After double-checking your resume, researching companies, and diligently submitting to postings you still haven’t landed an interview. If you’re lucky, you actually got a form email telling you they chose another candidate. Most likely all you’ve heard is crickets. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the job market even more competitive. To land that crucial interview, your submission has to stand out from a crowd of hundreds, even thousands. If you’re constantly asking why can’t I get a job interview, there are steps you can take.
1. Align Your Qualifications With the Job
Just because you did a similar job doesn’t mean hiring managers will contact you for an interview. Maybe you were a copywriter focused on tech and they need someone with hospitality experience. Remember, you’re not just competing against the unemployed –– you’re also competing against the 70% of workers looking for new jobs. In this environment, employers can select potentials with perfectly aligned skill sets. Conversely, if you’re submitting to an entry-level position after working your way up for several years hiring managers will have questions. Answer them in your cover letter or you’ll be asking why can’t I get a job interview?
2. Polish That Resume
If you have been submitting for weeks or months without a nibble, it’s time to take a step back. Your resume is a potential employer’s first impression. If it’s loaded with spelling or grammatical errors, you’ll be seen as someone isn’t detail-orientated. If it’s crammed with info and hard to read, it will also go ignored. Make sure your font isn’t smaller than 10 point; use bullet points and summarize relevant experience.
3. Pay Attention
Every online job posting has different instructions. Ignore them at your own peril. Generic submissions often earn a generic response –– a form letter. After all, you’re asking a complete stranger to take a risk on you. They aren’t going to do that if you can’t follow simple directions.
4. You Look Flighty on Paper
It’s not unusual for millennials to have four or five jobs in nearly as many years. This doesn’t mean it’s a good look. Training a new hire is a significant investment. Companies don’t want to see the money they spent follow you out the door. Again, this is the place where a well-written cover letter can answer for a whole series of sins. It can also help you explain temp work, employment gaps, and medical leaves. The answer to why can’t I get a job interview may well be that you need to polish your cover letter.
5. You Need New Credentials
It’s hard to focus on the future when the present seems bleak. Still, adding skills and certifications to your resume could help you land an interview. If you’ve been out of work for a while, taking courses in coding or SEO shows your dedication to achievement. Highlight it in your cover letter, mentioning what you liked about the course or new things you discovered about yourself.
6. Your Resume Isn’t Applicant Tracking System Optimized
If you’ve ever wondered how companies handle thousands of submitted resumes, the short answer is they don’t. Entry level employees and even interns once winnowed submissions but thanks to applicant tracking systems your resume might never be seen by human eyes. So optimize your resume –– make sure that you use similar words to describe your skills as the ones sought in the posting. Don’t lie. Just don’t ignore this new reality and make it work for you, not against you.
7. You’re Not Working Your Network
This should be obvious but if you’re not getting asked to interview, it may be because you’re not doing the most important thing to set yourself apart. You should be keeping in touch with former colleagues, bosses, and professors. They can let you know about opportunities that aren’t posted. If you know the name of a company to which you’re applying, do a LinkedIn search. You may share a personal connection with someone connected to the business or the interviewer. Reaching out can make all the difference.
It can be frustrating not getting interviews. Don’t despair. Instead, turn it into an opportunity to highlight your best self. Before you know it, you’ll be getting more than just interviews. You’ll be getting job offers.