Are you having trouble securing interviews? Did you know that on average an employer only spend about 5 seconds scanning your CV before deciding if it is worthwhile to continue reading? If you do not make an impression with them in these first 5 seconds your CV ends in the trash and you never get that interview. The reasons I discuss in this Blog post are all assuming that you have already put together the perfect CV and have started applying for jobs. If your CV is old or plain check out this CV revamping service to get you started with a super looking CV.
Right so, imagine the following situation, you have applied for a position which seems perfect for you. You have compiled the ideal CV and written a motivated cover letter. You just know that this position is the one! However your confidence slowly turns into frustration as the days go by and you receive no news on an interview date. The truth is that this is an exceptionally common situation and I get asked by candidates on a daily basis why they have not managed to secure an interview.
This is such a complex question and the reality is that there can be so many answers. For this reason I have decided to quickly put together a list of some of the more common reasons you might not be landing the interviews you feel you deserve. Some of these reasons you have complete control over and others are out of your hands.
Reasons you are not securing interviews.
1) You were simply not a fit for the position.
This is a very common reason that candidates are not picked for interviews. These days most recruitment procedures involve an automated screening process which eliminate candidates who are not a good fit for the position. You might feel that you are the perfect candidate for a position but does your CV reflect this? If not there is a good chance that your CV will be overlooked. Check out my Blog post on CV Writing tips to Secure that Interview for some great tips on how to prepare a great CV.
2) You do not have the required qualifications and skills.
I see this all the time. I am not sure if it is because the applicants have not read the job description in detail or if they are just taking a chance. Either way, if you have applied for a position but do not have the skills or experience you will not get an interview, no matter how much you want the job.
3) You have not followed directions for application.
I imagine this is an easy mistake to make, especially if you are very busy with multiple job applications. It must get frustrating, this recruiter wants CV’s in word format, the next one wants PDF. Eventually you just use a standard application format for everyone. This is risky and it can cost you an interview. Please make sure you read any application instructions carefully and then apply accordingly.
4) Spelling / Grammatical mistakes.
Again this is a common mistake people seem to make. The level of forgiveness a potential employer might have for mistakes will be proportionate to the seniority of the position. For example if you are applying for a General Managers position spelling mistakes are almost certainly going to cost you the interview.
5) Poor Cover Letter.
Again the level of seniority of the position you are applying for will affect the seriousness of this mistake. As a general rule you want to make sure that your cover letter is not generic and speaks to the actual position being applied for. You also want to make sure that your cover letter is not to short as this might give the impression that you are actually not that motivated to take on the new role. Remember to check out this professional CV and cover letter service if you would like to get your CV looking fantastic.
6) Job Hopping.
This is again a very common reason that I see costing applicants interviews, especially in the hospitality industry. If you only ever work at one organisation for 6-12 months at a time before moving on a hiring manager is going to be very reluctant to take you on as he knows that he will certainly have to repeat the recruitment procedure in less then 12 months. If a pattern of job hopping is obvious on your CV it could be costing you interviews.
7) You are too expensive for the company.
It is great to know your worth and even better if you are able to ask that you be compensated what you are worth. However, if you are asking for more then the company can afford they may overlook you for an interview. This is fine and you should be looking for companies that can afford you. It is also completely fine to ask for a slightly higher salary then the company is offering as long as you make it known that you are willing to negotiate.
8) Uncontactable or No References.
Generally speaking you should provide a contact numbers for references at your two previous positions as a minimum, as these will be the ones a potential employer will definately want to contact. Always make sure that the contact numbers you have provided are still in use by the person. It is also better to provide references for more senior individuals at previous places of employment rather then a co worker or immediate supervisor.
9) Employment gaps.
Large periods of unemployment on your CV could very well be scaring off hiring managers. Unfortunately large gaps in employment always make a viewer ask what you were doing during this time. If possible try to answer this question on your CV.
10) Reckless social media activity.
Yes employers and hiring managers do check a candidates social media accounts. Make sure you have not posted any inappropriate material on your sites that these managers might be seeing. It is also a great idea to check your privacy settings on each account to limit what other people can see. Before starting your job hunt check your accounts and delete anything that might be offensive your cast you in a negative light.
11) There are just better qualified candidates.
This is quite common. In this scenario you were a good fit for the position however there were other candidates who were a better fit. If you are applying to a very sought after position there is a good chance that your application will be up against some strong competition.
12) You applied late and other strong candidates have already applied.
If you are submitting your CV into a strong applicant pool there is a good chance that your CV will be overlooked as the hiring manager has already seen numerous CV’s similar to yours. If possible try to find the latest jobs posted and apply to these, the sooner you can get your application in the better your chances of standing out.
13) The position has been put on hold.
This is relatively common and it could happen for a number of reasons. Often the adverts for these jobs will not be removed from circulation and candidates will still be encouraged to apply, even though the position is on hold. The reason companies might do this as they would like to keep applications flowing in while there is uncertainty about the position. If the position is reopened at least they have a number of good candidates, however if the position is closed for whatever reason they have lost nothing and will then remove the advertisement.
Most employers and /or recruitment agencies will not notify you if your application has been rejected, and therefore you often never receive any feedback. I must be honest I myself am guilty of this and I sincerely apologize to all the applicants I am unable to give feedback to. It is just not possible with the volume of applications I deal with on a daily basis. All I can say to you is if you have not managed to get an interview for a position you applied for it is more then likely because of one of the reasons listed above. Work on the points you can improve on and don’t worry about the ones you can’t. And above all, stay positive! Your perfect position is out there.
Thank you for reading this post and best of luck with the job search. If you have an employment related position please type it into the comments below and we will be answering more candidate questions in future Blog posts.