How a Lack of Self-Awareness Can Hinder You from Landing a Job

Is your lack of self-awareness the one MAJOR thing standing in the way of your dream job?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!
lady doing self-reflection

Self-Awareness: a sharp realization of your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses, your thoughts and beliefs, your emotions, and your motivations. – Develop Good Habits

I once coached a recent grad who was determined to land a job in the finance/banking industry. She came to me after almost giving up hope as she just could not land a job.

She (let’s call her Sarah for the sake of this article) was a straight-A student with a spectacular GPA, who was actively involved in student-run organizations throughout her college career yet, she just could not land a job. She had applied to multiple job openings and sent her resume to numerous recruiters and would often hear nothing back. If she did get to the interview round she was never called back or offered the position.

Something was wrong.

The first thing I asked Sarah to do when we began working together was to tell me her strengths, weaknesses, and passions. This was difficult for her to articulate and at that moment I recognized the problem. Sarah was not self-aware. I proceeded to have her do some self-reflection exercises and write down what she was really good at and the areas in which she was not as skilled.

I discovered a common theme that had come up with many other job seekers I had coached in the past and that was a lack of self-awareness. The truth is that unless you really know yourself as a job-seeker you cannot coherently articulate to a hiring manager or recruiter why they should hire you.

Self-awareness, as it relates to job-seekers, is the art of knowing yourself – your value offering, skills, strengths, weaknesses, passions, and ideal work environments. It is understanding yourself to the point where you are comfortable with both your strong points and your pain areas. It is brutal honesty.

I believe there are 3 things that a lack of self-awareness can do to a job seeker:

  1. It leaves you feeling lost and overwhelmed during the job application process because you do not have a clear picture of what you really want out of a job.
  2. It leads you to send your resume to any and every job opening that “looks good” even when your skillset and prior experience do not match the job description.
  3. It makes you unable to effectively sell yourself through your Resume, Cover Letter and especially in an interview. So you may be the ideal candidate for the job but you are not able to show it.

If a person is self-aware, not only will they begin to discover jobs that align with their skillsets and passions, they will also be able to sell their value-offering to the potential employer and thus greatly increase their chances of landing a job offer.

Working with Sarah to become more self-aware enabled her to soon after land what she terms her “dream job!” All because she was self-aware.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


10 Expert Tips for Wowing a Hiring Manager to Land the Job of Your Dreams

by Shana Lebowitz

Your Brand

by Pratima Rao Gluckman
By Alliance Images/Shutterstock

7 Female Leaders on How They Overcame Crippling Anxiety

by Lindsay Tigar

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.