What practical steps can you take to land more interviews?
Struggling to find a job? When you're back on the market, you might feel as though the pressure is on. Research suggests that Brits will spend an average of 27 days in an interview process for a new role. Of course, if you're not getting any interviews at all, there are some simple changes you can make. In this guide, we will take a look at the core reasons you're not getting interviews and what to do next.
Why you're not landing any job interviews
Failing to land job interviews can be infuriating. You may feel as though you're doing everything right but still not hearing anything back. So, what's going on? Let's take a look at eight of the main reasons that recruiters may not be knocking at your door, including some CV tips.
1. Your CV looks too busy
First impressions are everything. Recruiters spend an average of seven seconds looking at CVs. That means that you don't have long to wow the employer with your application. For that reason, you need to keep things clear and concise. Make proper use of white space when writing your CV, so that the document doesn't look too busy at first glance.
While you may have a hundred and one things that you want to tell recruiters, you need to be picky when it comes to your CV. Chances are, these professionals don't have the time to sift through your application and find the relevant information they need. By sticking to the point and ensuring that your application fits the job well, you'll save them time and energy.
2. You haven't tailored the CV
Sending off the same CV to every potential employer? That could be an issue. While the scattergun approach could save you time in the short term, it's unlikely to bring you the success you're looking for. Tailoring your CV is a much better strategy and means that you can show employers how you will fit the role at hand. There are a couple of areas to edit here.
Firstly, you need to change the profile section. You should rewrite this part of your CV to closely match the job advert. But it doesn't end there. You may also want to change the skills section of your document to do the same. Take a moment to note down the skills that are listed in the original job posting and include the ones you have on your CV. Additionally, make sure that everything you've included in your experience section is relevant to the post.
3. You've not used any keywords in your CV
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are commonly used in the recruitment world. Believe it or not, 24% of agencies with less than ten recruiters use this software to manage applications. You should think of an ATS like a gatekeeper — the software ranks candidates so that recruiters only have to take a look at a handful of CVs at a time.
You can boost your chances by using the right keywords for the job. The software scans applications for specific words to determine how closely they match the role. It may be helpful to refer back to the original advert again and change your language to closely fit its wording.
4. You've made typos
Rushing to apply for a job? That's never going to be a good move. When you're in a hurry, you can all too easily make silly mistakes. The most common types of errors you'll make on a CV are typos and grammatical mistakes. Before you save your CV and start sending it out to employers, you're going to need to proofread it… and then proofread it again.
Luckily, there are a couple of handy tools that will help you along the way. You can use the spell check system on your word processing software. That's always a great place to start. You can also use free software online, such as Grammarly. Putting the bones of your CV through one of these systems will mean that you catch any obvious errors early on.
5. You haven't quantified your achievements
Let's face it — your CV is the ideal place to brag about your achievements. You're aiming to dazzle recruiters with your experience and any awards that you've gained along the way. Great stuff. However, when you're writing your CV, you need to make sure that you back up each of these achievements. Don't simply say that you did something — go into detail, too.
For example, if you have been the top salesperson in your department for two months running, add some colour to that story. You should explain how many sales you make on average and how much higher that is than your coworkers. The more you can quantify your achievements to potential employers, the more likely they are to pay attention to them.
6. You've not requested an informational interview
Looking to work for a specific company? If you can't find out much about them online, it may pay off to request an informational interview with one of its team members. This is an informal chat that will help you gain a deep understanding of the business, its values and its background, before you start a formal application. There are two core reasons that this works.
First of all, it gives you the inside scoop on the company and the role. You can use all of the information you get to inform your application and help you to tailor your CV and cover letter. The second reason that this approach is smart is that it shows you're a serious candidate. Taking time out of your schedule to actively learn more about the opportunity is a big step. The recruiting team is likely to remember your name when selecting interview candidates.
7. You're failing to network well
Are you forgetting something? It's not just about what you know, but who you know too. A massive 85% of job vacancies are filled through networking. When you're looking for a new role, you need to put yourself out there. It's all very well sitting behind a computer screen and applying for new jobs as they hit the boards. That's likely to give you a degree of success. However, you should also take the time to meet like-minded professionals.
There are a couple of options to get you started. You may want to reach out to your existing network - your ex-colleagues or professionals you know - and ask about opportunities. Let them know that you're currently looking for a new job and ask them to make introductions to people in your desired field. Aside from that, you can attend formal networking sessions, where you can meet the right people in the right industry.
8. You're not working with recruiters
When looking for a new job, recruiters can be your best friends. Approaching an agency and handing over your CV takes no time at all. However, once you've done that, the team will get to work quickly and start finding you appropriate roles. Often enough, these professionals know about vacancies before they've been advertised to the public. That means that you get the first pick of the job market, simply by putting yourself in front of the right people.
If you're failing to get interviews when applying for jobs online, consider changing tack. Approaching recruitment companies directly is a quick way to ensure that you get interviews and find out about new opportunities. You may want to look for agencies that specialise in your industry or field, or alternatively, opt for a more general approach to job seeking.
Summary of why you may not get the interview
Your CV looks too busy, has typos or lacks keywords
You haven't tailored your application to suit the employer
You're not networking with other professionals and requesting informational interviews
You're neglecting to work with recruiters
How do you deal with not getting an interview?
It can be hard to find a job quickly, especially if you're making some of the above mistakes. If you're struggling to land an interview, it's important not to be too harsh on yourself. Recruiters receive a high volume of applications for every position. Last year, the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) revealed that graduate positions saw an average of 91 candidates applying for each role.
For that reason, you need to give yourself time to find the right role for you. You can't apply for jobs around the clock. Dedicate a few hours each day to searching for work, tailoring your CV and applying for the roles you find. Dedicate your free time to self-care and staying positive.
When you're not getting interviews, it can feel disheartening. However, there are some proactive changes you can make. Follow our advice to switch things up and see if you get more interviews. Keep moving forward — you'll get there in the end.
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