It can be extremely frustrating and disheartening when you don’t land a job interview that you thought would’ve been a sure thing. Maybe you’ve been wondering why you haven’t been asked to any interviews of late? Luckily, there may be a simple and fixable reason why.
It can be difficult to stand out in a large pool of CV’s, so ensuring you have executed your application perfectly is crucial.
You might not have considered that it’s not necessarily experience, or lack thereof, that holds people back. Here are 7 reasons why you may not have got that interview:
1. You didn’t tailor your CV
Maybe your game plan was to send out as many applications as possible to speed through the process; this is understandable, however, you may be cutting yourself off at the knees by doing so. If you are not tailoring your resume to each role you’re applying for, you will dramatically lower the chances of getting an interview.
Trying to appear as impressive as possible is a trap many fall into but most hiring managers aren’t particularly interested in this, they just want to see that your CV accurately matches the job description.
Solution: The best way of showing the hiring manager that you’re a match is by researching and identifying key skills needed and highlighting them throughout your CV. Show the hiring manager your value; sell yourself without lying. If you don’t research the company, you won’t know how to best highlight your skills – you need to rely on the job ad and your company research to know which parts of your CV are most relevant.
2. You lack the required experience, qualifications or skills
It may seem obvious but many disregard the ‘required’ experience or skills section. Doing this may end up wasting your own time when it comes to getting shortlisted. Not many recruiters will ask you for an interview if you don’t meet the minimum requirements, as there are usually plenty of applicants who do.
Solution: Consider only applying for jobs where you meet the minimum requirements unless you’re prepared to prove in your cover letter how you’ll make up for the skills or experience you lack with transferable skills.
You would be forgiven for thinking that being overqualified makes you a sure thing for any given position, however, it could be quite the opposite. Many employers believe being overqualified means a potential employee will be unlikely to stick around for the long haul. In this likely case, a hiring manager won’t consider someone who is overqualified to be a good match for a permanent position.
Solution: If you are very keen on a position but are technically overqualified, try outlining in your cover letter why you want this position in particular. Honesty is the best policy, even when trying to get a job. Try telling the hiring manager how genuinely keen you are for the job. It won’t work every time, but for the right position and with enough passion, it could mean a manager is willing to overlook this. You just need to land an interview to be able to sell yourself in person.
4. Too many other applicants
Having tough competition is always a possible reason why you didn’t get an interview and there is no denying this has been made worse during the coronavirus pandemic. As of June 2020, applicants per job were up 16% according to The Guardian. Despite this, try not to let your spirits get too low; if your application is a perfect match for the jobs you apply for, you’ll likely get an interview sooner rather than later.
Solution: This one is out of your control, so focus on issues you can fix to enhance your application. If you can find your point of difference, sell that to the hiring manager. If you can’t, sit tight and remain optimistic that you will find a position that you’re perfect for – remember; it’s not all about experience, next time around you might be the best cultural fit.
5. You live too far away
An employer looking for reliable and permanent staff will hesitate on even the most perfect candidate if their commute is more than an hour. Over time, long commutes can cause many candidates to leave their positions in search for more conveniently located work. Replacing employees is a costly pursuit for businesses therefore many will not take on this risk.
Solution: The best option here is to save yourself the time and only apply for jobs that are a maximum of 30-40 minutes from your home unless you are willing to relocate, and if you are – make this known!
6. You keep changing jobs
Changing jobs too often is another red flag for employers as it directly points to a candidate being unreliable or not committed.
Your employment history can point to how you will perform in your next position. In this case, it could seem that you are unlikely to commit in the long-term which could be a put-off for anyone scanning your application.
Solution: Outline in your cover letter why you’ll be dedicated to this position in particular, plus try deemphasizing the number of jobs you’ve had – such as eliminating some of the very short-term positions or if they were contract / temporary placements, highlight that under your employment history.
7. Errors on your CV
This is a big red flag for hiring managers, and it may be an easy one to make that will destroy your chances of getting an interview. If you make a mistake on your CV, a potential employer is unlikely to trust you’ll be competent enough to not make errors on other important documents and it shows a lack of attention to detail. This also points to carelessness which no employer wants in their staff and are careful to avoid.
Solution: This is the easiest fix, sometimes it’s difficult to pick up on your mistakes if you’ve been staring at your own CV for too long, instead try asking a friend to proof-read it for you, or try Grammarly.