Job Search Tips Professional Development

5 Real Reasons Why You Don’t Get Called for an Interview

Written by Peter Jones

You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do—networking, sending in applications, calling in favors, sending out resumes—and the phone simply refuses to ring. You haven’t been asked in for any interviews. This is partially because the market’s tough at present, but it could also have something to do with a few things you may be doing wrong.

Here are the 5 real reasons why you don’t get called in for an interview.

1. You have a weak resume

Either there is not enough on your resume—you don’t have sufficient experience, or there’s too much. Did you dump your entire work and education history into the document, with little care for what sort of picture that laundry list paints? Try culling a bit, shaping the way you lay out your facts.

Bottom line: put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and imagine your resume in a pile of resumes. Imagine 10 or so identically qualified candidates. Will yours stand out among them? Does it stylishly and succinctly show you to be a cut above the rest? If it doesn’t, that might be your answer.

2. You’re applying for the wrong jobs

Are you sending out applications and resumes willy nilly? To any job you see advertised that you think you could have a remote chance of handling? That’s probably not the best strategy. Better to do a bit of extra hunting for the positions that are perfect for you—and you for them.

Be the ideal candidate, not just another faceless grunt who could probably do the job to their satisfaction. You’ll feel better going after positions that really excite and challenge you as well.

3. You’re using the wrong strategy

Online job boards are a useful resource. But they aren’t usually enough to turn the corner in a job search. Make sure you’re also actively pursuing leads, building your network, calling on your existing connections, finding contact information for the right people and sending them your resume and cover letter, maximizing your LinkedIn usage. Make sure you never go more than 30 days without some online activity.

4. Your hopes are too high

Hope and high expectations are great. As are you! But sometimes the dream job isn’t going to happen just now. Sometimes an interim job is just as good—one that won’t do any damage to your resume, but will pay your bills. Maybe give up on your desire to be the next big CEO until you’re searching from the comfort of already having a job? It’s always best to negotiate from a place of power.

5. You’re not asking for help

There is no shame in needing a job. This is what your family and friends (and network!) are for. Tell them what you’re looking for and ask them to help if they reasonably can. You’d do it for them, after all. And chances are, they will.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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