Why Didn't I Get a Job Interview?

Virtually every job seeker experiences rejection at some point in their journey. No matter how much time you spend fine-tuning your CV...no matter how much effort you put into writing your cover letter...no matter how much you really really want the job...there's sadly no guarantee that you'll make it to the interview stage. Sometimes you'll get a politely-worded rejection email from your prospective employer, but sometimes you just won't hear back from them at all.

In either case, you'll probably end up asking yourself:

Why didn't I get an interview?

Today, we'd like to suggest some possible answers to that question. Of course, there are all sorts of reasons why an employer might choose not to offer an interview; it might be that other applicants were more experienced, or that the position had been filled before you even expressed an interest. Sometimes it's just out of your control.

For the purposes of this post, however, we're going to focus on things that you can control. Take these five things into account the next time you apply for a job, and with any luck, you'll be rehearsing answers and picking out an outfit for that big job interview before you know it!

1. Your application was too long and rambling.

It's important to keep your CV and cover letter reasonably concise. When an employer has a huge stack of job applications to go through, they generally won't want to spend too long on each one, so make sure your documents are easy to skim-read. The important details—relevant qualifications, impressive achievements, similar positions you've held in the past—should leap off the page, and that won't happen if they're buried in paragraphs and paragraphs of waffle.

2. Your made spelling / grammar mistakes.

You don't need us to tell you that spelling errors and bad grammar can torpedo even the most qualified candidate's chances of securing a job interview. Always double-check your documents for typos before sending them (and ask a friend or family member to check them too, just to be sure).

3. You didn't tailor your application to the job you were applying for.

Employers can usually tell when you send them the same generic cover letter that you've sent to dozens of other companies. Writing a new document every time you apply for a new job is tedious and time-consuming, but ultimately, you're more likely to get the interview if the employer feels like you're specifically interested in (and suitable for) the role they're offering. Consider tweaking your CV each time you send it, too – you may want to highlight different experiences / achievements for different jobs.

4. You didn't make a convincing enough case for yourself.

The main aim of any job application is to argue that you are the right person for the job in question. When you get rejected for a role you really wanted, go back and read the job description – did your CV and cover letter convincingly argue that you meet the stated requirements? Could you have done a better job of explaining how your previous experiences made you a better prospective employee? Did you shout about your unique talents and skills, or could you have made them clearer?

5. The employer wasn't able to view your application.

It doesn't matter how sensational your job application is if the hiring manager can't open it. When submitting a CV / cover letter, make sure it's in a common file format, and send it to yourself first to make sure it opens without any issues. You might want to view it on a few different devices, too.

Need more job application advice? Read our CV & Cover Letter Checklist, or contact the HRS team to find out how we can help you to get the job you want!

Image from pixabay.com

Handing in your notice

If you’re in the process of looking for a new job, you may not have considered how you will go about handing in your notice to your current employer. But searching for a new job while working is a big hurdle to get over first!

However, handing in your notice at the correct time and in the right way is incredibly important to your long-term career goals. The thought of having to tell your employer that you’re leaving them may make you uncomfortable, but keep in mind that companies are accustomed to this - it's all part of running a business.

Good references from past employers are paramount to your career progression, so here’s a brief guide to when you should hand in your notice and how to resign professionally.

The best time to hand in your notice

It is vital that you do not hand in your notice until you have received a formal job offer in writing. If something falls through with your potential new job before the written offer and you have already handed in your notice, you may be left jobless. Even if you think your new job is near enough secured, background checks or even company changes could affect your verbal offer.

If you have not yet received a formal job offer from the company and seem to be waiting a while, ask them politely if they know what date you may be starting and if they know when you will receive the formal job offer.

The best time to hand in your notice is when you have your formal offer in writing and when you know your manager will be available to talk.

It is best to hand your notice to your manager in person if this is possible. They will appreciate it much more than an email or a letter left on their desk. It will also give you a chance to express your gratitude to the company and ensure that it is an amicable parting of ways.

Prepare for all outcomes

Handing in your notice may come as a shock to your employer, so be prepared for their reaction. They may be upset as they now need to start looking for your replacement, which could be a costly undertaking. If this does happen, it is important to maintain composure and be professional throughout.

You do not have to go into your reasons for leaving, but if you would prefer to let them know why, try to not get too personal. Try to be as neutral in the conversation as possible and do not direct anger towards your manager. Upsetting your manager further is not a good way to gain a good reference.

