This is the number one question on the minds of people as they apply for jobs: why that phone never rings for an interview. Having read hundreds of resumes and conducted dozens of interviews, I can tell you exactly why you’re not getting that callback. Look at my tips below and see if you’ve broken any of these rules.
- Spelling/grammar errors on your resume. As journalists, we’re held to a higher standard. If I saw errors on a resume, it went into the trash, because it told me the applicant didn’t have the attention to detail needed to be a journalist.
- Your social media profile. Do NOT be fooled. Employers do Google you if they’re interested. And if you have questionable material (nude/bathing suit photos, too many pictures of you and your friends drinking and partying, cursing, excessive oversharing, etc.), they will move onto the next candidate.
- Your name. I posted on this topic here.
- Not following submission instructions. Employers have rules for submitting resumes. Sometimes it’s OK to break the rules, but sometimes they don’t. Unless you have a strong in, follow the job application instructions.
- Using a generic resume. Don’t blast the same resume for every job. Craft different resumes for each job and match your skills to the ones listed by the employer in the job description.
- Inserting the wrong name/title on a cover letter. Nothing is worse for an employer than reading a cover letter that has the name and job description for another company. It shows a lack of attention to detail, and who wants that in a journalist?
- You apply for a job even when you’re overqualified. Times are tough, and you need a job. so to get that foot in the door, you apply anyway and hope, which scares the employer off. So craft a resume that doesn’t highlight every skill you have, just the ones that fit the job you’re going after.
- You apply for a job even when you’re not qualified. When employers have large stacks of resumes to push through, it can be annoying when they’re stuck looking at applicants who don’t have any of the skills listed in the job.
- There are gaps in your work history. This is tough, because sometimes these things aren’t your fault. The best you can do is explain the gaps in your cover letter and fill in what you’ve been doing in between jobs, like freelancing and volunteer work.
I hope these help. Please feel free to send your career and work questions to me at auntbenet AT gmail DOT com.