Securing a job interview can feel daunting when looking for your next career move. Since the pandemic the job market is moving extremely fast and has fluctuated between being candidate and job driven. The tech space is particularly competitive with the financial industry being more secure than most other industries. However, with the current cost of living crisis, it is becoming increasingly difficult to entice strong candidates away from the security of their current role.
That being said, there are many companies who are actively hiring and just as many candidates who are looking for their next role. Here are some reasons why you might not be getting a job interview and tips to improve certain things to secure an interview in the tech sector.
1. Your CV isn’t formatted correctly
This is one of the most common errors I see on a daily basis when receiving CV’s. The format of your CV is vital for a number of reasons. Firstly, most managers will be receiving a large volume of CV’s for any one particular role. This means they are very unlikely to initially go through each one in fine detail. They want to clearly see what is most important to them and you need to make that stand out. Key projects, tech stacks, previous employers, education history and length of employment are some of the key details we find managers prioritizing. Secondly, is you must make sure your CV is in chronological order. You don’t want the first thing a hiring manager to see what you were doing back in 2003, they want to see your most recent experience and current role responsibilities. Thirdly, is to utilise the space on the page. Whilst you don’t want your CV to drag on, you also don’t want it to look like something out of a story book. Use bullet points, bold words, and paragraphs to make the most important information stand out.
2. Poor grammar
This is something that can be rectified very easily. Often, you will be asked to send the most updated version of your CV as soon as possible in order to meet a deadline. Whilst this important, you have to remember that whatever you send is going to be the first and potentially last piece of information a hiring manager sees about you. Therefore, take time to ensure that grammatically, everything is in order. If, for example, your intro has a couple of spelling mistakes, it is highly likely that your profile will be excused before the manager even gets to what’s most important.
If you are looking for new roles, or even when you aren’t, I would recommend that you always have an updated CV that is ready to go. Take time to put some thought into it and eliminate any small errors that may become present if you were to quickly rush to update it within 5 minutes of seeing a role that interests you. Preparation is key, as your perfect role could be right around the corner and a poorly revised CV could be stopping you from getting in front of the manager and proving to them why you would be a perfect addition to their team. (Tip – use the review button to highlight any errors throughout your CV once it has been written or there are lots of websites that will also do this for you.)
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3. Too much irrelevant information
People think that the more you write the more a manager will be impressed. In my experience, the more you write, the more opportunity it gives a manager to discount you from the process as they become disinterested by irrelevant content, be succinct with what you are saying. Talk about the details that are most relevant for the job that you are applying for, a tailored CV will stand out amongst the rest. What you do on a Sunday afternoon is not likely to be at the top of the priority list for a manager who is hiring for their next Senior Software Engineer. Stick to the point, be concise, and sell yourself, this will save you, the recruiter, and the managers time, boosting the likelihood of that all-important interview.
4. You don’t have the relevant experience
With more and more jobs being on the market it is tempting to adopt the “apply for all” approach. I receive profiles on a daily basis where it feels like a candidate has read the job title and no more. Recruiters and managers spend time writing out job adverts and compiling a job spec all for the benefit of you, so please take time to read it. I also think it is vital for you speak to someone about that role whether it is a manager or recruiter. Find out as much information as you can to help align yourself with what that manager is looking for. This will save time for both parties and enable you to focus your efforts on roles that are better suited to your experience and skillset.
5. You aren’t working with recruiters
When it comes to finding your next role, recruiters can be one of the most important tools you have access. Their working model is all about building relationships and depicting what is best for both the candidate and the client. A pathway into the mind of the manager and the culture of a company. They work with these people every day and it is in their best interest to make sure the pieces of the job finding jigsaw align in the most efficient way possible. Take advantage of having a recruiter, ask them questions, if they don’t know the answer, they will find out. What is the manager interested in? What is most important to you? What is the company culture? How much flexibility is there on offer? If you apply directly it will mean that you are added to a list of other (most likely irrelevant) candidates, however, when submitted by a recruiter you will have been through an extensive qualification process and often have access to roles that aren’t live anywhere else. Think of a recruiter as your friend, and I can guarantee that you will see increase in the amount of interviews requested.
Securing an interview is not easy to do, but hopefully if you take into account some of the points above it will help you to refine your application process and increase the number of interview requests you are receiving. Focus on quality rather than quantity and really take time to determine whether the role that you are applying for is right for you. Finally, remember, a recruiter is your best friend when it comes to market knowledge, manager expectations and company information, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them questions.
If you would like to hear more about any of the points above, discuss the current market, or generally see what opportunities are available, please feel free to reach out to the author of this blog, Adam Wirth, any time.
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