Why am I not receiving the interview call?

Inspite of having exceptional capabilities and relevant experience, often job seekers find themselves not being short listed for the interview.

The reasons could be many, including any one of the following:

The spotlight is only on Big Firms

Now, that’s a common mistake people make. It’s easy to locate job postings from big firms because of their visibility, but on the flip side, they also attract thousands of other applications, and hence one must be ready to face intense competition.

On the other hand, there are several smaller firms undertaking path breaking work. Therefore, one should keep all the options open.

The Application Process

Every company has its own distinct application process. It would be prudent to clearly understand the application process of the prospective employer. Often, job seekers make an error in the process, and hence miss the bus.

Customized Resume

A generic résumé fails to attract attention. It should be customized to the specific business requirements of the hiring company.

Emphasis on Keywords

Firms receiving lots of résumés lay emphasis on key words, which are linked to the job description before short listing candidates.

Not having the relevant keywords could hamper your job search.

Incorrect Application

Résumés having typo and grammatical errors convey a lack of professional competencies and attention to detail. Hence, they don’t make the cut.

Effective Follow-up

Following up regularly with the recruiting company would enhance the chances of receiving the interview call.

Not having relevant qualification

You just might not be qualified for the job. Hence, make sure you have looked at the JD carefully, and see if your skills match with the requirements.

Tips to prepare a winning résume?

Potential recruiters have to screen thousands of résumés. Hence, your résumé must stand out from the crowd to make an impact.

You might be a fresher applying for your first job or a seasoned campaigner looking for a career break. Either way, there are certain key attributes that are common for all the resumes.

Perfect Formatting

First impression is the best impression. The résumé formatting has to be perfect.

Accurate Information

This might sound as very basic. However, it’s vital to have the name and contact details mentioned accurately. Firms often judge your professional capabilities on the basis of this one information.

  • The phone number must have an area code
  • Ensure the mailing address has the zip code
  • Provide the email address

Career Objective

It is the best possible way to match your skills with those the potential employer is seeking.

Impressive Summary Statement

The summary statement should succinctly communicate your capabilities to the end reader, thereby facilitating the creation of a favourable opinion about you.

Work Experience Section

The section must include:

  • Roles held
  • Names of the firms worked for
  • Employment period
  • Responsibilities handled

Highlight the right skills

Ensure your skills and quantitative career accomplishments (enhance the bottom-line, increase profits) are highlighted and match the job description. This would convey to the recruiting Manager – “You are the right fit”.

Education Section

This section should come towards the end of the CV.

Strategize your job search

Finding the dream job has become increasingly difficult in a digital era. Hence, all job seekers must strategize their job search to enhance their chances of getting placed.

Seek professional guidance

It takes a professional to comprehend the finer points of application tracking systems, significance of keywords and plan the personal banding statement.

The résumé is the key document for any job seeker and getting it created by a trained résumé writer enhances your chances of getting an interview call.

The power of Linkedin

Increasingly, recruiters are tapping Linkedin to fulfil their recruitment needs. Hence, creating a LinkedIn profile (Optimized for the right key word) would help in the long run.

Résumé distribution

The best way to distribute the résumé s is:

Job Boards

Once can post the résumé confidentially in job boards (for specialised skills in niche job boards). Again, the services of job board aggregators (retrieve jobs from other job boards) would be really helpful.

Recruiters

Their job is to fill up current openings. Since they work for the company, they are more concerned with the organization’s interest, and always in the lookout for the right fit.

Therefore, it would be prudent to look at the job posting, confirm if it’s matching with your expertise, before applying.

Networking

It is the one of the best ways to find a job, and firms pay employee referral bonuses. Establishing relationship with key stakeholders and conveying your value proposition would really help.

Recruiting Consultants

They are responsible for matching candidates profile to the positions in the clients’ organization. Staying connected with top recruiting consultants would boost your chances of getting a job.

Proactively managing your career

Career management is not about waking up during the difficult phase - layoffs, career change, but taking proactive steps continuously to boost the chances of moving up the career ladder. One must understand, your best leverage is while being employed and not when the chips are down.

Here are some guidelines to proactively manage your career:

Keep the resume current

Ensure the resume is updated regularly with key information, especially career accomplishments. This would enable you to be ready for the next big opportunity.

Secure LinkedIn recommendations

According to estimates, job seekers with LinkedIn recommendations stand a better chance than those without one. However, it would be appropriate if the references refer to your recent career accomplishments - this would connect more with the target audience.

Skills enhancement

Stay abreast with changes in the industry and ensure your skills levels are continuously updated to be relevant in the job market.

Effective networking

The job of a recruiter is to find the best candidate for a given role. It would be prudent to touch base with key recruiters

Transparent with career objective

Therefore, it would be prudent to look at the job posting, confirm if it’s matching with your expertise, before applying.

