Why you didn't get an interview for an internal posting

You thought it was straightforward: you work there, they know you, you'll get an interview. But it didn't work out that way and you did not get a call to an interview. How can that be?

Some years ago, while still working in the corporate environment before I launched my own business, I learned of a new position that was being considered. Genuinely interested in it, I went to my boss for advice, asking what kind of training I might need to position myself as a viable candidate. Unfortunately he told me that this new position was unlikely to become a reality and that I shouldn't worry about it.

A year later another internal applicant landed the newly created, well-paying, create your own job description position. Mmhmm. Which brings us to reason number one.

1. An internal candidate is already pegged for the job. Sometimes it's obvious and other times, not at all obvious. I had no idea and quite honestly, to this day, I do not see a good fit between the successful candidate's personality and history, and the needs of the position. These things happen, though, as recruitment isn't always fair, equitable, or predictable.

2. Corporate policy dictates you have to have been in your position a certain length of time before you can begin applying to internal postings. Such was the case recently in a career chat. A fairly new employee, already showing promise in accomplishments, was not invited to an interview after applying to an internal posting. Often written in formal policy, perhaps sometimes in unwritten guidelines, it makes sense to keep a new hire in his/her position for a specified length of time, given the cost of onboarding/training and workload.

3. You may be working under someone who is threatened by your skill, doesn't like you, or has ego issues that don't support staff advancement. It happens. To circumvent this situation, join committees, be vocal in meetings, speak to HR about your ambitions in the company, and get to know those in other departments and your boss's boss, so that one person's lack of support cannot hijack your career.

4. It could be that your resume is so poor that you knocked yourself out of the race! I had a co-worker who confided in me this exact scenario. He'd been told that he didn't get the job because his resume was "mickey-mousish." Ouch. Even though his work was well regarded, a lot more goes into the recruitment process, especially where transparency is a requirement. The resume must be justifiable in case it is contested. There are lots of qualified applicants for most jobs, so why take the chance on a hire that might cause work later, in trying to defend the hire of Applicant A over Applicant B, equally talented and accomplished, whose resume positively sings out amazing value?