You should also be prepared for a counter-offer. If your manager can’t bear the thought of you leaving the company, they may offer you more money or a promotion. To be prepared for this outcome after handing in your notice, make sure you measure up the pros and cons of both businesses prior to your meeting.

Furthermore, you should be prepared for your manager to ask you to leave with immediate effect. In some jobs, this may actually be an easier transition than you working out your notice period. If you are dismissed, you can ask why but try not to get into an argument. You will still be paid for the notice period time.

Stay professional at all times

In case we haven't already made this clear, it is very important stay professional when you hand in your notice and during your notice period. Even if you absolutely hate the job you’re in, now is not a good time to express your contempt. You’re already leaving the company, there’s no need to make it more awkward for your employer.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Your notice should be worded professionally and should not go into specifics
  • Be sure to work out your notice period and offer to tie up any loose ends
  • Prepare yourself to train someone else to fill your role
  • If you want to tell your colleagues, be respectful
  • Continue working as usual up until your leaving date - don’t slack off

If you follow these steps, your resignation should go smoothly and you should be well on your way towards your new job with a good reference in hand.

If you are currently looking for work, take a look at our latest jobs here. Hyper Recruitment Solutions are a leading recruitment agency specialising in science and technology and we’re here to help.

Engineering Jobs

Are you wondering how to get an engineering job? Engineering science is a multidisciplinary field within the ever-growing science industry. It involves the application of principles and facts regarding the different aspects of the physical and material world.

Engineering scientists specialise in different branches of this field, including chemical, environmental and biomedical principles. Not surprisingly, this fascinating industry is an area in which many people aspire to work.

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we specialise in finding the right job for the right person, so if you are a soon-to-be graduate or you’re looking for a change of job roles, here are a few tips on how to get an engineering job:

Tips for Getting an Engineering Job

Build your CV to suit an engineering job

Whether you’re still studying or you’re currently in full-time employment, try to gain some experience within the engineering science industry.

If you’ve already been working in the science industry, tailor your CV to focus on qualities that would suit an engineering job role. If you don’t have any suitable experience, try looking for some extra-curricular activities that could help.

If you’re still in university, many courses include a year-long placement that can lead directly to an engineering job. Choose your placement wisely and work as hard as possible. Even if you don’t get a permanent job at the end of it, this experience will look fantastic on your CV.

Speak to a careers advisor

If you have access to a careers advisor, whether that’s in university or in your local job centre, we strongly recommend that you speak to them before applying for an engineering job.

Career advisors will be able to help you find the right work experience placement and tailor your CV to suit the job you’re searching for. It is also advisable to speak to places like SEMTA, who will also supply you with help and advice on how to get an engineering job.

Here at HRS, we can help you achieve your ambitions with our bespoke recruitment service. We can help you to create the perfect CV for your ideal role. We’re committed to treating our candidates as individuals, not a commodity. If you need any help with your job search, we’re more than happy to help - you can contact us here.

Make each application personal

You may have heard this before, but a key factor in securing an engineering job is to make your application as well-suited as possible to the role you are applying for.

If you have the right qualifications and experience, you need to convey this properly within your CV. Don’t be the person who sends a CV with the wrong employer name or who writes about their general life experience rather than relevant activities.

For CV advice and tips, click here.

Don't give up

If you don’t hear back about your first couple of applications, don’t feel disheartened. This doesn’t mean you’re not suited to an engineering job; it may just mean that this was not the job for you.

That said, it's a good idea to take another look at your CV and see if there's anything that could be improved. Did you miss out some important information? Could you have tailored your cover letter better?

Some potential employers may even provide you with feedback if you ask nicely. If you get an interview and not the role, you should always ask for feedback - this will help you improve upon your failed application and hopefully put you on the right path towards your dream engineering science career.

Good luck!

Take a look at the latest engineering science jobs from Hyper Recruitment Solutions now, or click here to contact us about our services for job seekers.

Applying for a job in science or technology? Here's our advice for crafting the perfect CV

Writing a CV

Everybody talks about how important it is to make a good first impression when you attend a job interview, but in most cases, it's actually your CV that's responsible for making a good first impression on potential employers. Sure, you should wear smart clothes and speak clearly when you're being interviewed, but if your CV isn't up to snuff, you won't even make it to the interview stage in the first place.

