Waiting to find out if you have been shortlisted can be frustrating, so when you hear nothing your mind can go and overthink every situation but come back blank. Why didn’t they call? Why weren’t you picked when you spent so long perfecting your best ever covering letter?
Find out if some of these common issues may be affecting your chances of landing the job of your dreams:
- Give your CV a makeover
Make sure you have read your CV before sending it off. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t! Tailor it to the job you are applying for so use the job description to help you use the correct keywords and terminology.
- Appropriate email address
It was hilarious at the time but the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, is probably not the best one to use when applying for a job. This is one of the first impressions the hiring manager or HR department is going to get of you so either use another one or sign up to a new appropriate one.
- Audit your social media accounts
A lot more companies are checking out candidates on social media before deciding if they are going to call them in for an interview. Think about the posts and pictures that you have right now. If you saw that as a manager would you shortlist you? Check your settings to make sure the ones that shouldn’t be seen are private.
- Attend networking events
Some companies offer training or open days so pop along and introduce yourself to key people in the room. Even better, try and get their business card and that way you can send a follow up email the next day to say how lovely it was to meet them and excited about whatever topic you were talking about. It shows you care and genuine about working with them.
- Ask for feedback
Okay, so you didn’t get the call back and they have filled the position with someone else. Sucks big time but instead of feeling down pick up the phone or email the hiring manager and ask them for some feedback as to why you didn’t get a call back. Most managers are actually very helpful and do want you to improve so this will go a long way to showing you are keen to improve. And who knows, they may even call you back for the next job that comes available. Bonus!
- Follow the on-screen instructions
A lot of companies now ask you to apply online and upload your CV and other documents. If you miss something out or forget to tick all the boxes by accident that could be your application finished before it began. Take your time and double check everything before hitting the send button.
- It’s in the spelling
Check, check and double check your spelling and grammar. There is nothing worse than reading a CV and application that is full of spelling mistakes. A lot of managers will not bother to read all the way to the end and highly likely to end up in the bin.
- Lacking experience
Check the job description and person specification to see the level of experience they require for the job. It might be that you just don’t have what they need and that is why they didn’t shortlist you. Or maybe you have the experience, but you didn’t word it correctly to reflect the job specification. This is where a covering letter can come in handy. You can explain further why you are suitable or if you lack experience, what you are willing to learn in order to be the perfect candidate
- Didn’t sell your credentials
No one is your biggest advocate that you. Now is NOT the time to play coy or be bashful. Be proud of everything you have achieved and don’t be afraid to speak highly of yourself. Next time you apply for a job ask yourself “have I sold the hiring manager on why they should interview me”?
- Employment gaps
Take a look and see if you have any employment or education gaps on your CV. If so then this may be the reason why you didn’t get called back. Either add a couple of lines to your CV or better still, send in a covering letter to explain in more detail why you had the gap and maybe how this has helped you in some way to be the ideal candidate.
- Internal recommendations
Having someone already in the company who can have a quiet word with the key people is ideal, but it doesn’t always work out like this. If you are lucky to know someone then ask them to put in a good word. If not, try and do a little detective work on social media and see if any of your friends or contacts knows someone in the company. They always say, “it’s not what you know but who you know”.
- Company re-think/re-structure
It could be that the company has gone through a restructure and decided that the job is no longer needed, or maybe the budget is no longer available for the position. Sometimes it’s a simple reason and not you.
Remember: The biggest seller of you is YOU!
Go and make time to meet the hiring manager and the team you want to work for. It gives you the opportunity to meet them as friends rather than in a nervous interview situation. It will allow you to relax a lot more and make a really great first impression.
Talk to others already in the job role as you have a tour around the facility. Chat to them about the workload, programmes they use and what makes them enjoy the job. That way you have an edge over the competition who have not taken the time to really find out about the company and job role.
Just remember though, if you don’t get this role you may still have a very good chance of being selected next time because you have already become know to them.