The Secret to Not Getting Hired

RejectedLet’s face it. 

Most voice-over jobs you audition for, you will never get, and you’ll never know why. 

If you can’t live with that… too bad. Nobody cares, and there’s no rejection protection program.   

Most people can’t accept the fact that they will never learn the answer to the question WHY. 

If you are one of those people, this is for you.  


  • you’re more of the same
  • you’re a one-trick pony
  • you need a lot of hand-holding
  • your audio is awful
  • your attitude is even worse
  • you’re insecure, overconfident, or unresponsive
  • your fee is too low, or too high to be taken seriously
  • you’re high-maintenance
  • your website looks unprofessional
  • your demo is sub-standard
  • you’re ungrateful
  • you feel entitled
  • you want the glory but refuse to do the legwork
  • you’re undisciplined and unreliable
  • you can’t take direction: you love to talk but cannot listen
  • you were too late: the casting director picked voice #7 while you were last in line
  • you take suggestions as criticism
  • you can’t handle the workload, and cannot meet deadlines
  • you sound like the casting director’s ex-boyfriend or -girlfriend
  • you don’t have the right connections
  • your family is not the best judge of your talent
  • you never give referrals but you love to be recommended
  • you’re a copycat, not an original
  • you signed an NDA, and yet you bragged about the job on Facebook
  • you’re clearly using a fake accent
  • you can’t follow simple audition instructions
  • you didn’t wow the client in the first seven seconds
  • you’re too much in love with the sound of your own voice
  • your agent loves you, but the client hates you
  • you were born in the wrong body: you’re a man and the client wants a woman or vice versa
  • you sound too young, too old, or like you don’t care
  • you’re trying too hard
  • you didn’t audition because you were afraid you’d fail
  • you’re in it for the money
  • you spend too much time reading blogs, and not enough time on marketing and training


Whatever the reason may be, you cannot change the things you don’t control. Find the factors you can influence, and start working on those.

When you’re not selected, it doesn’t mean that you’re rejected. Someone else was just a better fit. 

Learn the art of letting go.

Believe me.

Your life will be so much easier.

Paul Strikwerda ©nethervoice

PS Be sweet. Please retweet. 

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About the author

Paul Strikwerda

is a Dutch-English voice-over pro, coach, and writer. His blog is one of the most widely read and influential blogs in the industry. Paul is also the author of "Making Money In Your PJs, Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs."

by Paul Strikwerda in Articles, Career

37 Responses to The Secret to Not Getting Hired

  1. Nathan

    Thank you Paul for this excellent reminder of the fact that there are so many factors to “getting the part”. When I audition for something I normally keep a file on hand for reference if I do book the job. Otherwise it’s audition and move to the next.


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    That’s a very good idea. Also, I find it easier to get feedback from people who do hire me, than from people who don’t. That’s why I will often ask new clients why they picked me. That info teaches me something about my strengths.


  2. Monique Bagwell

    I took a course in graduate school called ‘The Art of Failure’ I was a Performance Major in Theatre. It was the best kind of class to take for a future performer!


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I hope you gloriously failed that class, Monique!


  3. jill goldman

    Excellent list! Thank you, Paul.


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    You’re welcome, Jill. Thanks for taking the time to read it.


  4. David Bucci

    So true. As a theater guy as well, you learn to take rejection in stride. Eventually. For stage, you may not have the right look, the right demeanor, the right… fill in the blank. VO is no different. Audition, do your utmost best, and submit it. If you get that rare piece of feedback, great, but don’t expect it. Move on to the next challenge, just like wash, rinse, repeat. 🙂


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    It’s never about rejection. It’s always about selection.


  5. Paul Garner

    Amen, Brother!


  6. Keith Michaels

    Sometimes I go back and watch this again…


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    One of my heroes!


  7. Jack

    “you spend too much time reading blogs and not enough on marketing and training”


    As soon as I’m done with school (finishing my degree after 30 years), I’m going to work on this. Really. I will. 🙂


  8. Nancy Kaszerman

    l especially love the last entry, lol!: you spend too much time reading blogs and not enough on marketing and training….well said..


  9. Mel Allen

    Meh… Whatever! 😉

    Good article as always!


  10. Nelleke Dansen

    Yes, you are so right, Paul! I will love reading your list over and over, as a reminder of all the pitfalls for any voice over, but especially as a reminder for myself! @SilviaMcClure: a real ‘reality check’! 😉


  11. Joyce Davis

    I always tell myself it is not rejection it is selection.