A powerful personal branding statement boosts your career opportunities

A well crafted résumé is a marketing document that must be integrated with a personal branding statement to enhance your chances of getting the interview call.

Value Proposition

The résumé must express the key value proposition you can provide for a ROI if you are recruited. In other words, it should convey the distinct personal brand.

The nuances of the value proposition must be highlighted through a brand statement.

Self Assessment

One must do self assessment to identify the key strengths, skills and qualities and they have to be reflected in the brand statement. This would enable the recruiter to form a favourable opinion about you.

Your personality

Every individual has a distinct personality which guides the person in pursuing a professional career. Hence, take your time to list all the specific goals that the personal branding statement must incorporate.

Get an insight into the professional expectations from your Boss

At any stage in your career, your relationship with the boss would decide the career growth.

Here are some insights into the professional expectations from your boss:

Task oriented

It’s mandatory that you complete all the assignments, projects on time, in line with the quality standard. Again, if things are not as per expectation, it would be advisable to inform the boss before and not at the last minute.

There would be certain initiatives which would be very important for your boss, you must be aware of those initiatives and complete them expeditiously.

Situational awareness

Get to know the developments within the organization, understand the long term business growth strategy, stay connected with the key clients and ensure the stress points are kept under check.

This would keep you in the good books of the boss.

Competency Building

Conduct a SWOT analysis of your subordinates and validate if their performance is in line with the organization’s expectations. Identify skills gap and take suitable remedial action.

Interpersonal Skills

The ability to articulate your views confidently while listening to others point of view would really help.

How to decide between multiple job offers

Lucky you! Being offered multiple job offers! This sounds like every job seeker’s dream- not only are you offered one job but offered multiple jobs at the same time! But this dream can be nightmare if you cannot decide on which job to take up. Mental paralysis may set in. It is like going to a superb restaurant and ordering your dish from the multitudinous fare in the menu and when the dish finally arrives you look longingly at the dish in front of the gentleman in the next table and ask yourself “Why didn’t I order that! Have you missed out on something better? Was your choice wrong? All these doubts creep into your mind.

In such cases you need to do some homework. The following points will help you to zero-in on the final choice of the job offer:

  • Evaluate what is most important to you. Money? Short working hours? Proximity to place of work? Quick rise up the ladder?
  • Thoroughly investigate the whole package: You need to have full knowledge of your complete employment package. Benefits, vacation time, sick leave/health insurance, education re-imbursements, leave travel concessions, vehicles or vehicle allowance etc.
  • Make sure you understand the job itself well. Get to know the company’s working ethos and policy especially its culture and whether it is family-friendly etc..Pally up with an insider and get to know more about the company and evaluate whether it suits your temperament.
  • Listen to your family members: Use your wife (or brother or parents) as a sounding board and explain to them your dilemma and what you are getting into. They can clear your mind and strengthen your gut feeling about the job offer you finally decide.
  • Go after what you want: The mantra is that the final decision of the job should be “perfect except for......”.If the “except for” list is less, then it could be a good choice.
  • Keep a solid relationship with the companies that you have turned down.

Preparing for behavioural and case interviews

With the advent of highly specialized job skills in newer and newer sectors of industry and business, the standard time tested method of interviewing sometimes takes a back seat and a new method has evolved. There are two such types of interviews viz. Behavioural interviews and Case interviews.

Behavioural interview is an employment interview during which a job applicant is asked to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills, and abilities, also known as competencies. The applicant must tell about specific experiences when he or she demonstrated these competencies. The purpose of a behavioural interview is to allow the interviewer to determine whether a candidate possesses the competencies to perform a particular job.

A case interview is a job interview in which the applicant is given a question, situation, problem or challenge and asked to resolve the situation. The case problem is often a business situation or a business case that the interviewer has worked on in real life. After the applicant is given information about the case, the applicant is expected to ask the interviewer logical and sequential questions that will enable the applicant to understand the situation, probe deeper into relevant areas, gather pertinent information and arrive at a solution or recommendation for the question or situation at hand.

So it is obvious that in both cases the job seeker needs to prepare properly his interview sessions. The following points need to be noted and worked on. This list is only by way of examples and there would be many others which you can think of:

  • Be familiar for the job for which you are being interviewed. Research the company.
  • These interviews are broad, two-way discussions. So be prepared for discussions rather than answering a set of questions
  • Read the job description thoroughly to identify which personal attributes and behaviours are likely to be key success factors for the job.
  • Keeping in mind the company’s philosophy prepare two or three examples for each personal attribute that will best illustrate your suitability
  • Draw from a variety of experiences that demonstrates your skills and abilities.
  • Your approach to the case and the insights you reach will give you an opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving abilities and help the interviewer get a sense of your potential.

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