1. Your Resume Is Not Tailored
Tailor making your CV is very important. Almost every candidate uses the same CV to apply for all jobs. However, every job description is different and so is every requirement. It is important that you read and understand the job description and use the same keywords, terminologies, etc when applying for a particular job. This does not mean that you must misrepresent yourself, absolutely not. You however need to fine-tune your application to meet the requirements. Employers receive a few hundred resumes for every job. It is important that your CV stands out. Hence changes must be made in your cover letter and modifications to the job description points in your CV when applying for jobs. Keep track of which application was sent and to whom.
2. Your Resume Isn’t ATS Compliant
85% of companies use some form of an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) with the figure rising to 98% for multinationals. This means that you now have an AI or robot reading and interpreting data on your CV and parsing it into the respective fields. It also highlights matching criteria your CV will have for a particular job.
ATS systems do not recognize colors, tables, charts, and infographics. They read pure black and white, top to bottom and left to right. Even column-based CVs struggle to meet the criteria of an ATS. Hence it is important that you follow the below guidelines.
Avoid fancy formatting: Avoid tables, graphics, and columns.
Include important keywords: Read the job description carefully. If there are similar words or industry jargon or even job titles, modify your CV to meet the same word without changing the original meaning of your role or lying on your CV.
Use standard section headings: Use standard headings like “Work Experience”, “Education" and "Skills". Avoid using "Academia" to substitute "Education" or History to replace "Work Experience". Simple CVs are best.
3. You’re Applying to the Wrong Jobs
Many job applicants apply to every company for every job opening. The rejection rate and time wastage are obviously high. Read the job description carefully. Note the job title, required skills, and experience. Ascertain the success rate of your CV. It is not about your ability to do the job but has more to do with your experience and skills used in the past. This puts your application at an advantage compared to others.
4. You’re Not Applying to Enough Jobs
Just like the phrase "there is no perfect candidate", there is also no perfect job. Being picky about a job can prove disadvantageous, especially with tough competition. This does not mean that you take on any job you get. But being able to draw a lower passing line in your selection criteria, allows more applications and interview possibilities and then proper due diligence on which job is best to accept. A combination of "Ideal Company" + "Ideal Job Description" + "Ideal salary", will always be a challenge. 2 of the three should be very good and one of the three could be considered.
5. You’re Not Networking
Networking is probably the best source of finding quality and reliable jobs. Connect with companies, hiring managers, and recruiters who are from the same industry or product, or service. Create awareness about who you are and what you do. Attend events, especially those that you are passionate about or interested in. Meet people and introduce yourself. Fund out more about them and what they do. Be genuinely interested. Share your search about ex-managers, colleagues, and friends who can vouch for you and connect you to their internal hiring teams.