land your dream job

Career self-sabotage – why you can’t land your dream job

So you’ve got all the skills and experience for the role, so why can’t you seem to land your dream job? It’s a question I hear over and over from well qualified and experienced jobseekers who are at a total loss to why they get the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ response from employers.

On the surface, these candidates look the perfect fit. But when you delve a little deeper, you discover that many excellent quality candidates are unintentionally carrying out career self-sabotage either before, during or after the interview process than puts them at a huge disadvantage when trying to land their dream job.

So let’s take a look at the three areas of career self-sabotage that could be stopping you landing that job.

The application process

Now I know that constantly revising your CV can be a real chore, but if you’re just flinging out generic applications left, right and centre you’re unlikely to tick all of the boxes for a potential employer. Take the time to read each job vacancy fully and amend your CV to highlight your skills and experiences that match those that the employer is looking for.

The interview

Failure to prepare
You might have oodles of experience in this area, but if you rock up with little or no preparation then what kind of message does this send out to your potential employer? Not a good one that’s for sure.

By doing some research on the company, industry and the role itself you’re able to give the impression that you have a real passion for the role and genuine interest in the company. Failure to do any homework at this stage gives the hiring manager a feeling that you’re not 100% committed to the position or industry and therefore you’ll be unlikely to be offered the role.

Acting like it’s a done deal
During the interview, the employer wants to make sure that you’ll be a good fit for their business. So while it’s important to build a good rapport with those on the hiring side, don’t get too comfortable just yet.

Even though the interview might seem like a casual chat between work colleagues, the interviewers still want you to act like a professional candidate at a job interview.

So keep any jokes, comments or remarks to yourself. They’re trying to ascertain if you can deal with others professionally and by being too laid back can come across as being cocky.

The follow-up
I’d always recommend that you send a follow up email post interview thanking the interviewer for their time, after all it just good manners. But whatever you do don’t become a follow-up stalker and send an email every day asking if they’ve made their decision.

These things take time and by clogging up their voicemails you not only come across as pushy, but it can be seen as being a bit on the desperate side.

After a week or so a brief email following up the progress of your application or feedback on your interview won’t do any harm, just don’t send dozens of them! They’ll come back to you in due course so try not to panic, regardless of how much you want the job.

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Emma Bonfiglio

About the author, Emma Bonfiglio

Managing Director at Appointments, Emma has spent 15 years building up a stellar reputation for commercial recruitment excellence across a variety of industries and sectors. There’s no staffing challenge Emma hasn’t encountered and her insight into the recruitment landscape has assisted countless clients achieve their goals over the years.


Specialising in the legislative and procedural side of business operations and through her extensive knowledge and continual training, Emma has a wealth of legal and contractual recruitment knowledge to help advise and support organisations of any size and in any industry.