Applying for a position and not getting to the next round can be discouraging, especially if it’s happened more than once. When we put in an application, it’s out of your hands on whether or not the employer is interested in moving forward, but there are few things that are in your control before you apply. It’s important that what you do have control of is all in place before pressing submit. Let’s talk about why you may not be getting a response to your application and four reasons why employers may not be moving you to the next round.
1. You Have Typos and Mistakes in Your Resume
Review, review, review! We cannot stress how important it is to proofread your resume and cover letter before submitting because this is one of the top reasons why employers may not be moving you to the next round. Employers not only want to see that you are a clear communicator but also that you pay close attention to detail.
To employers, you have had ample time to review your resume and cover letter, so if there are mistakes and typos in your application, what will happen when working on important documents in a time crunch when you’re actually in the position? We’re all human, but sloppy errors make you look unprofessional and can easily take you out of the running. We suggest not only reviewing it yourself multiple times ,but also getting a fresh pair of eyes to read it over as well—family or friends are a great option.
2. You Didn’t Follow Instructions
Review the job posting and create a checklist to make sure you’re fulfilling all of their requirements. What should you include in your checklist? At the top of the page you should have the due date of the application. Next, write resume and cover letter with room to add bullets in between. Underneath each section should be the length requirements, file format (word or PDF), font requirements (if any), as well as reminding yourself and someone else to proofread your application. Some postings ask for more than a resume and cover letter if so, these should also be included in your checklist. Did they ask for a video application, references, or a portfolio?
Without fulfilling these requests, you are often automatically out of the running as your application is incomplete, which is why creating a checklist is so important! For example, as mentioned above, some postings may request your application in a specific format like PDF or Word document. Don’t disregard this as unimportant. Following simple instructions is an example of attention to detail—make sure you are doing exactly what the job posting entails as this is an easy way for hiring managers to slim down the number of applicants. Finally, Style Nine to Five Founder, Christie Lohr, stresses the importance of personalizing the name of each file to the company you’re applying for. For example, your submission should not just be your name with resume (Christie Lohr Resume), it should include the name of the company, position and your name (Lululemon-Educator-Christie Lohr).
3. You’re Too Generic
Are you just copying and pasting the name of the company into an already existing cover letter? This is a job application no-no. Employers can tell when a job application isn’t tailored to their position and may make the assumption that you didn’t put a whole-hearted effort into your application. How can they tell? It is important to tie your own experience to the posting and not just give an overview of your job history. The company may be looking for a manager whose priority is company culture. By researching the company mission and vision you can delve into how you exemplified their values.
Your cover letter is where you can put a spotlight on all your accomplishments, why you’re the best candidate and how you exceed their job requirements. We suggest giving an overview of your job experience, but also emphasizing achievements and work related projects that encapsulate why you are the best candidate. If you’re reusing the same resume and cover letter it will be difficult to do this.
4. You Didn’t Highlight Your Accomplishments
Your resume and cover letter shouldn’t just be a timeline of your employment, they should be a highlight reel of all your accomplishments. When creating your resume and cover letter, be sure to be as detailed as possible. For example, are you currently working in fashion marketing? Highlight your sales margins and what strategies you implemented to reach them! Your accomplishments should be clear, conscience and should correlate directly to the posting. As another example, employers may be looking for someone who is a leader. What are sometimes where you took control of a situation and gave your coworkers direction? How did this benefit the company? Naming these specifics on your resume and cover letter speaks volumes about your abilities and skills.
Applying for jobs can be draining and sometimes you may feel like you just want to submit your application and get it over with. But, it’s important to take your time because this is about the next steps in your career! Although not getting called for an interview can be discouraging it is important to stick with it and have confidence in showcasing your abilities in a way that stands out to hiring managers.
Is your resume not hitting like you thought it would? Try Style Nine to Five’s Resume Refresh offering. Whether you are a new grad or have been in the industry for years, Founder, Christie Lohr, will review and upgrade your resume, tailored to your career goals.
Demetra Maragos – Demetra is a Master of Arts candidate at New York University, who loves thinking outside of conventional lines to combine her passions of everything culture, fashion and lifestyle.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock