Why You Might Have Been Overlooked For That Last Role

When you’ve worked hard to prepare for a promotional opportunity, one of the most frustrating things that can happen is to get overlooked in favour of a candidate who you think is less technically capable than you. Today we are going to take a look at some of the main reasons this might happen and how you can work on your personal brand to improve your chances of progressing.

If you are planning on applying for a new role in the future it is more likely to happen if it’s planned and part of your own development plan; whether that is a formal company PDP or your own career goal. This should allow you to plan a pathway to the job you want.




Unfortunately, promotion isn’t always based on the performance level you are at in your current role. Even if you are incredibly capable and a ‘safe pair of hands’ in your department you could be overlooked unless, you seem like the natural choice.

To decrease your chances of being overlooked, ask yourself these questions:

Does output and accuracy dominate your work role?

Taking pride in your work is a good way to build your personal brand and will get you noticed by key stakeholders, but you also need to consider how this would be translated in a higher level position. Being competent or even a linchpin of the team doesn’t mean you should be in charge. Try to consider the goals of the team and business as a whole as well as your own and be prepared to share your skills; staff development is frequently at the core of more senior positions.

Are you able to influence and lead?

Individuals who are focused on hitting their own targets can be internally focused. Think about your relationships with your co-workers – do you know what motivates them and do you work well together? While you don’t want to tread on toes by assuming a superior position before it’s awarded, you’ll need to demonstrate that you can influence a team and are able to communicate clearly and positively when its needed without having any positional power at all.


Woman Manager During Video Conference

How do you take criticism?

As well as being able to give feedback, managers need to be able to accept and act on it too in order to continuously develop themselves and processes they are involved with. Confidence is essential when leading a team, but you need to be able to remain objective rather than taking things personally. Adaptability goes hand in hand with this, as you may be required to respond to the changing needs of the business or your team and to amend working practices, which initially might not be popular.

Plan your promotion

If you’ve recently been unsuccessful in applying for a new role you need to ask for feedback and in detail.  This needs to be based on fact. Ask for specific competencies that you fell down on and what specific behaviours you need to change. I always encourage people I am coaching to ask for examples of how the wanted behaviour might look and sound.

This will give you a great starting point to address any problems and showing enthusiasm to improve in any weak areas will make your employer more willing to work with you to strengthen them. Work on aligning yourself with the needs of the business.

Till next time,


Julia Carter