FinTech Futures Jobs: Five reasons you might not be getting a job interview
Job hunting is hard – there’s no doubt about it.
You spend so much time and mental energy refining your job searches in the first place, making sure that only the right ones are going to hit your inbox so that you can follow up. Then there’s the application process, the calls and emails… and hopefully an interview after all that.
It’s vital to remember that getting a new job does take time: a 2018 study by Randstad US discovered that it takes around five months from start to finish. Within those five months, on average, you’ll create four different edited versions of a CV (as well as four cover letters), submit seven job applications and attend five job interviews.
It all sounds exhausting. So what happens if, after all that effort, you’re just not getting any interviews? Is there anything you can do to improve your chances? The good news is that there is: we’ve got five strategies to follow below. Good luck!
1: Your CV needs work
The first thing to look at is your résumé. It’s far too easy to pluck the CV you’ve had on file for a few years out of a folder, give it a once over, attach it to an application and think, “job done”. But the fact of the matter is, each job you apply for will need a tailored approach if you want to get noticed.
Go through your CV line by line, and make sure that everything on it is up to date and relevant for the job you’re applying for. Make sure to remove old, out-of-date or unnecessary experience. Tweak your personal statement to suit, ensure you’ve got keywords that match those in the job ad’s roles and responsibilities section (so the hiring manager can see at a glance that you are a fit) and check that all your contact information is correct. Update any new skills you’ve learned, new professional accreditations or any other professional achievements. And keep it brief – two pages is fine.
2: You didn’t write a cover letter
Only 47% of job seekers write cover letters, which means you’ve got a 53% chance of differentiating yourself. Make your application stand out with a well-written cover letter that explains what you can do, and why you’d excel in this role.
3: Your cover letter is too generic
Much like your CV, you’re going to need to tailor your cover letter for each job you apply for. Yes, it’s more work, but it’s also more likely to pay off. If you can find out the hiring manager’s name, use it over a generic “Dear sir/madam”.
Aim to include specific instances of projects or accomplishments, with KPIs or numbers to back up your example. Explain how you’ve driven success in previous roles; this will give the employer a flavour of what you can do. Incorporate keywords from the job description too. Often time-pressed hiring managers and recruiters use software to help them narrow down candidates, so this is an immediate shortcut to getting your application seen.
4: You didn’t impress on the initial call
Many hiring processes will begin with a preliminary call from a hiring manager or a recruiter. They’ll often ask you to book out time in their calendar for a quick chat – 10 or 15 minutes or so. It’s a mistake to think this isn’t a big deal – it is.
This initial call is designed to get some basic information about your skills and qualifications, but also to assess your interest in the job. A hiring manager will be looking to learn about you, and from this call, they’ll decide whether you should be put through to the first round.
Treat the call seriously: prepare, get some case studies together, work out why you’d like to work at the company and have a salary expectation ready, as this may be a question you’re asked at this stage. Follow up with a thank you email afterwards too.
5: The company changed its mind
A really simple reason, and one that is completely out of your control. It’s not unusual for a company to dip its toe into the recruitment waters and then decide that it isn’t going to proceed. There could be many reasons for that: sometimes companies check to see the quality of candidates that competitors may be hiring, or an internal candidate may have in fact been hired instead.
About the author:
Kirstie works for our job board partner, Jobbio.
Based in Dublin, she has been a writer and editor across print and digital platforms for over 15 years.