So you sent in your CV, but nothing happened. No interview, no job. What might the reasons be and what can you do to address them next time round? HR software company Octopus HR gives some advice.
So, you found your perfect job. It’s a new challenge, it’s in a perfect location, and the salary’s great. You filled out the online application, you sent off your CV and covering letter. "There’s no way I won’t get this one!" you think to yourself.
You sit back and wait for the recruiter to call you back and ask you for an interview….
But as the clock ticks past the closing date, and day-after-day passes, you wonder why you’ve not got that call.
If this sounds like a situation you’re all too familiar with, read this post from Octopus HR and see if you can spot any silly mistakes that may have held you back from getting that interview and job of your dreams.
1. Your CV just ‘aint good enough
Unfortunately, perhaps the single biggest cause of not getting that call to come to an interview is that your CV is simply just not good enough. You may have all the qualifications under the sun, but if your CV is not formatted correctly, reads poorly or has silly grammatical or spelling errors you’re doing yourself no favours. Make sure your CV is adapted for each and every role you apply for, keep it to a minimum of two pages and make sure it’s clear and reads well. Your CV is your advert – so make it as strong as you can.
2. You haven’t sold yourself
OK, so say you’ve sent your impressive CV. Great. But have you told them how your skills relate to the advertised position?
Every recruiter wants to know how your skills relate to the position itself. Sure, you may have years of experience working in marketing, but if you don’t tell me how you have increased a company’s profits by X% or reinforced their brand and gained recognition, how are the recruiters meant to infer it? You need to spell it out, you need to sell your skills!
Tell the recruiter about your achievements. A job title is just not good enough – you need to say how this job improved their bottom line.
3. Your covering letter stinks
OK, this point can’t be stressed enough.
When applying for a job, you can’t afford to send a generic covering letter.
Think about it, if you were a recruiter and had received several CVs, what would make you shortlist a person for an interview? A personal, highly-targeted covering letter and awesome CV, or a generic covering letter and mediocre CV?
Precisely. You need to make sure your covering letter is top notch.
Don’t start with the generic Dear Sir/Madam, unless you really have to. Try and find a name. In the first paragraph, explain why you are attracted to the role. In the second paragraph highlight a few of your main skills and how they would transfer seamlessly to the role. In the final paragraph sum up the reasons why you should be considered, and sign off by thanking them for their time.
Believe us, this tactic will set you apart from your competitors.
4. You lied
Sure, you may have sent in a great CV and outstanding covering letter – but in today’s days of social media and internet blogs and forums, most employers will Google you, it’s a fact of life. They want to know what you have been up to, what kind of life you lead and who you are in real-life. They want to know what you’re about, and to see if you are a good fit for their company.
If your social media profiles, such as Twitter and Facebook, are full of compromising photos from nights out, or drunken status updates then you are doing yourself no favours. If your linked in profile doesn’t match your CV, such as dates and responsibilities, it will ring alarm bells. "What are they trying to hide?" they will think.
The message is simple – never lie on your application, and only supply references which will be able to vouch for you, so get their permission beforehand. There’s nothing worse than a call out of the blue from someone asking for a reference! If they expect a call you’ll be given a better reference than if they were caught off guard – it gives them some time to think and sell you!
5. You’re just not for us!
OK, this is probably the hardest point to swallow. If your CV is top notch, your covering letter shines, your social media profiles are angelic and your references are primed and ready – and you still don’t get an interview – then it could be because you’re just not quite right. Although this is not fair on you, it could be for a number of reasons:
Perhaps the recruiter has a specific person in mind within the company itself (yes, we know this isn’t fair). Perhaps they have been swamped with applications and yours just wasn’t strong enough, or perhaps you need a little bit more experience or an extra qualification.
In an ideal scenario, you’ll be thanked for taking the time to apply and told why you didn’t get an interview, but that’s unlikely to happen in today’s day and age. If you don’t get a call, you could always give them a call and ask for feedback – you deserve to know why, at least. If you do get some feedback, try and work on it for next time.
*This guest post was provided by HR software company Octopus HR.