Before I got the job I currently have, I had applied to more than 200 positions and none of them was forth coming.
For so many months I would apply for jobs and never hear from the recruiters- not even a lousy regret email. I was frustrated and cursed the job market.
From my own perspective, I was applying for jobs I was qualified for, but why were recruiters ignoring me? I went into hibernation mode reading every material I could find that tried to explain my scenario of not getting interviews.
It was after a few months of research that I was able to understand the root cause of my problems which I am going to share with you.
I know most of you are in my situation and I say it’s about time you started getting those interviews by understanding first why you are not hearing from recruiters.
Related: Understanding The Hidden Job Market
Reasons Employers Are Ignoring Your Applications
How many jobs have you applied for without getting a response from the recruiter? Do you ever wonder why your friends move on to launch careers but you are still there – stuck in the same place unable to move forward?
Here are top reasons why employers are rejecting your application.
1. You might not be as qualified as you think
Let’s think about this for a while. You’ve seen an entry level job advert that requires someone with two years of experience but you have only six months internship experience. What are the odds that you might be shortlisted for such a job?
This is the biggest mistake we make as job seekers including myself – thinking that just because we feel we can undertake a particular role that it’s okay to apply even if we do not match half the qualifications. We treat recruiters like fairy god mothers who will just sweep in and make our dreams come true even when we are not qualified for a role.
I mean you may be having all the other qualifications that the employer wants but if they say you must have two years of experience, it’s because that’s the kind of candidate they are looking for. There are no shortcuts and I know that sucks but its the world we are living in.
To avoid frustration and constant rejection, apply for jobs you qualify for not those that you think you can do.
2. You do not understand the job market well
The vacancies in the Kenyan job market are not many compared to the number of job seekers applying for the positions. Applications reduce for higher positions as compared to entry level positions. Put the type of media used to advertise the job into consideration and the results are not so encouraging.
Let’s say one job advert on social media or in the newspaper is seen by over 1000 people. Out of these 700 will start their applications immediately. Due to limiting factors only 200 of these will complete the application and out of these 100 applications will be trashed due to lacking in the qualifications the employer is looking. That leaves HR with 100 or less CVs to go through and shortlist candidates. Probably 4-6 candidates will be shortlisted and only one of them will be given the job.
What do you do to make it to the final cut that will be interviewed? It simple. Have a CV that stands out.
3. Your CV does not include the key words the employer is looking for
A recruiter will go through your CV looking for specific key words to determine if they should shortlist you for a job. This means that if you are the kind of job seeker who uses the same CV to apply for all jobs, you might have to wait for that interview call a bit longer.
Instead go through the job description, picking out unique keywords in the advert. Use these to tailor your CV to fit that particular position.
Hint: Each industry has its own unique key words that the employer wants to see. This means that you cannot use the same CV you used to apply for a customer service job to apply for an IT related position.
4. You do not complete online applications
Recruiters are aware that most job seekers never complete online applications if the job requires you to. The hiring manager will therefore be looking to see if your online application matches the information on your CV.
For instance most graduate trainee jobs will require you to complete an online application and attach a CV and cover letter. If you don’t do this, you could be waiting forever for an interview call.
And by the way, your LinkedIn profile also counts in this case. Ensure that it’s is always up to date with the milestones you are making in your career journey.
5. The odds might just be against you
As pathetic as this is, it is true. The job market in Kenya is too competitive and the demand for jobs is too high. The vacancies are few compared to the number of job seekers graduating each year.
Normally recruiters will stop sifting through CVs if they find the right candidate which means that your application may never be seen.
Make targets for your jobs research. Conduct your research and identify companies you would like to work for. You can then browse through their websites on a daily basis to see if they have job openings that match your qualifications. Apply early and never post phone applications.
You may be seated there blaming the job market like I once did, but the blame is really on you. Understanding the job market will save you a lot of frustrations and enable you make the right decisions when applying for positions.
Lilian Wamaitha is a Communications and Digital Marketing Officer at Career Point Kenya. Contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to like us on Facebook.