Job applications get tiring, especially if you have been filling them out without success. No one likes receiving rejection letters or being “ghosted” by companies, which makes it all the more enticing to diagnose the issues in your job search process. So much goes into an application and an interview that it can be hard to know what might be going wrong.
This article will walk through several reasons that you might be struggling to get interviews and job offers. Below is an explanation as to what you can change to increase your odds of finding jobs and then help you be more successful once you find a good opportunity.
Reasons You Can’t Get an Interview
You are Looking in the Wrong Places
There are a number of places to look for jobs. With a plethora of available job sites, it seems like there is no end to where you can get a job. If you haven’t been succeeding so far, where have you been applying for jobs? If the only place is on LinkedIn or some other job board, this might be what is holding you back from getting an interview. Online job board applications get hundreds of responses, making you a small fraction in the pool of candidates.
Look for opportunities with less competition. Branch out from LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed. Network with professionals to find these under-the-table opportunities. Finding opportunities not listed on huge job sites with stiff competition could be what turns your job search around.
You Haven’t Networked
Networking is the king of tactics when it comes to getting a job. Referrals are one of the most effective ways of getting an interview and eventually getting a job. While networking shouldn’t be done for the sole purpose of getting interviews, it is a useful benefit. Networking gives you an edge against other candidates who are just a resume in the stack.
You Haven’t Applied for Enough Jobs
While it may seem simple, the reason that you might not have found a job yet is that you haven’t applied for enough jobs. If this is the case for you, then increasing the volume of jobs you apply for will be critical to progressing in your job search. Many applicants submit dozens of applications before receiving an invitation for an interview or a job offer.
You Haven’t Done Informational Interviews
Invitations to interview can sometimes be a by-product of doing informational interviews with professionals in your field. Like networking, informational interviews should not be done with the intention to get an invitation to interview for a position. They should be viewed as opportunities to learn, find ways to improve, and discover the best direction for your career. Also, they can help you familiarize yourself with the industry lingo. An added bonus is that informational interviews could result in a job interview invitation.
Reasons You Can’t Get a Job
Your Application Materials Are Not Specific
Application materials are crucial to getting through the initial application and onto an interview opportunity. Your application materials must be written to get through Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). How? The best way to meet the ATS criteria is by including keywords from the job description and job posting. When you write your cover letter and resume, be sure that you include all the key requirements included in the job description.
Even if your application makes it through the screener, a generic resume and cover letter will likely get thrown out quickly. With hundreds of applications for each job, hiring managers and recruiters don’t have time to waste. Think about it this way: If you didn’t bother to spend time to read the job description and make your resume specific, why should a potential employer bother to read your resume? Take the time to make your resume specific in order to see greater success.
You Never Adjust Your Approach
Learn from your mistakes. This principle holds true in so many aspects of life. The job hunt is no exception. Ask for feedback from those you interact and interview with. Oftentimes, others have a perspective that we would not have noticed on our own. This allows us to grow and develop. Few things are more helpful than this when it comes to sharpening your skills.
Your Interviewing Skills Need Work
Interviews are tough. Anyone in the job search knows that. Interview skills require hard work, dedication, and a lot of practice. Doing mock interviews or practicing interview questions out loud are one of the most beneficial ways to boost your chances of landing a job. When you practice out loud you are able to work through kinks in your responses and feel more comfortable in answering common (and uncommon) interview questions. Having strong interview skills can really set you apart from other job candidates. The key is practice.
You Don’t Have Enough Experience
This may seem hard to hear, but you might just need to get more experience in order to get into the positions that you are applying for. A lack of experience might not be a problem at some businesses, so don’t give up if you are worried that this might be the case. If you are lacking experience, show your value in other ways. Go above and beyond in the application and interview to show what a great asset you would be to the company.
Your Industry is Too Competitive
While many of these other tips have applied to things within your control, working in a competitive industry is something that you cannot change. You cannot make the industry less competitive. However, you can make yourself stand out from the rest of the competition. Follow all of the tips listed above and you are well on your way to coming out on top of other candidates.
If you work in a competitive industry, keep this in mind as you interview for different positions. Don’t take failure too hard. Understand that failure is needed to succeed and common in every field, especially yours.
With all of this taken into account, just remember to be patient. A successful job hunt isn’t completed overnight. Things will take time to fall into place. As long as you follow all these tips you will eventually find your ideal opportunity.
Can you think of more mistakes you might be making that are preventing you from landing the job of your dreams?
Marcus is a writer who specializes in topics surrounding business, career building, and succeeding in the workplace. He is a passionate learner and loves to enable people to elevate their abilities and capacity.