  12. Karen Asconi

    As ALWAYS … great post, Paul. And not only the secret to the business; it’s also a valuable secret to living a happy, full life!


  13. Loretta Martin

    Just stumbled onto your very humbling and uplifting post. I was close to giving up recently after a (paid) coach whom I respected unceremoniously blew off consecutive scheduled sessions. Shortly thereafter, I landed my first gig. Both experiences toughened me up and kept me in the saddle.


  14. Nate Cimmino

    Paul, you left a reason off the list: The day you sent your audition in ended in the letter Y.
    To expand un Uncle Roy’s comment: You can always find some one who is willing to tell you what you want to hear, and usually be happy to charge you for it. That is not the real world, though. The key is finding someone willing to tell you what you don’t want to hear, and then for you to listen to your output critically, with your newly found perspective. Iffen you bake a cake, it takes the time it takes, no matter how hungry we are. After a few months of coaching, (with Uncle Roy) I am just starting to unlearn 55+ years of speech patterns, and realize for me, where they came from. VOis a long term commitment to change and growth.


  15. 'Uncle Roy' Yokelson

    Forwarding this to ALL of my students and people who just want me to make their demo and/or find them work, but don’t want to spend the time and/or money for training. There’s no surprise when the person who I told “you’re not ready to make your demo yet!” found someone else to do it, but she has not gotten any work from it. Great list – off it goes – read it and weep OR, step up your game! Thanks Paul


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Dear friends, I usually take some time to respond to every comment. I’m not going to do that this time. I’ve said what I needed to say in my blog post. Know that I read every remark and that your words make me very happy!


  16. Christian Rosselli


    Once again you hit the nail on the head! Not only is this incredibly accurate but so many of these factors played a part in my not getting work early on (and actually losing a client I had been previously hired for-ok, I was a bit of a diva in the booth). I learned my lesson. Thank you for your continued reminders and dead-on affirmations.

    Have a great weekend!



  17. Jerry Tritle

    I appreciate the time you took to write and publish this gem. Thanks!


  18. Moe Egan

    As usual, you hit the mark dead center. Words of wisdom for those just starting out and good reminders for the rest. Thanks!

    Andi- I’m going to borrow that proverb for the future. Perfect.


  19. Andi Arndt

    I heard this African proverb the other night on the BBC:

    Not everyone who chases a zebra catches it;
    Everyone who catches a zebra chased it.


  20. Kostas

    Thanks Paul for giving us another great article.
    Nice weekend to all!


  21. Debby Barnes

    What Helen said! Bravo Paul. 🙂


  22. Rick Lance

    Covered that pretty well, Paul!

    Now I need a drink…


  23. Silvia McClure

    Just what I needed today, thanks Paul! A good laugh and reality check 🙂


  24. Dennis Kleinman

    Absolutely 100% – this is the most subjective industry there is – either your voice and all that comes with it is what they’re looking for, or its not. Obviously that applies to those who fulfill the criteria of having the right setup and sound quality so my philosophy is, audition, audition and audition more.


  25. Mike Harrison

    I’ll have what Helen’s having.


  26. Dave Menashe

    Another great post, Paul.
    Can you please tell us the % of the time that it’s each of the reasons mentioned above 🙂

    Incidentally, “You sound like the casting director’s ex boyfriend or girlfriend” works both ways. A friend was once cast in an on-camera role because he reminded the director of her brother.


  27. Martha Kahn

    Loved this list Paul…so inspiring. It reminds me of my sales training and the saying: “if you’re not getting 3 no’s a day, you’re not trying hard enough!” Thank you for the reminders here.


  28. Lee Pinney

    Nailed it! Having spent decades in sales, I learned a long time ago the art of accepting rejection. The more time you allow yourself to practice your craft, the better you are at understanding your limitations, and homing in on those that you excel.


  29. Helen Lloyd

    YES YES YES!!!! And again YES! Thank you Paul!


  30. Cliff Zellman


    This is Greatness! You know I love lists.
    Of all the issues offered here, I really only see two of which the talent has no control. But the rest??

    Everyone in our shoes (or bathrobes) should print this out. Sure, some may not apply, but why not make the time to do a “double check”? You don’t have to turn it in, you’re not being graded. Dig deep. Grab a cup of coffee and get to work. I am.

    Thanks again, Paul. Well done!


  31. Dan Lenard


    So true! Maturity is realizing your own limitations and accepting that there are things you can and can’t change. With so much work to go around in this nutso business, if you do your due diligence, have patience, self-confidence, and an understanding of your voice and what makes it unique, things will fall into place.

    (My Studio Suit is at the cleaners)



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