Young man frustrated by not getting job interviews.

Five reasons you’re not getting job interviews

If you’ve been sending out applications but not getting job interviews, you might be getting a little frustrated.

Don’t panic though.

Here’s some things you can do to turn it around.

Not getting JOB INTERVIEWS? Here’s how to fix it. 

1. Your resume is all wrong     

Don’t just list job titles, dates and responsibilities. You need to highlight your achievements. An employer needs to know how well you performed.

Example: You’ve only worked as a waiter but you’re applying to be a bartender. You could highlight your customer service skills and how you helped customers choose wine and beverages as these are skills you’d need as a bartender, too.

You might also need to tweak your resume to match the job.

Your resume needs to be easy to read too. Keep it short (two or three pages at most), use dot points to list information and don’t make it too cluttered. This isn’t the time to experiment with wild colours and font styles.

Example: Your last job was in retail at a clothing store. It’s fine to include you were responsible for restocking clothes and serving customers. But also highlight that you received the manager’s customer service award.

See how you should lay out your resume and cover letter at our job search tips page.

2. Does your cover letter cut it?

It can be tempting to simply write a summary of your resume. But there are ways to use your cover letter to get an employer’s attention.

Use it to expand on a few key aspects of your experience, skills and interests to show how you would fit the job.

Example: You are applying for a database entry position. So far you’ve worked in fast food restaurants and completed certificate qualifications in IT. You could write about your certificate qualifications and your interest in a career in IT. You could also mention you were highly commended by a teacher for a large database you managed for an assignment.

3. Can you find out more about the job?

Sometimes employers list a name and contact number for applicants to call for more information about a position. It can feel scary to phone someone in this instance, but it will pay off!

Make a list of things to ask, including:

  • Why the position is vacant
  • What they’re looking for
  • When they want someone to start

You can also use the call as a chance to sell yourself by giving a quick summary of your experience, talents and interest in the job.

As a bonus the employer will be more likely to remember you when picking candidates for interview. And it will help you decide if you like the sound of the job.

Afterwards you can use any new information to shape your cover letter and resume to the position.

If there’s no contact listed, you can do your own research. Check out the employer online or talk to anyone you know who has worked there.

4. Are you following instructions?    

Are you not getting job interviews? Making sure you're following application instructions can help.It’s important your application meets their criteria or they may not look at it!

They may want you to write a statement with a word limit about how you fit the job description. Or they may want you to include copies of qualifications. Or they might want you to submit your application in a particular way.

It’s a good idea too to make sure your computer software is up to date so an employer can open any documents or attachments you send.

5. You’re rushing 

If you’re rushing through your job applications, employers will pick up on it.

Sending off an application full of spelling errors and typos might make them think you have poor attention to detail. Having someone who can proofread your applications beforehand will help.

Spending time to make sure your application fits the job ad as closely as possible will benefit you, too. An application that is focused on the skills and experience the employer wants, and how yours match that, will get you in the game.

Image sources: istock, giphy, img flip

12 comments

  1. I’ve done a resume and it’s pretty much simple but dont know if anyone would accept it and lm very nervous cause I’ve never had a real job before hopefully l could get some help to achieve my job I’m looking forward to very keen but we will see .

    1. Hi Sharen. There are some online tools to help you make a good resume. You can build one using our career profile feature on the jobactive website (https://jobactive.gov.au/). Otherwise a quick Google search ‘help with my resume’ will bring up lots of options to help you out as well. Best of luck with your job search!

  2. It just takes time and perseverance make sure you outline your strengths and what you can bring to the business try to be confident . I have tried numerous occasions for Government traineeships all been unsuccessful but I never have given up.
    Best of luck everyone.

  3. No. 5 is unhelpful. How do you not rush applications when you are required by Job active to write 20 of them a fortnight? It takes me days to write an application properly including responding to selection criteria carefully. Depending on what sector you’re applying in the application process time varies. The requirements to stay on Newstart without coping demerit points negate this suggestion detrimentally. I have my jobsearches reduced to 10 per fortnight because I live in a regional area and still struggle to really write good quality applications because of this demand. Two applications per week, maximum, is reasonable. 10 is punishing and unrealistic.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Kate. It can be really tough doing lots of applications. It sounds like you are giving yourself the best chance by doing good quality applications, I hope your hard work pays off soon. Best of luck!

  4. You should just lie to get a job. Dealing with the JSPs for years and doing work for the dole got me nowhere. I’ve got work recently by simply lying to employers.
    If that is what is intended by ‘tweak your resume’ then you should just say so.

    1. Hi Ormy

      Congratulations on finding work!

      However, we’d never recommend lying to employers on your resume, especially about things critical to the job you have applied for. It’s not a good strategy for long term employment success because you could get caught out.

      We do recommend learning how to refer to your skills and experience on your resume in ways beyond just listing your duties. It will help you stand out from your competition.

      Cheers.

  5. These 5 “reasons” are fantasy. The most rediculous point being number 5 – employers don’t spend more than a few seconds looking at applications, they wouldn’t pick up much other than your age, so they can discriminate against you.

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