How to Get an Interview: 10 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked

Why can’t you get an interview anywhere? Here are ten possible reasons you should know so you can better prepare for your next job application.
how to get an interview

How many times have you applied for an open position but never received an interview?

It happens to everyone; according to Glassdoor, fewer than 3% of people who submit resumes get called in for an interview.

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10 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get an Interview Anywhere

After a few no-calls, you might be thinking to yourself, “I can’t get an interview anywhere.” While you probably won’t score an interview for every position for which you apply, you can increase your odds of getting an interview. Here are ten common mistakes that you should avoid in order to score an interview.

1. Your Cover Letter Isn’t Strong Enough

The first thing most hiring managers look at is your cover letter. If your cover letter isn’t strong enough, the hiring manager won’t even bother to look at your resume.

This is why you need to give a lot of attention to your cover letter. It shouldn’t be generic; it needs to uniquely reflect your personality and what you can offer the company that’s hiring. It shouldn’t be too long as to be boring or too short as to be uninformative. It needs to introduce you and encourage the hiring manager to read your entire resume – and bring you in for an interview.

2. Your Resume Is Poorly Formatted or Has Typos

Many hiring managers skim resumes to find the precise information they’re looking for. To make it easy for hiring managers to find that information, you need to format your resume so that the most important info is up front and that it’s broken out into easily accessed sections. It also needs to be visually appealing, well designed, and not textually dense.

In addition, you need to carefully proofread your resume and cover letter before submitting. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 58% of HR people say they pass on resumes that contain spelling or grammatical errors. A single typo can send your resume straight in the trash!

3. Your Application Is Missing Information

When you submit a job application, it needs to contain all the information a company needs to decide if you’re right for the job. If you leave out crucial information from a job application (or resume) you may be automatically rejected. You need to be accurate when entering data such as dates you were employed, contact information for former employers, and even your high school and college graduation dates.

4. Your Social Media Profiles Are Working Against You

Not surprisingly, potential employers look at social media profiles when they’re evaluating potential job candidates. If you think your social media activity might negatively influence a recruiter or potential boss, configure your posts to private, so that only your friends can see them. You should also review all your profile pages and edit them to make you look as good as possible to an employer.

5. You Used the Wrong Keywords

Most employers these days post their open positions on various online job portals. How can you get an interview after applying online?

Many employers use automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan for important words the employer has provided. Sometimes these words are company or industry buzzwords or acronyms; if you use the wrong words, the automated system will reject your application. Read the job listing carefully and use the same keywords that the employer uses.

6. You’re Relying Solely on Online Submittals

It’s okay to use online job portals, but you’ll get better results if you can deal directly with a human being at the company. Try reaching out to hiring managers through email or telephone. If you have friends in the company, ask them to make an introduction or at least provide contact information. Talking one-on-one will get you further than being one of a dozen or more faceless applications.

7. You Weren’t Referred

Another way you can break out of the black hole of online submittals is to be referred by another employee at the company in which you’re interested. According to SilkRoad’s Sources of Hire survey, more than 30% of new hires are a result of employee referrals. Being referred internally tells the hiring manager that you’re known and respected by people within the company.

If you know someone within the company, ask them to refer to you – preferably before a position is publicly posted. You can also let your network of online contacts know that you’re in the market for a new job. This will give you the inside track for new positions.

8. Your References Didn’t Back You Up

Most potential employers will check your references before they schedule an interview. If the references aren’t stellar, you probably won’t be asked in.

Make sure your references are up to date and that the people you reference will actually say good things about you. If you have any doubts at all, don’t include that reference on your resume. It’s also important that the references are relevant to the job for which you’re applying; a good word from your high school wrestling coach won’t mean much when you’re applying for a high-level accounting job.

9. The Position Is Already Filled

One of the biggest reasons people don’t get called in to interview is because they didn’t move fast enough, and the position was already filled. You’re not the only person interested in a given position; when you see the posting, apply as fast as you can. Sometimes the early bird really does get the worm – and there’s nothing left for the later birds to get.

10. You Weren’t Right for the Job

Let’s be realistic. Sometimes you’re just not the right fit for a given position, perhaps because you’re over qualified. Perhaps you didn’t have the right qualifications or experience. Or you may have forgotten to put in volunteer experience that would have helped you land the job. If you don’t get an interview for a given job, it’s quite possible that the hiring manager just didn’t think you were the best candidate. Don’t take it personally. And do follow-up, regardless of the outcome.

Use Mapertunity to Get the Interview

When you’re ready to apply for a new job, let Mapertunity help. Mapertunity is the world’s first fully transparent, interactive job map. We help people find the right job in the right location – so you’ll know the right companies to submit your resume to.

When you don’t know where to submit your resume, contact us at Mapertunity! We’re here to help.

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Lonnie Ayers

Lonnie Ayers

On a mission to help every job seeker find a job. Co-inventor of mapertunity, the most advanced graphical job search tool in existence. A 21st century tool for jobs and businesses.

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