggerated self-image  

If you rate yourself too highly when evaluating your own experience and skills and therefore aim too high when negotiating salaries, it can be difficult to get a job offer. Even if you change jobs within the same sector and specialisation, you will not always be able to increase your position or salary. It is important not to lump your market value together with an evaluation of your performance at your current employer. Ideally, you should seek the objective opinion of a recruiter or other third party. This way, you avoid making a biased assessment of your own market value. 

Inability to highlight strengths 

While you should not overestimate yourself, neither should you be modest about your strengths. Job applicants who fail to win a job offer often struggle to explain how they have applied their unique strengths in concrete work situations. It is not always easy to articulate how you achieved certain results. To highlight your strengths during the job interview, it is important to evaluate your career beforehand and think of times when you achieved more than what was initially asked of you. 

A passive job interview attitude  

When you work with a recruiter, you will be presented with jobs that match your skills and aspirations. However, it is not enough just to be introduced by the recruiter.

If you do not think carefully about why this company or position is a good fit for you, you will not be able to show your enthusiasm to the hiring manager.

It is important that you yourself also identify the type of company or job you are a good match for and clearly communicate your reasons for applying to your potential new employer. 

A negative attitude 

With a negative attitude, you significantly lower your chances of getting hired, even if you do meet all the other requirements for the job. Applicants with a positive attitude, who show that they are able to find solutions on their own in difficult situations, are well-liked by hiring managers. Practising with typical interview questions can help to leave a positive impression and avoid negativity.  

Poor communication skills  

Effective communication is essential in almost any job. Applicants who excel at their jobs can usually communicate with colleagues and people within the organisation without any problems. It is important to communicate correctly during the application process, be punctual and use the right tone and politeness. 

If you have received multiple rejections, don't give up. Consider whether any of these common characteristics apply to you and work to significantly increase your chances of a successful job switch


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Compare the salaries in your field of expertise with the Robert Walters Salary Survey.  Are you open to a new challenge? Check out our vacancies.

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