There’s a larger need for highly-qualified applicants than ever before thanks to the Great Resignation, new and emerging technology, and the rise in remote work. So with all of these open positions available, why aren’t you getting interviews?
Whether it’s due to a mistake on your part, a need to reframe how you present yourself, or aspects outside of your control, there are dozens of reasons why you might not be contacted for the role you seek. We’ll take a gander at some of the most frequent causes and offer suggestions on how to pivot where we can!
Making basic mistakes
Even the most thorough person is capable of making basic mistakes. This is especially true if you’ve been at the grind for so long that your eyes start to gloss over things.
Typos and grammatical mistakes on your resume or cover letter are obvious culprits, but they aren’t the only innocuous mistakes you could be making.
FlexJobs’ Jennifer Parris says to make sure you’re submitting your application correctly. A company may want your resume emailed or they may want you to apply through their website, for example. Make sure you’re following the directions you’re given to the letter.
Focusing on the wrong things
Your resume might be error-free, but it is presenting you in the best light?
A common mistake many job seekers make is only listing their basic responsibilities rather than highlighting the things they’ve accomplished. Your resume isn’t a permanent record—it’s a marketing tool.
“Using numbers to quantify your achievements is an excellent way to impress a potential employer.” –Alison Doyle
Forbes’ Adunola Adeshola says to focus your resume on the right results. Keep your resume bullets focused on the role you’re aiming for and paint a picture of what you’ll bring to the table as you try to set yourself apart from the competition.
Even the best resumes might fall short if an employer doesn’t feel you have the right experience. It’s good to be ambitious and apply for jobs that may seem out of reach—job descriptions are mostly a wish list. But you can’t be surprised if a company chooses someone they believe to be more qualified.
The flip side may also be true—you may be overqualified for the role at hand, leaving a hiring manager questioning why you’re applying for the position. Be sure to read the job description carefully and truly understand what the company is looking for. If it’s a job you want, and a job you think you’re truly up to the task, make sure to use the right keywords to highlight your experience and properly convey your story in your cover letter.
Quantity over quality
It might make sense to cast a wide net in your search, but if you’re throwing out low-quality bait everywhere, you won’t get bites.
“A tailored resume does a better job of showing the recruiter exactly how you are qualified for the job. Doing this extra work shows you’re careful enough to do your due diligence.” –Hannah Morgan
Job seekers will often rely on online job boards for most of their search. While helpful, these tools should only be about 20% of your effort, writes Biron Clark. It’s hard to stand out when you’re sending a mass-market document everywhere. Instead, focus your efforts on tailoring your resume to the jobs you really want and focus other energy on networking and directly applying with appealing companies.
Your online presence
Let’s say your resume is a good fit for an organization and gets the attention of a hiring manager. When they do further research, what will they see? If your social media presence is unsavory, you might get rejected no matter how qualified you are.
It’s easier than ever before for a company to research you online. Hannah Morgan reminds us that as an employee of a company, you’ll be part of its brand. If the hiring manager finds anything unprofessional or offensive on your personal sites, you could miss out on the job. Be sure to curate your online persona before applying!
If you’ve followed all of the above advice, you’ll still find you aren’t getting an interview for every job you apply to. The truth is that no matter how qualified you may be, there are always outside factors preventing you from getting interviewed that have nothing to do with you.
Indeed lists a company’s needs changing as their number one reason you might not hear back. A role might no longer be needed, be expanded upon, or be filled internally. Someone may have referred someone in their network. You might have applied when the search was winding down. Or they simply may have been wowed by another candidate. In these cases, all you can do is move on and focus elsewhere.
With so many openings out there, it may seem surprising you aren’t getting the interviews you want. But there’s a ton of competition out there, and you need to do your best to stand out. Take a little extra time to rethink your approach, tweak your online profiles, and remind yourself that a lack of interviews may not be a reflection on yourself.