It’s heartbreaking and frustrating applying for dozens, even hundreds of jobs, and not even getting an interview.
If you’re one of the people saying, “Why can’t I get a job interview?”
There will always be one or more reasons why you’re not getting interviews, and you’ll be able to fix those issues.
It’s just a matter of finding out what you need to fix or change.
To help you out, here are 15 of the most common reasons why job seekers can’t get interviews:
Why Can’t I Get a Job Interview? 15 Possible Reasons
1. Your Resume Needs a Lot of Work
This is the most obvious explanation and I know when I’ve looked at the resume of someone struggling to get a job I’ve always spotted endless reasons.
I could talk about this topic all day, but in a nutshell, a good – in fact an excellent – resume is the following:
- Well written and organized
- Up-to-date and tailored to the job in question
- Branded around what you personally bring to the role that none else can
- Details all of your experience and accomplishments
- Is results oriented and does a good job of outlining why you’re perfect for the role
With this in mind, when you look at your resume how well does it cover all of these points as a starting point?
Related – Here is what happens after a job interview.
2. You’re Not Applying for The Right Jobs
This is a mistake I see all too often.
You need to make sure you’re applying for jobs that align with your skills and experience, as well as ones that are a good fit for your career goals and interests.
If you’re applying to every job in sight, just because you’re desperate, it’s going to be very obvious to recruiters that you’re not really passionate about the job or invested in the company.
The saying ‘less is more’ goes a long way when it comes to applying for jobs.
You can apply for fewer jobs, but if you’re targeting jobs that suit your skill set you’ll get more interviews.
3. You Forgot to Put Updated Contact Details on Your Resume
Believe it or not, I’ve seen this happen a bunch of times, too.
Make sure your resume has up-to-date contact information – including phone number and email address – so recruiters can easily reach you for an interview.
If you make it any more difficult to find your details than it needs to be, or if your details aren’t correct, you’re missing out on opportunities.
4. You Don’t Properly Explain Why You Left Your Last Job
Recruiters will want to know why you left your previous job and any gaps in employment.
Make sure you have a clear, honest, and professional explanation for any employment gaps or job departures.
Try not to badmouth previous employers, as it reflects poorly on you and can give the impression that you’re difficult to work with.
Instead, focus on how your previous experience has prepared you for the job in question and what skills or qualities you can bring to the table.
5. You’re Not Applying for Enough Jobs
It may feel disheartening, but in some job climates, you’ll need to apply for enough jobs.
This isn’t a reflection on you, it’s a reflection on how competitive the job market is – it really just becomes a numbers game.
But don’t let this discourage you, keep applying and stay positive.
You never know which job will be the one that lands you an interview.
And remember, quality over quantity.
Still apply for fewer jobs that are the perfect fit for you, rather than applying to every job under the sun and hoping for the best.
6. You’re Not Personalizing Your Outreach
This is a trap that a lot of people fall into when applying to a lot of jobs.
Even though it takes a lot of time, it’s important that you personalize each cover letter to the job in question and highlight why you’re the perfect fit for it.
A generic, one-size-fits all cover letter is not going to stand out, and it’s not going to make a recruiter see why you’re the right person for the job.
7. You’re Not Looking in The Right Places
If you’re looking for jobs on low-quality job boards, I’m sorry to say it but you’re going to get low-quality experiences and poor job opportunities.
Do your research and find the job boards and websites that are reputable and have a good track record.
Network as much as possible, too – reach out to friends, family, and colleagues for job leads or introductions.
You never know what might come from a simple conversation or connection.
There are always some great recruitment events and job fairs happening, as well as recruitment officers that can help.
8. There Were Basic Errors on Your Resume
Take it from me, it’s never a good sign when there are basic errors on a resume – no matter how impressive your credentials are.
Spell check, proofread, and have someone else review your resume before sending it out.
These small mistakes can make you look careless or unprofessional, and it’s not worth losing out on a job opportunity for something that can easily be fixed.
9. Your Social Media Accounts Are Unprofessional
This is certainly one of the more modern ways job seekers are harming their job-hunting efforts, and it’s easy to fix!
Recruiters or someone from a company’s HR department will often take a look at your social media accounts to get a better sense of who you are as a person and potential employee.
Make sure your accounts have appropriate content and privacy settings, as well as a professional profile picture.
You don’t want something on your social media to be the reason you didn’t land a job.
10. You’re Overqualified for The Jobs You’re Applying For
This is another trap people fall into when they’re getting desperate for a job and just want to start getting their foot in the door.
The problem, however, is that if you’re overqualified for the roles you’re applying for, it can come off as though you’re not truly interested in the job or will quickly become bored and leave.
Instead, focus on finding a job that matches your qualifications and experience, even if it means being a bit pickier in your job search.
11. There Are Too Many Candidates for The Roles You’re Applying For
Again, in a competitive job market, there will always be more applicants for a role than there are interview slots available.
But don’t let that discourage you.
Continue to apply for roles that fit your qualifications and keep networking to increase your chances of getting an interview.
You never know what might happen.
And in the meantime, continue to improve your skills and experience through education or volunteering experiences.
12. The Company Didn’t End up Interviewing Any Candidates
Unfortunately, this is just the way the job market sometimes goes.
A company may have posted a job and received a lot of applications, but for various reasons, they may end up not hiring anyone at all.
13. You’re Being Discriminated Against for Some Reason
I never like to pull this card, but unfortunately, discrimination does still exist in the job market.
If you feel like you’re consistently not getting interviews or job offers for reasons that don’t make sense, it may be worth considering if discrimination is a factor.
This can include age, race, gender, or even something like having a disability.
If you do suspect discrimination, consider reaching out to a lawyer or an organization that can help protect your rights and advise you on your individual situation.
14. You Haven’t Been Job-Seeking Long Enough
This is another reason I see a lot but it’s still hard for some people to accept.
Sometimes it just takes time to find a job, a long time.
From reviewing your resume, arranging interviews, applying to enough jobs, it all takes time.
Stay persistent and keep applying for roles. There is no easy answer as to how long it’ll take, but you can be sure you’ll start to get opportunities eventually if you keep at it.
15. You’re Trying Way Too Hard
This is a general reason that’s hard to narrow down to one particular action, but it’s worth thinking about.
Employers want to see that you are unique and bring something new to the table.
Trying too hard to fit a certain mold or impress them can come off as inauthentic and desperate.
Be yourself, showcase your unique skills and experiences, don’t try to dazzle them with long words or fancy fonts, keep it simple.
At the end of the day, a company wants to hire someone who is genuine and will fit well with their culture and team.
And that’s what you want too, so coming across as genuine and being yourself is going to pay off for you as much as an employer.
What Should You Do if You Can’t Get Job Interviews?
If you’ve tried everything on this list and still can’t seem to get a job interview, it may be time to reassess your job search strategy.
Consider reaching out to a career coach or mentor for advice on how to improve your job search approach, update and refine your resume, or network more effectively.
Sometimes the answer is right in front of our eyes but we just can’t see it ourselves.
That’s where a career coach comes in, they can provide an outside perspective along with professional expertise and help guide you toward success in your job search.
Most importantly don’t give up and please try to not get discouraged.
If you keep trying, keep refining your processes and seek good advice, you will start to get interviews, and you’ll get job offers.
I can guarantee it. Good luck!
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-waiting-for-interview
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.