If you've been applying for science jobs for a while without hearing anything back, it might be time to go back to the drawing board and rethink your CV. If you want yours to stand out from the stack of documents every employer receives when they advertise a new vacancy, here's what you need to do:

The Basics

Be sure to include the following essential details:

  • Your full name
  • Your current address
  • Your telephone number(s)
  • Your email address (make sure it's something professional - don't use your Hotmail address from when you were a teenager!)

If you have a clean driving licence and access to a vehicle, include this information as well. It may give you the edge over applicants who do not have their own means of transportation.

You will also need to state if your current employer requires you to serve a notice period before changing jobs.

Areas of Expertise

Once you've included your personal / contact details, add a brief section entitled 'Areas of Expertise'. This should simply comprise a short bullet-point list (5 or 6 items max.) of the key skills that make you a great candidate. For example:

  • Data analysis
  • Team management
  • Report writing

This makes it easy for the employer to see your potential value right off the bat.

Education & Work Experience

This part forms the meat of any CV. List your experiences in date order, starting with your most recent role(s). Here's a rough example of what this should look like:

GRADUATE DATA ANALYST

JULY 2015 - PRESENT

Description of this role and what it required of you. If this experience was especially relevant to the job(s) you're now applying for, you may wish to include a bullet-point list of the duties involved.

BSc MATHEMATICS (UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM)

SEPTEMBER 2012 - JULY 2015

Description of your course and the relevant skills you learned / knowledge you gained.

And so on. Try to focus on things that are relevant to science/technology, particularly the field you're looking to enter.

Previous STEM jobs should take precedence, but if you don't have any particularly relevant work experience yet, put the emphasis on your scientific education. In any case, be sure to emphasise responsibilities and achievements that demonstrate your competence and versatility.

It's worth including non-scientific education and work experience, but this shouldn't take up too much space if it's not relevant. Some people simply refer to 'various part-time jobs' or 'assorted temporary roles', but before you take this approach, think carefully - some roles may have taught you relevant skills even if they themselves were nothing to do with science or technology.

Interests

It's important to include some information about what you get up to in your free time, but remember, the employer isn't interested in your life story. You don't want to come across as a work-obsessed robot, but ideally, your hobbies and interests will complement the professional self-portrait you've been painting elsewhere in the document. For instance:

"In my spare time, I enjoy reading and catching up with the latest science/technology news. I subscribe to a number of publications, including New Scientist and Wired, and I also spend a lot of time on the Internet reading about topics that interest me. I also enjoy outdoor activities, including hiking and rock climbing."

References

It's usually fine to save space by writing 'References available on request' at the end of your CV. However, check the details of each job you apply for - some may specifically state that references are required, in which case you'll need to include them in the document you send.

General Advice

  • Be concise - don't waffle. Employers generally don't have time to read essays from potential new recruits.

  • Make absolutely sure to double-check your CV before sending it to anyone. Nothing takes the shine off a well-written CV like a spelling mistake or grammatical error!

  • Don't be afraid to tweak your CV each time you send it. Sometimes it pays to tailor it to the job you're applying for (even if you're also sending a covering letter).

Visit our CV Advice page for more useful tips!

Ready to start applying for jobs? Click here to browse the latest scientific vacancies.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Advice for Graduates Looking for Jobs
Graduating from university is a great feeling, but tossing your mortarboard in the air is also the precursor to one of the biggest and scariest steps you'll ever have to take: the step away from student life and into the world of work.

Searching for your first full-time job can be a gruelling and demoralising task. If you've just left university, you probably don't have a whole lot of relevant work experience just yet, and as a result you may feel that you're at a significant disadvantage as you struggle to get a foot on that all-important first rung of the career ladder. Sometimes it feels like graduates aren't given the advice they need, which can make them feel a little low about graduation. But rest assured that there are many employers out there who are desperate to recruit talented graduates like yourself - you just have to make sure they know about you!

With that in mind, here - courtesy of science job specialists Hyper Recruitment Solutions - are 5 top tips for graduates who are looking for jobs:

1) Before you apply for anything, Google yourself.

No matter what sort of role you're looking to land, you can bet that the person who receives your job application will pop your name into a search engine before deciding whether or not to offer you an interview. This is the 21st century, and these days, potential employers will often scrutinise your online presence just as much as your CV. So make sure you're not showing them anything you don't want them to see!

