You begin your job search, because you believe it is time to leave and you believe you can earn £10,000 more a year. Eager to make the move to a new job, you begin sending out the same CV to hundreds of employers without an invite to an interview. After a few months of searching you begin growing frustrated, not understanding why you are not receiving invites to job interviews.
Making a career change in the United Kingdom is not easy, it is terrifying, and it not recommended without a clear strategy. Did you know, on average it takes approximately 9 weeks from the start of the process until you receive an offer? Also, did you know other factors such as your industry, if you are currently employed, and economic conditions influences hiring decisions.
This thoughtful guide will provide you with 15 reasons you are not receiving invites to interviews and how to improve your chances. Remember, Exclusive Career Advice does offer a CV review service.
Below are a few free online salary estimator tools.
In order to set your expectations about your job search, you will need to intimately understand your skills and what they are worth in the marketplace. Below are a few online salary estimating toools.
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Have you ever thought a little ‘white lie,’ on your CV will not hurt anyone? Maybe, when applying for a job you overstate your experience? Overstating your experience and hurt you. Hiring managers know the skills required for the role they are hiring they are advertising and understand the skill of their applicants. By overstating your experience it will create an incongruency on your application that a hiring manager will identify.
Therefore, when applying for a job or interviewing, it is important to focus on your contribution from a factual standpoint.
Even if you can get past the application stage and interview stage to get the offer, once you are in the role you will be found out because you will not be able to work at the level required.
Understating your experience
I know when applying for a job or during an interview, it is easy to use the word ‘we.’ Also, I know when applying for a job or interviewing there is a feeling of ‘erroring on the side of caution,’ in order not to overstate your experience. So, by using “we” it is a protection mechanism and a way of showing that you are team player. It is way of conveying you think about the team over your achievements.
In an interview the interviewing panel does not care what others did. They only care what you did.
Easiest way to fix this is to keep a log of your job successes and when you apply or interview, using your successes to answer the questions you are being asked.
Not aware interview etiquette
You have spent time preparing your application and it meets the company’s requirements. A CV will get you the interview but understanding interviewing etiquette will help ensure you get the offer. Being aware of interviewing etiquette is vital. Examples of interviewing etiquette includes:
Speaking negatively about former employees or colleagues
You are asked why are you leaving your company for this role? The is a ‘knee-jerk,’ reaction to be blatantly honest at this point and say, ‘I am having issues with a work colleague who is taking credit for my work.’ Alternatively, you may want to say, ‘The company treats me poorly and I want to get out before they go under.’
Whilst, being honest in an interview is required. It is important to understand the technique of reframing. Reframing is viewing the event from the perspective of the company you are applying. If an interviewer asks you why you are leving your job, you could state for example,”It is a hostile enviornment where I feel under-valued and not appreciated,” or you can say, using reframing, for example “I feel as though I have gone as far as I can in my current position, and I am exploring other opportunities.”
So, saying, “I feel as though I have gone as far as I can in my current position, and I am exploring other opportunities,” is not a lie. Instead, it is an analysis of your current situation that examines, feelings and motivation that is put positively.
Sending out generic CVs and cover letters
In the United Kingdom, the Job Centre ask those unemployed to send out speculative CVs to employers.
There is nothing wrong with sending out speculative CVs because they let employers know you are looking for a job and are interested in working for them. This means you have to chase and wait for an appropriate position to open before the company will consider your CV.
However, when you send out a generic CV for a job advertisement it easy for a recruiter to spot because it does not match the requirements and from my experience, it is a CV that will get rejected.
Not reading job description
This relates for closely with sending out generic CVs.
Reading the job description is vital. If you know the role, for example, administrator. There is a temptation to use your perceived knowledge of the role and write your CV based on your belief about the role. This can be a fatal error in the CV since you may miss unique skills required for the role.
To be successful in your job search, requires matching your experience with the job being advertised. You need not just read the job description but really understand the role. This typically comes from doing some research into the company.
Not targeting the right jobs
I come from an IT project management background. There is a slew of generic roles that match my experience such as change manager, project manager, contract manager, business analyst, business manager, incident and problem manager, training manager, and service manager to name a few.
If I look at the generic role titles, it appears I have a wealth of opportunities. However, it is not until I begin reading the role descriptions and begin matching my skills, I can correctly identify the roles most suited for me.
In order to increase your chances of getting your CV noticed, means, understanding your skills and then matching them to job requirements.
Moving roles too quickly
Depending on the role and the company, the expected time in the role is typically 1 – 3 years for someone who is permanent before you look for another internal role. Whereas, 2 years is the minimum before you begin looking externally.
If you are an agency worker or working on a fixed-term contract, then it is important that you communicate that in any application or interview you may have. Otherwise, it may appear you leaving roles too quickly.
Moving roles too quickly can raise a ‘red flag,’ about job stability and how long you will remain in the role.
Not setting aside enough time for job searching
The more time you put aside for job searching the quicker you will find it. A while ago I came across a rule for job searching that I find, tends to be true.
The rule state, for every $10,000 in salary you seek, you will be job searching for 1 month. For a $30,000 / year job you can expect to search 3 months.
This means, you may be searching a while before you are successful, and you need to be putting regular time aside.
Social Media is not appropriate
Check your social media accounts and remove anything that could be taken as offensive or creating a negative image of yourself.
Reason being, it is possible an employer may do a search for you on the internet and look at your accounts. Their search of your social media accounts may factor into a decision to invite you for an interview or extend a job offer.
Networking is a great way to develop leads about jobs and to develop relationships. By networking you are putting yourself helping yourself to gain inside information to help you progress your role.
Not developing / outdated skills
It is important to keep your skills up to date. Having outdated skills can act as a barrier for advancement or obtaining a new job.
Poor communication skills
Poor communication skills come in different forms, such as writing, verbal, or presenting. When applying for a job or interviewing, being clear and concise is vital. Taking time to spell check, reading out aloud, and rehearsing are important in developing strong communication skills.
Relying on one source
One way to jeopardise your job search is relying on one source of information for you job search. Look at various options such as the internet, newspapers, your company’s intranet and other sources. Avoid using just one website for your job search.
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