Why can’t I get a job interview?
Although you have the right skills and qualifications and your CV looks great, it could be a small detail that’s preventing you from getting an interview. Or maybe something even much more obvious that you are not seeing.
Here’s how to make sure your CV is noticed and that you’re not making any silly mistakes which could be preventing you from getting an interview…
It doesn’t matter how many times you click on your Word Processing spell check button, there still could be a spelling and/or grammatical error in your CV. It might seem unimportant, but just one mistake like this could mean your CV is being thrown straight onto the ‘no’ pile.
Although using the spell check is a great way to eliminate any errors, you’d be surprised at how many mistakes are still missed. For example, words like ‘its’ can often be changed to ‘it’s’ unnecessarily. Or words like ‘there’ and ‘their’ might not get picked up if you use the wrong one.
The best way to ensure your CV is error free is to have someone else check it. Someone that you trust 100% to proofread your CV and can easily spot not only any errors, but possibly a better way to phrase certain sentences. If you were able to get a manager who routinely looks at CV’s to check over yours, this would be a fantastic way of ensuring that your CV is not only error free, but has been structured correctly.
Tailoring your CV to the role
One of the most common mistakes made when writing a CV is making it too generic. Sure, this may be easier when you are applying to lots of different roles, but ensuring your CV is custom written to each specific role is key to getting through to the interview stage.
Look out for keywords and phrases that are used in the advert. For example, ‘Looking for someone who is a skilled communicator and is able to conduct presentations’. Simply stating that you are a ‘great communicator’ is not going to get you noticed, however highlighting your previous roles and achievements whereby you clearly showed great communication skills is far better.
Try to see what is important to the employer – which skills and qualifications are required. What type of individual are they looking for? ‘A dynamic outgoing individual who is able to achieve high sales.’ So how are you going to ensure your CV clearly highlights that you are the right person?
An employer is much more likely to choose candidates that are showing a clear understanding of what the role requires, and how the company functions. Writing a commercially aware CV that also highlights the relevant details the job advert specified, will prove to the employer that you know your stuff.
If you are unsure if you’ve tailored the CV correctly, you could consider giving your CV to someone and ask them what role you are applying for without actually telling them. If they are able to identify the role or industry you are applying for, then you are on to a winner!
Poor formatting and use of a template
There are literally thousands of different types of CV templates on the internet for you to follow, so try to ensure you choose the best one that you feel is appropriate for the role and will get you noticed.
If you feel the time is right, don’t hesitate to take a risk and choose a different format to the norm. If it will make you stand out and you are already struggling to get an interview, then don’t be afraid to try something new and different to every other template you’ve used and come across in the past.
Remember, an unprofessional sloppy CV template will instantly put off the reader. Don’t be afraid to take a risk on a different template, or at the very least ensure your CV template looks professional and contains all the sections you’d expect to see.
You’re using an old CV
If you keep using the same old CV to apply for jobs over the years, you are going to slowly fall out of favour with recruiters. You have to ensure you move with the times and keep your CV up to date if you want to stand a good chance of getting an interview.
We’ve all fallen into the trap of simply adding our most recent role to the work history section of our CV, and over time this will catch up with you. Starting again with a brand new CV template is the first place to start, followed by tailoring your CV as stated above. Doing both of these things will literally transform your CV into a modern and fresh looking application.
Miss just one of those steps out and your tired and old looking CV is not going to cut it any more.
Being underqualified for a role will often mean that your CV doesn’t get a second look. The salary may be attractive along with the fantastic perks on offer, but if you don’t have the right skills, experience or qualifications, you are possibly punching above your weight. This doesn’t mean to say you should stop trying to climb the ladder, but it does mean you need to reassess your approach to job hunting.
If you’re clearly being unrealistic with your expectations, then consider applying for a role further down the ladder to give yourself a much better chance of getting an interview. However, if you want to push yourself further then maybe you need to consider gaining those qualifications and skills which are needed for an employer to take notice of your CV.
You didn’t write a cover letter
Not every hiring manager wishes to see a cover letter, but they will always add value to your CV. If the employer decides not to read it, then you haven’t lost anything. However, in our experience it’s highly unlikely it will get ignored, and at the very least will get a skim read.
The aim of a cover letter is to address the manager directly and make your application more personable. A CV makes for a very professional and clinical read, listing your achievements and talents. Whereas a cover letter can get straight to the point and explain why you applied in the first place, what your goals are, and also briefly explains why you’re the right person for the job.
When faced against so many other applicants you always need an edge. Your cover letter could just be that edge which gets you an interview.