One Reason You Are Not Getting an Interview
December 7, 2015

One Reason You Are Not Getting an Interview

by Brian de Haaff

Do you like being ignored? I didn’t think so. And yet it is a very common feeling for prospective job hunters today. In fact, I would say a little too common.

If you are currently looking for a new job, you already know what I am about to tell you. Landing an interview is not easy. In fact, you might be finding it impossible.

You put yourself out there and not a single hiring manager has contacted you. Not even a whiff of a rejection email. It’s like a bad movie you are forced to watch over and over again.

But there is good news. The reason why you might not be getting an interview could be right under your nose. Do you know what it is?

You are not getting an interview because you are not following directions.

I know that applying for roles can seem like you are flying blind. So, let me shed some light on how hiring managers think. If you pay careful attention to the details, you can gain an understanding of what a potential employer wants to see from applicants.

Sometimes, you can do everything right and still not hear back — but these tips will likely improve your chances. So, before you send that next resume out, make sure that you:

Pay attention to details Nothing is done by accident. From the job description to the interview process, pay attention to what the company (and the hiring manager) is trying to communicate to you as a potential applicant. Some want you to answer a writing prompt; others expect your cover letter to answer a specific question, or say why you’re a fit in a certain number of words. Whatever they are requesting, complete the task.

Do your research A generic template cover letter has a 0% chance of scoring an interview for a competitive role at a growing company. Make sure everything you do is tailored to fit the role you are applying for. Looking at the company website before applying should be mandatory. And external websites like LinkedIn and Crunchbase can help you gauge each company’s size, culture, etc. These are strong indications of where you will thrive.

Your introductory email is your cover letter, whether you know it or not. And you need to say — in as few words as possible — why you are the best fit for the role. That involves understanding each company’s vision and how you will help fulfill it. So, research each company before you apply.

Slow down When it comes to job applications, it is not a numbers game — think quality, not quantity. I have heard of job hunters who brag about sending 30 resumes out per day. Applying for every role that looks vaguely like a fit is a waste of your precious time.

So, do not measure success by the number of applications you send. Instead, focus on jobs that really excite you! Then, make a shortlist of companies where you can thrive.

If you are sending out too many resumes, you are spreading yourself thin. You have little time to scrutinize detail. But those details are often the difference between getting your resume in front of the manager or in the trash.

This sounds like simple advice. But you would be surprised at what people miss when they do not take a moment to scrutinize their own work.

The most successful companies want team players who pay attention to the little things. When you prove that you are a self-starter by following directions, it shows that you are worthy of their time (and more importantly an interview).

How have you scored a big interview?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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