Not Getting Job Interviews? 10 Reasons Why Employers Are Ignoring You
No one said searching for a job was going to be fun, but why didn’t someone warn you it could be this bad? You spruced up your resume, customized your cover letters, and even bought a new suit — all for naught. Not only are you not getting any job offers, but you’re not even getting interviews. What gives?
Being ignored by employers stings, especially if you’re convinced you have what it takes to excel at the positions you’re applying for. But you won’t be able to get work when you can’t even get face time with the hiring manager. If your job search is hitting a brick wall right out of the gate, there’s hope. Check out these 10 reasons why employers aren’t paying attention to your applications, and find out what you can do to score an interview — and hopefully a job.
1. Your cover letter is weak
A generic cover letter isn’t going to wow a potential employer, nor is one that’s too long, has typos, or simply repeats the information on your resume. (Not writing cover letters at all? That can be a problem, too.) Instead, make sure your introductory note is customized and explains why you’re the right fit for the job.
“Often times the most challenging part for job seekers involves making it past the first round to get their foot in the door,” Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster, told The Cheat Sheet. “One way to help accomplish this is for them to demonstrate in their cover letter why they’re a perfect fit for the role while highlighting any outstanding achievements.”
Next: If your cover letter isn’t the problem, another key part of your application materials might be the issue.
2. Your resume looks like crap
Your resume is one of your first chances to wow a potential employer. Some hiring managers might even look at it before they read your cover letter. So if your job search isn’t yielding the results you want, there’s a fair chance your resume is the problem.
“The main issue I am seeing is that job applicants are not delivering a visually and verbally compelling narrative via their resume,” Mark Beal, a marketing expert and the author of 101 Lessons They Never Taught You in College: The Essential Guide for Students and Recent Graduates to Launch Their Careers, told The Cheat Sheet.
Cluttered, confusing resumes don’t catch the eye of harried HR staff, who might receive hundreds of responses to a single job ad. “If the resume is designed poorly and does not pass the eye test, the candidate does not advance,” Beal said.
“Recruiters are moving at fast speeds — I used to literally spend 3 seconds on each resume — so the easier you can make it on a recruiter’s eyeballs as they peruse each one, the better your chances are,” Salemi explained. To fix your resume (and make recruiters smile), limit distracting fonts, use bullet points, cut out irrelevant information, and make sure there’s some white space.