Reasons Why Only A Small Fraction Of Job Applicants Make It To The Interview Stage

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The economy is bad, unemployment rate has sky-rocketed and there are very few jobs, yet some people are landing good gigs or changing jobs every other day. What this means is that there are people getting interviewed for those jobs you have been applying for.

Wondering how on earth you are not one of them? It is time to figure out why!

According to Robert Meier – President of Job Market Experts, only a small fraction of job seekers are selected for an interview. “98% of job seekers are eliminated at the initial resume screening and only the “Top 2%” of candidates make it to the interview”

Sadly this is the truth! However, we bring good news, the days of ignorance are finally over. In this post, we will show you why hiring managers and recruiters consider many CVs and applications “dead on arrival”.

You never get past the screening process because:

Your Qualifications Have No Business with the Job

The job title clearly states “Procurement Manager” and you, a graduate fresh out of NYSC or an experienced administrative manager applied for the position. Yet you are wondering why you didn’t make the cut?

Bet you thought you will get the job if you religiously apply for it or show the hiring manager that you are hard-working, a fast learner and can fit into any role easily if given the chance. Actually, there is nothing wrong with doing that. After all, it is self-marketing. But if you pause and look at this holistically, you will see that the position above is a very technical one and requires years of hands-on experience in procurement. You see the employer wants to hire someone who will make life easier for him. He is not just looking for someone who is hardworking or someone with work experience. He needs someone who knows what the job entails, can work with minimal supervision and can drive leads that will be of benefit to the business. And clearly, any application that doesn’t fit into that picture, ends up in the trash can.

Applying for so many jobs does not guarantee that you will get one, only apply for jobs that you actually qualify for. However, this doesn’t mean you must meet every single requirement listed in the job posting. One or two missing preferred requirements should not deter you. Carefully read the job ad, make sure you understand the job description and requirements. If you are sure you fit in, go ahead and apply.

Your Application Was Kicked Out By An Automated Application System

Some employers (mostly big companies) use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) during the first stage of the hiring process. They feed this software with keywords related to the job role they advertised. Hence, if your application does not speak the language the software understands, it gets thrown out.

Before you apply for a job, make sure your CV has enough keywords related to the job. For instance, the job advert states “Please use the job title as Subject of email”.  Make sure you do exactly that. Many good and qualified candidates have lost opportunities because they refused to pay attention and obey simple instructions. If you are applying for an Accountant position, ensure your CV has accounting related keywords e.g. Accountant, Corporate Reporting, Cost Accounting, Tax Accounting, Risk Management, Accounts Receivable etc.  Doing this will enable any ATS to recognize your CV amongst the pool of application it receives.

Your CV Doesn’t Showcase How You Have Impacted the Bottom Line of Prior Employers

Instead of just listing your past responsibilities, make your CV stand out by highlighting your results and accomplishments. Ensure that you use quantifiable data to show off your accomplishments.

Other reasons include:

  • Poor formatting and grammatical errors
  • You are overqualified for the job and the employer cannot afford you
  • You live far from the job area, and the employer prefers candidates within
  • The employer chose someone within the organization
  • Your qualifications are good, but they got candidates with stronger credentials.
  • You applied for the job later than other qualified candidates
  • The employer stopped the hiring process due to internal issues
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