Have you been applying to jobs but not getting any callbacks?
Your self-esteem can take a real beating if all you hear is no all the time.
There could be a thousand reasons why you are not able to score a job ranging from a bad economy to saturation in your industry. But there are people landing jobs and starting their careers every day, so why can’t you?
What are you doing wrong?
While there is no doubt that the job market has been getting harder every year, it’s important to understand where you might be lacking to avoid common pitfalls.
Is there anything that will make you stand out from other applicants? What could you change in your job application to leave an impression on the recruiter?
To help you out, we have listed the top 5 reasons why you’re not landing job interviews:
1. Not following a well-laid out plan before sending out your job applications
So, you need a job. What is the first thing that you do?
You go online to a job board and send as many applications as you can, hoping for a reply from at least one of them.
Sounds familiar, right?
We hate to break it to you but this strategy often backfires because, first, you are paying more attention to quantity while you should be crafting each application to perfection.
And second, you are blindly applying to jobs that might not even be a good fit for you.
Moreover, the majority of the companies don’t even pull their ads off the job boards after they have filled in that position. So, you should always check how old a posting is and ask yourself, do I want to work there?
Before you start sending out applications, outline a plan by asking yourself:
- ‘What skills do I possess now and what skills do I want to learn from my next job?’ This will help you narrow down your search and target jobs where you could utilize your skills while gaining more knowledge.
- ‘Do I know people that can help accelerate my application?’ Networking will get you everywhere in today’s world. LinkedIn is an amazing platform that lets you connect with people in the same industry and many recruiters use it to scout for talent as well.
- ‘Am I compromising quality for quantity?’ A single quality application will do much more than 10 applications sent just for the sake of sending one.
2. Not researching companies before applying to them
When should you start researching a company?
Most people research a company only after they get called for an interview. However, researching a company before applying to a job will be much fruitful.
Hear it from the people who have already worked there by reading reviews of the company. Websites like Glassdoor are a godsend when you want to research a prospective employer.
Additionally, here is a list of things you should look into to not only make your application better but also to understand how your role will fit into the big picture:
- The company’s website will provide you with ample information about their products and/or services, the people involved like the founder(s) and other people important to the operation.
- A simple scroll through the company’s social media profiles will make you aware of the culture and help you establish if you will be a good fit there.
3. Not customizing your resume according to the job
Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes each day. They are very familiar with the common phrases that are used in most resumes.
The generic-sounding job objectives are a yawn that no recruiter wants to encounter. An original resume will be a breath of fresh air and catch the attention of hiring managers instantly.
Show your employer that you care about the job by drafting an original resume and cover letter.
These are some easy ways to customize your application quickly for each job you apply to:
- Look for the specifications asked for in the job listing and highlight them in your resume. You can do this by introducing keywords in your resume used by the recruiter in the job description.
- Write a personalized cover letter. Find out the hiring manager’s name and address the letter directly to them.
- If the job application has an assignment attached to it, pay attention to the instructions and follow them closely.
4. Not proofreading your application before submitting it
Simple mistakes like misspelling the company’s name or other typos can cost you a job.
You may be the perfect candidate for a job but providing the wrong contact details means that the hiring managers won’t be able to contact you.
These mistakes can be avoided by simply proofreading your resume before pressing the send button. You can even ask a close friend or someone you trust to read it for you.
You can also use tools such as Grammarly that will detect your grammatical or spelling errors.
5. Not being proactive
If you are waiting around for the perfect job to find you, that is never going to happen.
Only those who proactively pursue opportunities and learn from their mistakes get successful in finding a suitable job.
If you do not have the necessary skills for the jobs you are targeting, either try to get in on a lower position and work your way up or invest your time in educating yourself and garnering those skills.
You can do something as small as taking an online course to further your skills while looking for a job.
If you have nothing to show for all your efforts, it’s time to reevaluate your job-hunting approach.
Asking a former interviewer why you didn’t get selected can shine some light on the problem. It might be a little difficult to get someone to reply. But if you ever interviewed with a small company, a sincere email will often get a reply back.
While the truth might be a little harsh, knowing your shortcomings will help you prepare better for the grueling process of job hunting.
Other than that, follow the advice given in this blog to optimize your job hunting process to land an interview.
Aditya Sharma is the cofounder at Hiration – an online resume builder and platform for jobseekers across the world.