There comes a time in every gentleman’s life where he needs to take that one giant leap and move jobs. Maybe your boss hates you, maybe you’re not getting a pay rise or maybe you’ve realised that your job just isn’t the right one for you. Whatever the reason, finding a new position is never as easy as it might initially appear. Competition is tough but if you’re not getting anywhere, this could be why.
You're aiming too high
No matter what industry you’re in or looking to go into, aiming too high and applying to jobs that you’re just not qualified for is a sure fire way to set yourself up for disappointment. Most companies have the most rigorous HR departments that will sieve through CVs with a fine-tooth comb and if you don’t have the relevant experience or qualifications, you won’t even make the shortlist. Be realistic, think about the bigger picture and the career progression ladder and apply to the jobs that you’re genuinely qualified for.
Your aiming too low
Equally, if you’re massively overqualified for the job, it’s pretty unlikely that the company is going to consider you. A lot of cooperate companies hire in a very strategic manner, so will want to ensure that they’re getting their money’s worth from someone who’s young, keen and willing to work for less money than you. If they hire someone who’s over qualified for the job, they’ll be afraid that you’ll go in all guns blazing, making demands and asking for a pay rise. Give yourself some credit and don’t lower your standards just because you’re desperate to leave your current job.
You haven't personalised your cover letter
Go through the job spec meticulously and make sure that you're prioritising your experience
If you haven’t personalised your cover letter to the company that you’re applying to, it’s likely that they’re going to instantly disregard you. See your cover letter and CV as your one shot to impress – get it wrong at this stage and you’ve likely blown your chances of ever working there. Talk about the company, why you respect it and why you’ve chosen to apply to them in particular. Go through the job spec meticulously and make sure that you’re prioritising your experience and your knowledge inline with what that says.
You didn't complete your application
Most companies now have a portal page where you can upload your CV and fill in your salary expectations and contact details amongst other things. It’s imperative to ensure that you’ve fully completed this part of the process – don’t, and you look lazy and unprofessional. Even if you have a shining cover letter and recommendation, if your application is incomplete it’s unlikely that they’ll offer you the job.
Your application is riddled with mistakes
Make one mistake on your application, CV or cover letter and it’s game over. It’s pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people submit an application that has the wrong company name (a ridiculous error that does definitely happen), or that’s filled with very simple spelling or grammar mistakes. Check, check and check again and even better, get someone else to check it for you. Even if you’re the perfect person for the job, it’s going to be very hard for the hiring manager to overlook simple mistakes like this.
Your CV still has irrelevant experience
The average employer spends an average of a mere 6 seconds on a CV
The average employer spends an average of a mere 6 seconds on a CV. Shocking, but true. So, it’s therefore imperative that you’re keeping it succinct and relevant throughout, starting with your most relevant – and recent – experience at the top. If your current CV has 2 pages, get rid of it. If you still have the sports teams you were in a school on there, get rid of it. No matter how proud you might be of your achievements, if they’re not relevant to what you’re applying for, get rid of them entirely.
They've checked you out on social media
Having an open social media account and posting images of you getting wasted with your friends isn’t going to impress anyone. One of the first things employers do is a quick Google search and other than your website (which is imperative to have if you’re in the creative industry), the first things that are going to come up are your social media accounts. Either privatise them, or make sure that you’re only posting decent content on there. No one wants an idiot working for them.