Before you begin your job search, you should:

  • Type your name into Google to see what comes up on the first page of results. (If you have a common name, or if you share your name with somebody famous, you may want to try including your location in the search - e.g. 'daniel radcliffe sunderland' - to find pages that are specifically about you.) Is there anything in there that might damage a potential employer's opinion of you? A Twitter account, a news story, something you wrote years ago that you're not particularly proud of? It may not be possible to erase every piece of information about yourself, but if you're able to eliminate any red flags then you absolutely should.

  • You should also use Facebook's 'View As...' feature to find out how much of your profile is visible to the public. If necessary, adjust your privacy settings so that only your friends can view the things you post. You don't want your future boss to see those drunk photos of you from your graduation party, do you?

2) Make your CV shine.

Composing an impressive CV can be tough when you're fresh out of uni, especially if you haven't previously held a role that's similar to the one you're applying for. But don't assume that the experience you do have is worthless - just because you've never worked in an office before doesn't mean that you've never exercised the skills needed to succeed in that environment.

The key is to think outside the box a little bit. Let's say you're applying for a marketing job at an FMCG company - sure, you've never occupied a marketing post before, but you completed a degree, and perhaps you even worked a part-time job or two while you were studying. These and other experiences will have equipped you with:

  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • The ability to approach tasks creatively
  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • An understanding of how to behave when dealing with customers/clients
All of these things are highly valued by employers in all sorts of different sectors, so don't be reluctant to include them on your curriculum vitae. Don't think in terms of experience - think in terms of skills!

3) Cast your net wide.

Different employers advertise their vacancies in all sorts of different places, so don't limit yourself to a single website or job listings board. By all means, sign up with big names like Monster and Indeed, but bear in mind that there are lots of specialist recruiters out there too - recruiters like Aspire for the digital / media sector and HRS for science jobs. Some organisations, having a limited budget for this sort of thing, will exclusively recruit via these more specialised portals, so don't kid yourself that you'll see every available vacancy just because you check Reed every day.

4) Don't go back into higher education without a good reason.

Postgraduate courses are great, and in some cases, you'll need a master's or a PhD to get the career you really want. However, far too many graduates sleepwalk into postgraduate programmes simply because they don't feel ready to compete for full-time employment.

That's usually a bad decision. Higher education is expensive, as you're no doubt already aware, and while you might tell yourself that a more advanced qualification will lead to better career prospects, the evidence on that front is somewhat ambiguous.

Yes, entering the world of work can feel like jumping into an abyss, but you shouldn't go back to university just because you're cosily familiar with academic life and scared of sampling the alternative. If you have a clear goal in mind (e.g. 'I need additional qualification X in order to be considered for job Y') then by all means go for it, but otherwise, you're probably better off taking the leap into full-time employment.

5) Remember - you're not committing to a career for life. 

When searching for jobs to apply for, try to bear in mind that your first post-university job doesn't necessarily have to lead to the career of your dreams. Many people don't even decide on a career until quite a bit later in life, so don't feel pressured to apply exclusively for jobs that are directly linked to whatever you think you'd like to be doing in ten or twenty years' time. You might only stay in this first job for a year or two - and that's okay, because it will still give you a lot of extra experience and a lot of new things to add to that CV of yours.

So those are our top 5 tips for graduate jobseekers, and we hope they'll come in handy! Of course, there's no secret formula or trick for landing any job you apply for, but it's important to stay positive and keep striving for success even if you suffer a setback or two. Just because your first few applications didn't lead anywhere doesn't mean that you should give up - keep going, and you'll be starting your new job before you know it!

Searching for jobs in the science/technology sector? Click here to create a candidate account and browse the latest vacancies from Hyper Recruitment Solutions!

Have you considered a career in recruitment?

Here at HRS, we are looking for talented individuals who want to make a difference to the science and technology sectors through recruitment. We have a number of positions available for trainee Recruitment Consultants / Graduate Sales Executives to join our growing sales teams.

The recruitment industry is one of the most rewarding and desirable sectors to work in. If you have an outgoing personality, are good with people, and happy to work hard to succeed in life, then you are perfect for a job in recruitment. We will train you to the highest possible standards and develop your skills and knowledge of the recruitment industry. If you have a passion and enthusiasm for doing the job right, this position offers great rewards.

Apply now >

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