When you apply for a job you really want, it’s hard not to get your hopes up. Envisioning yourself in this fantastic role is fun and exciting, but it doesn’t feel so great when you realize you didn’t even make it to the interview stage.

It’s beyond discouraging to be rejected so early in the process, especially because you will likely have no idea what happened. There’s a good chance one of these five reasons is to blame for your lack of an interview invitation, so learn how to avoid making the same mistake twice.

You Didn’t Tailor Your Resume

If you’ve been off the job market for a while now, you might not understand the importance of tailoring your resume. In the past, it was standard practice to submit the same resume to every job opportunity, but these days, employers frown up on it. This step adds a lot of extra time to the search process but choosing to skip it essentially eliminates yourself from the running.

Your Cover Letter and Resume Contained Errors

One little typo on your cover letter or resume might not seem like a huge issue, but it’s actually a deal breaker for many employers. It’s not so much the error that matters, but the significance behind it that speaks volumes. From a hiring manager’s perspective, if you can’t take the time to carefully proofread your resume, you’re probably not that invested in the position.

You Didn’t Follow Instructions

It’s become increasing common for employers to write very specific instructions for job applicants, just to make sure they can follow instructions. If you’re asked to send an email with a specific subject line, answer a certain question or provide any additional documents, do it. Failure to comply will result in your elimination from the candidate list.

Other Candidates Had an “In”

Who you know can get you very far in business. If your competition has a contact at the company, they get an automatic edge. Check LinkedIn before submitting your application to see if you have any shared connections with the hiring manager or know anyone at the company. If you can find a way in, your application will get the personal touch that can make all the difference.

Your Resume Wasn’t Properly Formatted

Reverse chronological is the standard resume format, but it’s not the only one. If your employment history has gaps or you’re trying to switch to a different career path, use a functional format. This places an emphasis on your skills and experience relevant to the job, instead of your lack of relevant work history.

Need a little help landing a great new job in Michiana? Wood Staffing helps thousands of local job seekers each year, and we’d be honored to assist in your search. Contact us today to find a rewarding light industrial or clerical opportunity with one of the region’s top employers!


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