Reasons Why You Don’t Get Calls For Job Interviews In Ghana
It is really disturbing when you don’t receive calls from employers after you have applied for a long list of jobs. Days become weeks, weeks become a month and you still haven’t heard from employers or recruiters. With time you will start getting the feeling to give up the search because of the possibility of what we term “it is all about who knows you”.
But what if you didn’t receive a call from the employers or recruiters because of some of the things you do before applying for the job. The questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Did you do it right?
- Did your application reach the employers or hiring managers?
- Were you right for the job?
- Finally, do you miss deadlines?
There are lots of big obstacles that keep you from getting an interview that is out of your control: your previous experience (or lack thereof) compared to other candidates, your salary requirements, and so on.
While you can’t always control every part of the job search process, there could also be little things that are within your control—things that are so easy to fix you’ll actually feel relieved at how little time it’ll take you.
So, if you’re currently struggling to make it to the next round, here are some changes you can make that won’t require an entire job search makeover.
Did you do it right?
Curriculum Vitae and Cover/Application Letter
- Relevant Information
Many companies have multiple job postings and limited resources to look at (potentially) hundreds of resumes. So, when you’re applying, you need to be clear what role you are applying to.
“When applying for a job, it’s important to be specific about what role in the company you’re applying for. Here at Tigris, we have positions within the head office, in addition to event staff/brand ambassador roles. Be clear about what you want, and why you want it!”
Zoë Alexandra, an HR professional at The Royal Conservatory of Music, believes applicants need to take it a step further.
“Each candidate should tailor their cover letter and resume to the position. I have received resumes with objectives about finding a position in a career far removed from any a music school, such as a career as a healthcare practitioner. Just spending a little bit more time on each application will help to ensure candidates put their best foot forward,” she says.
Do not waste space on your resume on things that aren’t your strengths, but you might accidentally be making yourself look worse if there’s a big gap between jobs or empty space hanging around at the bottom. Hiring managers might assume the worst when the reality is much tamer. Include enough so that questions aren’t raised, then use the majority of your application materials on your more relevant skills and experiences.
- Spelling and grammar
You missed a word on your resume, you spelled the hiring manager’s name wrong, or you forgot to attach your cover letter. It’s OK, but don’t let it happen again. Use spellcheck, have a friend read it over, and double-check the requirements before hitting that submit button. And, if you still happen to press “send” before fixing your mistake, acknowledging the error could be a great way to redeem yourself.
Hiring managers for jobs that require writing skills or even verbal communication can be extremely critical.
- Application Instructions
It’s one thing to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct on your cover letter and resume, but you still need to fill out the application criteria properly. Nothing will put you out of the running faster than when you don’t follow simple instructions.
You were asked to include a passport photograph, 2 references, and relevant documents like a copy of your birth certificate and school certificates and you sent the application without most of the instructed inclusions. Just like Nicole Delorme said;
“I pass on some people if they cannot follow initial application instructions”
Did your application reach the employers or hiring managers?
- Mass Emailing
Your cover letter and emails are probably fine, but there’s a reason why we talk about personalizing your message—because hiring managers, surprisingly, can tell when they’re just another application in your pile. A generic application rarely stands out. And if it’s addressed to the wrong company or wrong person, well, you’re really not going to make it through the first round. It’s oftentimes a combination of your personality and experience that really makes people want to meet you.
So get personal. Start by addressing it to a specific individual (a.k.a., actually call the hiring manager by his or her name) and making sure to name the company and why you’d be a good fit for that specific role.
Don’t let the little stuff keep you from the big goal—the interview. Even a small change could be just what you need to turn your job search around.
- Wrong Email Address
This is mostly not from job applicants. You saw a job advert from a newspaper or a job board and you read the job description, followed the application instructions and sent the application but you still haven’t heard anything. It might be that the job advert had a wrong email address with it so it never reached your intended target. Either that or you didn’t take a proper look at the email address.
