Has this happened to you? You apply for a job believing you meet the requirements. Then you wait and wait for that call to schedule an interview. But it never comes.
Why weren’t you picked?
There might be reasons beyond your control. Maybe there were better candidates or the company decided to promote from within. Maybe circumstances changed and they delayed hiring.
But ruling out those possibilities, what things might you have done that eliminated you from consideration?
- You didn’t give enough information. A one-page resume is rarely enough. Two or even three pages may be what is needed to properly explain your background.
- You didn’t follow instructions. If the job posting asks you to write a cover letter explaining how your background and experience meets their needs, do so. If you don’t, it says you don’t follow instructions or are too lazy to prepare one.
- You have unexplained gaps in your employment history. These may be for legitimate reasons like maternity or education leaves. But don’t expect the employer to play detective and figure this out. Be sure to insert the reasons for the gaps.
- You have spelling or grammatical errors. Employers will conclude you lack attention to detail. Before sending, ask a friend or colleague to edit your material. Or try editing from a printed copy which is often easier than editing on a computer screen.
- You follow up incessantly by email or telephone. Your eagerness may come across as annoying. Be patient and have reasonable expectations about when the employer will get back to you.
- Your resume is poorly designed. Pay attention to layout, typeface, font, line spacing and margins. And always save your resume as a PDF so the format doesn’t change when sending.
- Your relevant experience is hidden. Employers will stop reading after three or four bullets. Make sure your most relevant experience is at the top. And eliminate statements that start with “Responsible for …”Hiring managers are more interested in your accomplishments and how you have added value to past employers.
- You appear to be a job hopper.Employers take a cautious approach when someone has changed jobs often. They wonder if you are not a good performer or get bored easily. If any of these job changes were for valid reasons such as merger, sale of the business, or layoffs, state these reasons.
- You submit a canned cover letter where it is obvious you are cutting and pasting. Do research and find something interesting about the company that you can mention. If you’re not willing to invest time in your application, why should the employer invest time in meeting you?