Perhaps you’ve been job hunting for a while and are yet to receive a call back. You’ve applied to different companies, for different positions, at different times of every single day and you haven’t received any responses – not one phone call or email! Double check these details before sending out an application. Perhaps you’ve been job hunting for a while and haven’t received any responses – not one phone call or email.
Before you become despondent, here are a few things you should double check before sending out your next set of applications:
You Use the Same CV and Cover Letter for Each Application
Every job is different and requires a CV that is tailored to it. You need to take the time to customize your CV and think of what will make the hiring manager want to call you back for an interview. If your CV is not personalised to each job you’re applying for, you won’t look any different from the other applicants. Most job seekers emphasise what makes them great employees, which means most CV and cover letters contain the same (boring) positive characteristics.
Stand out from the crowd by being a lot more honest and by being more clear about why you’d be perfect in that specific role – not just why you’re a good employee. Also add what about the company attracted you the most.
You Sent the Application to the Wrong Place
Many applicants accidentally (and foolishly) mix up the name of the person they’re addressing. Especially if you’re applying to many different places, it’s easy to forget to update the addressee and company name with each new application you send.
If the job ad says email Andrea Smith to apply, don’t spell the name wrong or – even worse – use the wrong name completely!
Similarly, many job applicants send their CV and cover letter to Company A with a cover letter that asks for a position at Company B. While you claim to have excellent attention to detail, the fact that you erroneously sent your application to the wrong company kills any chance you might’ve had.
You Don’t Meet the Minimum Requirements
You won’t get a call back if you’re under qualified. If you don’t have the amount of years of experience needed, the qualifications, the necessary prerequisites, or you haven’t worked in the industry or similar environment as specifically requested in the job vacancy post, your CV will get chucked without a second thought.
Remember, you may know you’re capable, but you’re only a piece of paper to the recruiter. All they know about you is what your previous experience says. And with a million other papers to still go through, they will never waste their time, give you the benefit of the doubt or try to get to know you better.
You Exceed the Minimum Requirements By Too Far
You won’t get a call back if you’re overqualified. No company wants to hire somebody that they’ll have to replace again soon. By looking at your suitability for the role, and finding that you’re overqualified, you may either a) expect a larger salary than they’re offering or b) leave the company when a more suitable option comes along. Because you are more of a risk, your CV will get dumped and they’ll move to the next application in the pile.
Your cover letter will have to persuade them why, even though you are eligible for a better position, you are settling for the advertised post without sounding desperate. Good luck with that.
You Forgot to Update Your Contact Details
Stop what you’re doing and check your CV immediately! Ensure that you’ve added your most recent email address, mobile number and landline number in all your documents.
Also, if you’ve deleted (or are no longer active on) any of your old social media accounts, make sure you remove all references to it on your CV too. Do not tell the hiring manager they can contact you via your social media accounts, especially if your privacy settings are activated.
Did you know Careers24 has a handy CV builder tool that will help you create the perfect CV? Once your CV is in place, take a look at the 1000s of available jobs on Careers24. There are also helpful interview and career advice tips to help you get ahead in your career.
Why Didn’t I Get Called For An Interview?
There are a number of reasons your CV didn’t make the shortlist. We explore some of them here, and advise ways to help your CV get noticed.
Too many candidates
In some cases, you were simply looking at a job that had too much competition. When the competition for a job is higher, your chances of getting called back for an interview is much lower. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get a job with a large number of candidates. It simply means that you will have to find ways to stand out.
Not Following Directions
When applying for a job, you have to understand that you’re in their power. They have a lot of candidates to choose from, so if you don’t follow the directions for applying, even if you are the best candidate, you won’t get called back for an interview and they would hire someone else simply because you failed to follow instructions. When trying to get job interviews, it’s important that you follow instructions to the T or your application won’t get seen by the right person.
Software Shortlists Candidates
In order to get through all the applications, recruiters sometimes use software to pick out certain skills or keywords on applications. If you applied to several positions, and didn’t get interview call backs for any of the jobs, you might not have used the right keywords on your application. Next time you apply for a job, make sure you research the keywords that are associated with the vacancy and structure your CV accordingly. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll improve your chances of getting called back for an interview.
Your Online Presence Paints a Horrible Picture
Hiring managers are looking for employees that will represent their company well. If your social media activity shows evidence of unprofessional behaviour, you can kiss your callback chances goodbye. You need to maintain a positive and wholesome persona by staying away from images and comments that put you in a negative light.
How to explain job hopping on your CV
Your CV is the First Thing Potential Employers Look at, so You Need to Make a Good Impression Right Away
If you’ve changed jobs often then one red flag could be the number of jobs you’ve held over the years. If you’re in an industry where this is normal, then you’ll be fine. But if you’re looking at a new field, then you will have to explain your career choices.
Here’s our advice to get it right, first time:
Explain Your Jumps
Use your cover letter to explain to employers that you’ve got a direction, that your career path is actually following a plan and that you’ve made each change as the result of considered thought. Show that you have good reasons for every career change you’ve made and how you have benefitted from each move.
You might be tempted to view your checkered past in a negative light, especially when faced by the scrutiny of an interviewer. But as you outline the good reasons for each of your career moves, you won’t have anything to apologise for. Focus the employers’ attention on what you’ve gained from each of your positions, and illustrate how each offered valuable learning opportunities. In this way, you can show how your varied experience and expertise and wide range of skills will be an asset to the company. Just as it was to each of your previous positions.
Detail Your Career History
Start with the most recent of your positions, and move backwards. Describe, succinctly, what you did, who you managed, what your responsibilities and methodologies were, and which types of projects you managed. Include company name, job title, date started and date finished and then give short, career enhancing reasons for why you left each position. Carefully consider how each role makes you a better candidate for the job at hand.
Focus On Experience
Employers want candidates who are good at what they do. Concentrate on your professional experience, highlighting your good points, and you’ll have no issues with the number of jobs you’ve held.
Courtesy of Careers24