Top 10 Reasons For Not Getting An Interview

April 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Resume evangelists hard at work. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Lately the media is suggesting an improved economy and that companies are hiring.  It is hard to cross the street without a self proclaimed career expert giving advice.  Google, CNN, and Yahoo! constantly feature articles regarding job searching and yet many candidates find that they are sending out countless resumes and not getting interviews.  With so much great information out there here are some of the real reasons that candidates don’t get interviews.

  1. Resume sent to wrong person. A recent CNN Money.com column suggested that sending a resume to a person in a firm at a higher level would yields better results.  Right or wrong I don’t know, but I would save it for cases only when you are eminently qualified for the position.
  2. Lack of Follow Up. As also mentioned in CNNMoney.com, most HR departments have been trimmed and recruiters are busy people with resumes often getting missed because  spam filters, the resume black hole…you name it.  If you are serious about a position–follow up. It’s pretty simple.
  3. Resumes in a bizarre format. Many firms utilize applicant tracking systems that can really only read word documents or pdfs.  Zip files, Notepad documents, and embedded emails will likely not make it through.   Follow the instructions on how to apply to a position.
  4. TMI people, TMI. Keep the pictures and personal anecdotes to yourself.  Cover letters should be concise and focus on your skills.  For more tips check out this WSJ article.
  5. You aren’t LinkedIn. Many companies only post jobs on LinkedIn and use this as a resource to find what are considered to be “star employees”.   Who doesn’t want to be a star?
  6. Off key. If the right key words aren’t included on a resume it will easily get lost into the resume black hole.  I hate to be a broken record but it is true.  Look at the requirements in the job description and make sure as many as possible if not all are on a resume.
  7. Socially Unacceptable. Don’t think employers won’t bat an eye at Facebook profile, tweets, or comments.   Wink is a background check reality for many firms and an employer’s social media BFF.
  8. Disorganized. I can’t tell you how often I encounter a candidate that doesn’t know what job they applied for or where they have submitted a resume.  What this says is that the candidate is neither organized nor detail oriented.  Reason enough to take a pass for many employers.
  9. Not qualified. Applying for jobs without meeting the minimum requirements- stop already! You won’t get an interview and you are wasting everyone’s time.
  10. Cyber job stalker. You know who you are.  The person that applies to every job on a company website – How could you possibly be qualified for so many jobs?  If you were, I doubt you would still be unemployed.

Is it the economy or is it you?

“Ask The Recruiter II” Event Recap

December 7, 2009 at 10:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We received many great questions last Friday. Here is a recap from our “Ask The Recruiter II” event!

Q: How do I look for an intern/project/consulting job instead of a full-time job since getting a full-time job is so difficult in this economy?

A: Many of the job boards are a great place to look.  DiceMonster and CareerBuilder are great starting points.  Recently sites such as  Indeed and SimplyHired, which pull from corporate websites AND job boards, are more robust and allow you to sort open positions by type: contract, permanent, etc.  Also, if you are working with a recruiter, let them know you are open to (or prefer) contract positions.

Q: If you have not contacted a recruiter in a long time what is a good way to get back in touch?

A: A friendly and professional email is always appropriate. Let them know that you are still in the market for a new position, and would be open to a variety of roles. If the recruiting firm lists their jobs on their website you may want to search their open positions and follow up with your recruiter regarding a suitable role.

Q: When asked “What is your biggest weakness?” in an interview, what would be a good response?

A: It is always best to be honest with your potential employer, but you do want to manage your answer to the question. I would cite an area for improvement in the interview, but then also mention that you are continuously working to be better at it. Also try not to select an area that may turn the employer off to you.

Q: There are a lot of advertisements on LinkedIn for resume writers and interview coaches. Is this really worth the money?

A: Having a good resume is a must, but a lot of times the recruiting company you work with will assist you at no cost. If you are not working with a recruiter a resume writer is a good start.  I would review 2-3 and pick the most economical choice since they all offer pretty much the same service.

Q: Besides CareerBuilder and Monster, what are other websites where I can search for a job?

A: Indeed and SimplyHired can be good resources. We’ve also seen more firms posting open positions on LinkedIn. I would search the “job” section of LinkedIn user groups to search for available jobs.  Also, researching firms you are interested in and applying directly to their website is always a good way to go.

Q: What social networking sites are the best to find financial jobs? Would you suggest making two profiles: one personal, one professional?

A: LinkedIn is a great place. I would suggest joining industry specific user groups, and connecting with group members to build a network. Facebook has some good networking groups as well that are industry specific. Making two profiles is an option, but your potential employer may stumble upon your personal one instead of your professional. Making your Facebook profile unsearchable is a good way to control what you let a potential employer see during a job search.

Q: How can I translate my insurance industry experience over to financial trading? Both areas test complex systems.

A: I would try to make any parallel experience very apparent on your resume. Tailor each application to the specific role for which you are applying.

Q: Does the job market really slow down during the holidays?

A: No.  Most employers want to start the new year fully staffed and often are given the go ahead to make hires in December.  I would highly recommend making your job search a priority even during the holiday season.

Q: What is the best way I can negotiate additional/better benefits during an interview?

A: It can be tricky. It’s important to know all the details of your current package prior to going into the negotiation. After comparing your current package to the new offer, discuss with your employer what a fair middle ground is for both parties.

Q: I am experienced in C++ and Java and most recently have work with web languages like PHP and HTML. What would you suggest I do to get reacquainted with C++ and Java and land an IT position?

A: I’d suggest taking a BrainBench exam once you are back in the swing of it. If you can produce some high marks it may dispel any doubts potential employers may have about your skill level since you have been away from C++/Java for a bit.

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