Nowadays, it is hard to get a job. It’s even harder to get an interview, which is the first step in the hiring process.
If you’ve been job searching for any length of time and have not received many responses from your resume, following are ten little known reasons why you didn’t get called and things you can do to increase your callback rate.
1. You Didn’t Include Enough Relevant Keywords
Gone are the days when your qualifications and education were primary determinants for being selected for interviews. Today, getting an interview is more about having relevant keywords, or words and phrases pertaining to the industry and position, on your resume.
Many companies use applicant software, which scans resumes for keywords, to recruit job select applicants. Hiring managers then contact them for interviews. You can increase the possibility of your resume being selected by using the exact keywords, terms and phrases on your resume and cover letter that are used in the job posting.
2. Your Name
Studies show that it is more challenging for job seekers with ethnic names to get interviews than those with white names, regardless of their qualifications. In fact, applicants with white names are called back 50 percent times more than those with African-American names.
To overcome this challenge, use your middle name or your initials like JK Rowling.
3. Your Address
Did you know that qualified job seekers have been overlooked for interviews because of their address? Applicants living in “good” neighborhoods are more likely to receive callbacks than those in “bad” neighborhood.
Bypass this bias by removing your address from your resume.
4. Your Social Media Profile
According to a CareerBuilder survey, hiring managers will not call applicants if they use inappropriate images; post updates about drug and alcohol use; talk bad about previous employers and colleagues; lie about qualifications; and have too many grammar errors.
On the other hand, some employers misuse the information they find on social media sites. Generally, employers are not allowed to see pictures or learn of any protected information – age, race, color, gender, family status – prior to the interview. Social media provides all of this information and more.
While you cannot control the latter, you have full control over the information you post on social sites. When in doubt, don’t post it.
5. You Didn’t Follow The Instructions
You must follow instructions. No exceptions.
If the job posting says no phone calls, don’t call. If salary requirements or expectations are requested, include them in the cover letter or on a separate document. Also, send all documents requested in the format specified.
6. Your Salary Requirements
This is a catch-22. If you don’t include them when they are requested, you can be penalized for not following instructions. If you do include them and they are too high, you may be removed from consideration.
To improve your chances of getting a call, research the salaries of positions in your industry and in your city, and cite them in your cover letter. In the best case scenario, you get a return call with an opportunity to negotiate.
7. You Didn’t Submit A Cover Letter
Even if a cover letter is not requested, include one anyway. This is your opportunity to expand upon how you can make a contribution to the position and to the organization.
8. Applicant Software
Companies rely on applicant software to make their jobs easier. Unfortunately, these programs are eliminating otherwise qualified candidates if they don’t meet all of the qualifications specified in the posting.
Try to match your resume to the job posting as closely as possible by using as many keywords listed in the posting. Do not lie or exaggerate the truth.
9. You Had Grammar & Punctuation Errors
Your writing skills can get your resume to top of the pile or thrown in the garbage. Edit your resume and cover letter for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. If writing is not your strength, pay someone to review and edit your resume. It’s worth the investment.
10. Your Voluntary EEO Self-Disclosure Form
Like social media profiles, the information you provide on the EEO disclosure forms may be used against you in two ways. First, you are providing “protected” information which can result in pre-employment discrimination. Also, many companies are actively recruiting veterans, which greatly reduce your chances of a callback.
Since the completion of this form is voluntary, do so at your own discretion.
This post was originally published on an earlier date.
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