It sucks. You’ve sent out resume after resume and you can’t seem to get a call-in for an interview. Who do they even have reading the resumes over there anyway? Is the resume going to a real person or are they using a nameless faceless computer program, or a trained bear? Is it floating out there in the ether? What gives?? DO THEY EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY ARE MISSING?! So you try again. And again. And still, you don't get that coveted call for an interview. "It's for the best," you think, "if they can't see my obvious talent and fit it's their loss." Maybe. And even though you just KNOW you were PERFECT for the job (you even put it in the cover letter, after all,) you're sure they ultimately decided to pass you over for an internal candidate who isn't quite as overqualified as you are.
Take heart, the truth is that you aren’t alone in not landing an interview (in fact 75 percent of candidates are eliminated by their résumé alone) but the reasons you aren’t getting an interview may not be what you think they are. So before you console yourself with a good dose of “overqualified-itis”, take a quick gander at your resume and compare them to our 5 totally obvious reasons you aren’t getting an interview.
1. Dumb Errors
True story, we’ve received resumes where the words “detail-oriented” are misspelled. It’s 2016. Everything from word to email to text messaging has spell check, so there’s no excuse for typographical, spelling or formatting errors. And while we can all make mistakes, there’s absolutely no excuse for repeated errors on your resume or a wall of text in your cover letter. It tells us you’re either a bad editor or careless about your work product and not worth the time interviewing.
2. Lack of Customization
Believe us, we know that it’s a lot of work to customize your resume and cover letter for EVERY job you apply for, But, what is it you expect to be doing once you’re hired? A non-customized resume may not show off your relevant experience that we’re looking for, and a lack of a cover letter, or a copy and paste job is just lazy (or even worse, desperate). When you can’t be bothered to care that much whether or not you get the job, why should we?
3. Incomplete Application
We have application questions on all of our postings. It’s our way of helping to find relevant experience you may not have highlighted in your resume and get an idea of your writing style. Same goes for our requests on a cover letter. So when you answer the questions with “See Resume” or upload an attachment with a 2 sentence “cover letter,” we won’t bother. If you thought you were somehow above answering relevant questions about the job, think again.
4. Lack of Research
It’s only happened a few times where we’ve had candidates interview for jobs and not know which job we were talking about a few minutes into the interview. But it happens. And there’s just no way to recover from that. So rather than waste your time (or ours) when you tell us you’re passionate about education, but the organization's mission is mental health, we’ll believe you. And move right past your resume.
5. Aggressive Statements or Promises
In general, we like ambition. We’re recruiters after all, so taking on new challenges is something that appeals to the core of who we are as people. But please. Don’t make a statement or promise like “I’m the ideal candidate for this position.” Or “I’ll make an immediate positive impact.” Not only are these statements impossible to take at face value, they take up space and ring inauthentic.
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