10 reasons you’re still unemployed


There is an abundance of ‘how-to’ articles available for the job seeker, but it seems that some people are still getting it wrong (if that weren’t true – you’d be employed, right?). We’d love to get as many people out of the Job Centre and into work, so we’ve surveyed our experienced recruitment consultants, and found the scoop on why you’re really not getting hired…

Recognise that an interview is an interview. 

We are a recruitment agency, but this shouldn’t mean you treat the interview any less ‘real’ than if you went straight to an employer.
Solution:This means using the following tips as a guide for all interviews, no matter how ‘serious’! 


Your CV is the very first version of you that will be seen when applying for work, and so there needs to be care taken when crafting this. It is essential that your work history, experience and qualifications are kept up to date and are relevant to the field you’re applying to. Another minor, yet important issue is your e-mail address. rude/informal addresses are not favoured by professionals.

Solution: List work history beginning with most recent working backwards. List key skills and experiences, such as machines, programs or processes you’re familiar with. This means work can be matched easily to your experiences.  If you’re lacking, why not check out courses available to you, look into apprenticeships or voluntary work? Make an e-mail address containing your name and numbers.


How you present yourself is how you will be remembered. It tells your interviewer how much you care about self-representation, how you value the opinion of your prospective employer, and how much effort you’re prepared to give.

Personal Hygiene is a huge bug bear for a lot of our consultants, meaning you quite literally stink! If you’re a smoker, try a mouth spray or an extra dousing of deodorant before you walk through the doors. Clothing should be well thought out – Arriving in a baseball cap and dirty jeans will definitely affect first impressions. Language should be kept formal (no slang!), and try to avoid mumbling.
Keep good posture – don’t lounge over the interview table, lean against door frames or anywhere else! One of our consultants says “I’ve asked people to leave before for slouching. Yes I normally get a facial expression that says “what have I done” or “how dare you ask me to leave”!”
Solution: Have a shower, get some clean clothes and feel free to use body spray! Smart/Casual dress is appropriate for an interview – find out what other employees in the company wear, and follow suit. Practice speaking in front of a mirror if you have confidence issues. Sit/stand up straight!


After presentation, attitude is the second thing you’ll be judged on. Again, it’s a representation of your character and  how you want to be seen.

Not turning up/being late – It is your responsibility to arrive on time, and no excuse changes this.

Answering your phone, playing games or laughing to friends when we/an employer calls you – this seriously shows a lack of interest and commitment to your future employment. Keep your distance when talking to your interviewer – ‘when they get way too close to you when they’re almost in your face… not good!’

When we ask you to fill out our forms in full, we expect that you do so. Complaining about doing this makes us very wary of using you. A few Essential employees agreed that many candidates signing up to agencies have ‘The expectation that the state owes you a living’

Solution: Allow for complications when traveling, inform if you won’t show. Keep your phone off, and make sure you’re alone when taking a call. Do what we ask – it’s the very least you’ll have to do in terms of workload.


No one will want to hire the guy who can’t keep to his word. Loyalty is a fantastic trait to have, so maintain it! Turn up when you say you will, and if you can’t – let someone know. If you manage to make it there, stay! One our consultants says that many candidates ‘vanish on the way and don’t give a reason and again never answer the phone.’

Solution: Do what you say you’ll do, one case of bunking off will definitely leave a bad smell, and mean you’ve lost any edge over the competition. If you’re not sure what to do, think for yourself. There won’t always be a helping hand, so be responsible and take the safest option. 


If you’re unavailable all the time, make sure it’s not because of minor reasons. Not being able to interview/work due to seeing friends isn’t really an excuse.

Solution: Keep a schedule, and know definitely when you’re available and when you’re not. Whenever possible, rearrange prior engagements and put work related events priority. 


The attitude of many applicants on Job Seekers allowance is a pet hate for many consultants. This does NOT mean that all receivers of JSA comply, it is simply those who believe they’re better off on benefits than working that leave a terrible impression. One consultant comments ‘when they have been out of work for more than 12 months with no valid reason and have not attended any interviews and clearly have no motivation to work…  There is always a job out there, people are just far too selective and happy to sit on job seekers- Lazy!’ We’ve had complaints that jobs ‘aren’t worth my time’

Solution: The only way you’re going to get a job is if you really want one. Complaining about lack of employment when having an attitude like this is fundamentally you’re own fault. Change the attitude and reap the rewards.


You may have made mistakes, and unfortunate events may have found you, but as of one the Essential team puts it…’When in interview and all that has happened to them whilst working at other places including other agencies and the reasons it has finished are always someone else’s fault – I don’t believe that anyone is that unlucky!’ This of course leads to doubts about your character  and a lack in interest over seeing you again.

Solution: Be honest, or be quiet! Blaming your misfortunes on others will only help to make you look like a complainer, and nobody likes that…

Money grabbing

If you’ve been out of work for a while, have low qualifications or little experience – turning your nose up at minimum wage work will warrant an exhausted consultant giving up on you.
Solution: Build yourself up to the bigger dream. If you’re willing and able, you’ll be looked upon much more favourably than if you’re demanding up and above what you’re worth.

Being an awkward customer.

One thing that some candidates fail to do, is ‘some preparation before ringing for a job. One thing that really grates on my nerves is when a candidate doesn’t know their own work history so when we ask ‘what was your last job?’ they shout down the phone ‘MUM, WHERE DID I LAST WORK?’. Or not knowing anything about the job they’d like to apply for.’

      If we haven’t called regarding work, give us a call yourself. The eagerness means we know you’re really, 100% committed to the cause and will not let us down.
Solution: Think before you ring. Read your CV if it helps! Before complainaing, see what you could do to resolve the issue yourself.