You apply for job after job. You feel like all you’re doing is sending in applications, but for some reason nobody is calling you back. What are you doing wrong? Here are some reasons that employers might be casting your application aside and strategies that you can use to get their attention.
You are Targeting the Wrong Jobs. Regardless of how qualified you are, if there aren’t many jobs available, it is going to be difficult for you to get an interview. Pay attention to the labour market and talk to people in your network to determine what types of jobs are in demand. By slightly shifting your focus, you could make a significant difference in how many interview calls you receive.
You Don’t Have the Right Skills. If employers don’t seem particularly enthusiastic about your resume, it could be because you aren’t standing out. Study the job advertisements to see if there is anything that you might be lacking. Ask people who work in the industry if there are any skills or training that would make you a more competitive candidate.
Your Resume or Cover Letter is Poorly Written. The most common reason for job seekers to be ignored by employers is that there is a problem with their resume or cover letter. If they are too vague, have proofreading errors, are not customized to the position, or do not include the correct keywords, the screeners will be quick to discard them. Find an employment advisor or a someone in your network to review your resume and provide you with feedback.
You’re Not Applying Properly. Employers don’t want to hire candidates who are either annoying or can’t follow directions. Make sure that your behaviour during the application process doesn’t cause them to put you into one of those categories. If the job description includes application instructions, make sure that you follow them perfectly. Follow up once about a week after you submit your application. If the employer decides not to return your call, phoning them repeatedly will not help.
In this competitive job market, it can be difficult to get an employer to notice you. The key is to put yourself in their position and to approach your application with a strong focus on their needs.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)