But all the same, you should always take a closer look at email addresses for application submissions
- Hand Delivery
The job advert you applied to had to do with the hand delivery of your relevant documents to the company. You sent in your application by hand and you still never heard anything. Trust me, it is either you didn’t do it right or someone’s negligence at the company cost you your shot at the job.
- Postal Address
Applying for jobs via postal address comes with a disadvantage. Your application might have not being carried from the post office to the recipients because the delivery man failed to deliver on time. It might even reach the employer long after some calls have already been made for interviews.
Solutions to application methods
Always take a closer look at the email addresses before sending applications. Never hand your job applications to the wrong people when you are doing a hand delivery. Make sure you submit it to someone at HR before you leave. Postal addresses should always be the last application method you should consider unless it is the only way to do so.
Were you right for the job?
Work Experience and Skills
You may think you’re perfect for a role, but your experience can sometimes say otherwise.
“We place a huge emphasis on candidate experience. We look at the skills, qualifications, and applications of previous candidates, and employees who have succeeded in that role,”
says Taline Ainein, HR and recruiting coordinator at A Thinking Ape. “Factors that would potentially make them stand out are involvement in competitions, like coding competitions, for example, side projects that they have worked on, links to their portfolios, a drive for curiosity and growth, and working for a comparable company.”
- Gaping holes
If you have had one or more extended periods of unemployment, hiring managers and recruiters may simply decide to pass on you instead of asking about the reasons why. Perhaps you took a sabbatical, went back to school full-time, or left on maternity leave. Don’t assume that managers are going to play detective and figure out that the years associated with your Master’s degree correspond to the two-year gap in employment.
- Irrelevant Information
This could be a symptom of simply being unqualified for the position, or it could be tied to an inability to detail what you actually do that is relevant to the listed job requirements. I would suspect that most of the aforementioned people (that received no responses to 100 submissions) probably fall into the unqualified category, as job seekers tend to feel overconfident about being a fit for a wider range of positions than is realistic. Companies expect a very close fit during a buyer’s market and are willing to open up their hiring standards a bit when the playing field starts to level.
The term ‘overqualified’ seems to be overused by rejected applicants today, as there is no real stigma to the term. It’s entirely comfortable for a candidate to say/think “I didn’t get the job because I possess more skills at a higher level than the employer was seeking“. When a company is seeking an intermediate level engineer, it isn’t always because they want someone earlier in their career than a senior level engineer (although in some cases this could be true). Rather, they want the intermediate level engineer because that is what their budget dictates or they expect that senior engineers would not be challenged by the role (and therefore would leave). There are also situations where companies will not want to hire you because your experience is indicative that you will only be taking this job until something better comes along. A CEO applying for a job as a toll collector will not be taken seriously.
Solutions to Work Experience and Skills
- If you don’t have the right experience or qualifications but still want to work at a specific company, look for more junior/ entry-level positions, internship programs, or professional certifications. You can then prove yourself and work your way up the ladder.
- Explain and justify any periods of unemployment on your CV with as much clarity as possible without going into too many personal details. Mentioning family leave is appropriate, but providing the medical diagnosis of your sick relative is not.
- Be sure to elaborate on all elements of your job that closely resemble the responsibilities listed in the posting. Instead of wasting time filling out applications for jobs that are clearly well out of reach, spend that time researching jobs that are a better match for you.
- Be sure that your CV accurately represents your level of skill and experience. Inflating your credentials or job titles will always work against you.
Finally, do you miss deadlines?
Some jobs have specific deadlines while others are rolling. Even if it seems like the opening is live, it’s possible they’re not looking at new applicants at the moment.
A solution to Closing dates
it’s key to check postings frequently. And if one strikes your interest, my best suggestion is to apply right away (well, once you have your materials together)—the more you delay, the more likely it is that when your application finally makes it in, the company has already started considering other candidates.
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