It doesn’t matter whether you already have a job or not; when you take the time and effort to apply for a new job, you update your resume, you write a cover letter, and you think the job is perfect for you, then hear absolutely nothing in return, it’s tough.
If this process keeps happening, it can start to affect your morale, your motivation, and your self-esteem.
So, why does it happen, and what can you do about it?
In this post, we outline some of the key reasons that people fail to make it through the screening process and provide some useful tips to help you know what you can do to give yourself and your job application the best chance of success.
#1 Was the job right for you?
If you apply for the jobs you want, rather than the jobs your resume and experience suggest you are suited for, you might find that you are getting constantly rejected for the simple reason that you do not have the right background for the position.
Always check the requirements of the post in detail. If a job requires you must have a specific qualification or educational background as a fundamental requirement, and you do not possess the right qualifications, unless you directly address this point in a cover letter and explain why you do not feel it is required, then you’re probably going to be rejected for the post.
Some organizations will overlook formal qualifications when there is a compelling reason to do so. It could be that you have no Degree, but instead, you have 10 years of experience in the industry. In which case, this is a compelling reason for this requirement to be overlooked. However, unless you make it clear in your cover letter that you acknowledge this, you might not be making it through the initial screening process due to lack of qualifications.
#2 Your cover letter needs more work
If you’re the kind of person who submits the same cover letter for every position you apply for, then please stop doing this, now. Generic cover letters, in most cases, do more harm than good. You need to take the time to write a customized cover letter for each and every job you apply for.
A good cover letter makes it easy for the hiring manager to quickly match your skills and experience with the job you have applied for. It is very often the first thing a recruiter will read, and if done correctly, it can quickly get your resume placed on the acceptance pile or at least on the pile for applications that are to be considered or called.
#3 Your resume needs improving
In line with some of the things we have already alluded to in this post, just as your cover letter needs to be tailored to the exact needs of the position you are applying for, so does your resume. In any job, there are a multitude of responsibilities, tasks, and different duties that you will carry out; it is not possible to list to them all in a single resume if you did this, your resume could end being far longer than is deemed appropriate.
When you apply for a new job, you need to tailor what you include to match the job you wish to get. What you need to remember when you are applying to any job, is that you must make it easy for the hiring manager to see why you are suited to the role. If they cannot connect the experience you have with the requirements of the role, your resume could quite easily be disregarded as unsuitable. Take the time to ensure that only your relevant experience is included, and you could well find that you start to hear back about more of the job applications you submit.
The quality of your resume must be impeccable in terms of spelling and grammar. If this isn’t your area of expertise, you can hire a professional proofreading or editing service to help you polish this document off.
As a final note about writing the perfect resume, you should always try to ensure that it is between 2-3 pages long. If you need to expand further on some of the things you have done, you can do this during the interview stages when you are asked to provide examples of your experience.
#4 Use Social Media
Social media has evolved, and it is no longer something that is strictly for your personal life. If you think that recruiters and hiring managers aren’t interested in looking at your profile, then you are mistaken. If you do have personal accounts with pictures of your social life, then try to lock these down and enforce some privacy settings. If you don’t have any business-related profiles, such as LinkedIn, then it could pay you dividends to set one up and start building a network. You can then include a link to this in your resume or on any communications you send via email.
It is also a great place to build-up references, and you can ask people you have worked with and for to leave a recommendation, further cementing your value and appeal as a prospective candidate.
#5 Ask for Feedback
If you still aren’t hearing back about some of the jobs you are applying for, be direct, and call up any recruiters to ask them for some honest feedback. It is normal practice for applicants who don’t make it through to the interview stages to not receive any feedback on applications. Regardless of the effort, you have put into the application; you shouldn’t expect to get feedback from the vast majority of posts you apply for. At most, you can expect a generic response to let you know you have not been successful.
What you might find could be incredibly useful is to call up the agency or company and ask them directly for feedback yourself. You might not always get a positive response or any response of value, but you could get a few people that take the time to give you some honest feedback that could prove invaluable in helping you understand why you are not being shortlisted for the posts you are applying for.
The most important thing is to not lose hope, keep going, be honest with yourself about the jobs you are applying for and their suitability.
Your dream job in Australia is just around the corner!
Photo credits: RobinHiggins