4 Reasons Why Your Resume is Not Getting Interviews

4 Reasons Why Your Resume Is Not Getting Interviews

Are you wondering, “Why is my resume not getting interviews?” Were your qualifications not enticing enough? Did your resume pale in comparison to the other applicants? With the common use of resume scanning software by most companies, it’s important to optimize your resume for both human and computer screening. If your resume is not getting interviews despite your best efforts, it may be because you’re making one of these four mistakes.

Reasons why your resume is not getting interviews

The reasoning behind your resume not getting interviews may vary. Here are the critical areas of importance to look out for as you review your resume:

1. You’re not tailoring your resume to each job as you apply
2. You’re listing job responsibilities instead of accomplishments
3. You have large employment gaps in your work history
4. You’re not optimizing your resume with keywords

1. You’re not tailoring your resume to each job as you apply

While tailoring your resume to the job is critical, it’s not advisable to completely rewrite it each time. Instead, consider changing up these crucial details according to the job description:

  • Career summary statement: This section is one of the first things a recruiter will read. Thus, you should use it to emphasize those achievements that align with the job requirements. Suppose the job description calls for independence and creativity. In your career summary, leverage the success of your creative project. Or, if the position relies on strong leadership skills, quantify the accomplishments of the teams you’ve led. To craft a well-tailored resume, showcase your most significant and relevant achievements here.
  • Work history & experience: Depending on the position you’re applying for, you may want to break up your work experience into separate sections. For instance, if you’re applying for a marketing role, you can group your marketing experience. That way, it will be separated from less relevant past jobs. This will cement your position as an excellent fit for the role when your resume is matched against the company’s needs and requirements. And the best part is, it doesn’t demand much work. Essentially, you only need to add a heading and separate your experience into two groups.
  • Job responsibility descriptions: As mentioned before, it’s often not your work experience that diminishes your chances. Your experience might be enough as is, but if the phrasing of your job descriptions is dull, your resume might end up in the rejected pile anyway. To prevent this, write the most relevant responsibilities at the top of your job descriptions so that the reader doesn’t miss them. To further turn boring bullet points into enticing descriptions, use action verbs and quantify your results.

2. You’re listing job responsibilities instead of accomplishments

Another reason why your resume is not getting an interview is that you may not be proving your value. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when engaging in the job search is creating a resume that overlooks your results and achievements. If your approach to resume writing is listing vague, generic job descriptions, it’s time for a change. Employers want to know more than what you were asked to do. They want to hear what you did, how, and what results you brought to the company. So step away from overused statements with no numbers. Instead, try formulating your past job descriptions like this:

 Innovated the sales department by streamlining processes and negotiating better deals with suppliers. As a direct result, company sales grew from $2 million to $10 million in 6 months. 
Drove the relocation of all company spaces into less expensive buildings in lucrative locations. Managed the move and negotiated costs of rent and utilities to decrease expenses. Achieved total savings of $3 million through reducing labor, utility, and transportation costs. 

3. You have large employment gaps in your work history

When an employer sees a large employment gap with no context or explanation, it’s likely to raise some red flags. Was the applicant irresponsible in their last job? Was he/she let go due to poor performance? All in all, a sizeable unexplained employment gap might be a deal-breaker for the employer. And as such, it may also be the reason why your resume is not getting interviews. Of course, the best way to cut employment gaps is to keep your work history consistent. But, you should also know how to work with them if they do occur.

To avoid raising any concerns, it’s best to either de-emphasize employment gaps or explain them straight away. Try using years instead of months to write your employment dates or choose a different resume format to reduce short employment gaps. And if the gap is longer than a year, be honest above all else in your explanation. Find a way to maintain a balance between honesty and oversharing on your resume. Ideally, your reason for an employment gap should be factual but concise and reassuring.

4. You’re not optimizing your resume with keywords

The applicant tracking software (ATS) is the first stage your resume has to pass through to get to the recruiter. But if your resume lacks specific keywords, it might get discarded here and never even see the light of day. By including relevant keywords and phrases, you will prove that you are a fitting candidate for the position.

To find lucrative keywords, review the job posting and the job descriptions of similar jobs. Then, identify repeated words in the responsibilities and qualifications section. If you want to go a step further, review the company website and search for keywords in their “About Us” page or news features. These may be industry buzzwords or mentions of the applicant’s crucial contributions. Once you have identified the relevant keywords, sprinkle these throughout your whole resume.

Quick review: Why is my resume not getting interviews?

  • Your resume isn’t tailored to the job you’re applying for
  • You list job responsibilities instead of accomplishments
  • There are large, unexplained employment gaps on your resume
  • Your resume is not keyword optimized to pass through the ATS

To get out of the cycle of sending out endless resumes and getting no response, you must change your approach. Review these four common resume mistakes and ask yourself if they’re tarnishing your chances. Improving these critical areas can increase your odds of landing interviews and ultimately help you get hired.


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