Career Expert Shares 7 Simple Reasons You're Not Getting Job Interviews & What To Do Instead

​When it comes to job hunting, it's all about working smarter, not harder.

job seeker frustrated because he's not getting interviews Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock
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Job-hunting is never an easy task, even in the best of times. If you're not dealing with it yourself, you likely know someone who is sending out resume after resume after resume and hearing nothing back but crickets. 

The problem is multi-faceted, from the ways technology like applicant tracking systems and AI bury people's resumes to widespread recruiter layoffs leaving hiring managers overwhelmed.

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Career expert, Courtney Johnson, said there might be some very simple tweaks job seekers are overlooking that could make all the difference. 

Johnson shared 7 reasons you're not getting job interviews and what to do instead.

These are tweaks job seekers can make that can improve their chances at landing an interview — and they're all about working smarter, not harder in your job search.

   

   

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1. You're not optimizing your resume for each job description

Most of us have heard this one time and time again, but when job-seeking is all about volume the way it is today, who has time to go through re-editing their resume for every single job app? 

Nobody, frankly. Which is why Johnson suggests letting a robot do it. "A really easy way to do this is just put your resume into ChatGPT," she said, "and then put the job description into ChatGPT, and ask ChatGPT to optimize your resume based on the keywords in the job description." 

2. Your resume isn't optimized for applicant tracking systems or ATSs

It's vital to remember that the first pair of eyes on your resume are software. The computer system doesn't have any critical thinking skills or common sense! You have to play its game. 

Most of us have heard this advice time and again, too, but it's hard sometimes to know exactly how to go about implementing it. Johnson said this is another time to lean on the robots.

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Much like optimizing applications for the job description, she suggests job seekers "just put your resume into ChatGPT and ask it to ATS-optimize your resume." Done and done.

3. You're not personalizing your applications

A common mistake Johnson sees is people who "are just kind of spraying and praying" — i.e., sending as many resumes out as possible and hoping for the best without doing any sort of "customization" on their application.

Career Expert Shares 7 Reasons You're Not Getting Job Interviews Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock

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Johnson said if you're not doing some due diligence to make your application more specific, "you're not going to stand out."  Job-hunting isn't just about volume, after all.

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4. You're not applying to a high enough volume of jobs

Okay, but it also is all about volume. Johnson said that a lot of people have "an unrealistic perspective on how much volume you need to apply to." Finding a job nowadays truly is a numbers game, and Johnson noted that any time she's been in the job market it's taken at least 100-200 job applications to move the needle. 

"If you've only applied to 10 jobs and didn't get an interview, yeah, it's because you only applied to 10 jobs." Getting your volume up may sound intimidating, but using the automation tools Johnson noted previously will greatly reduce the load. 

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5. You're not reaching out to people at the company directly

Speaking of customizing your job applications, Johnson said it's imperative to get in touch with someone at the company if at all possible. "Always reach out to the hiring manager directly or somebody that works in the organization," she said. "Try to get a referral."

She also explained it can help to just send a LinkedIn request to someone at the company. A bit awkward, yes, especially if you're more introverted, but connections are the key to standing out in today's job market. 

6. You're not using LinkedIn enough and your profile isn't optimized

Speaking of LinkedIn, Johnson says that regardless of how much some of us hate it, there's simply no way around it: LinkedIn is one of the biggest keys to getting a job nowadays, and it's essential to both post on the platform and have a really good profile.

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As Johnson bluntly put it, "I don't care what industry you're in, they're most likely going to stalk your LinkedIn profile, and if your LinkedIn profile is [bad], they're not going to hire you. They're not going to want to talk to you."

   

   

There are, of course, tons of resources online for how best to use and optimize your LinkedIn profile for a job search, which incidentally is a service Johnson herself offers.

7. You're not working with recruiters

"Recruiters' entire livelihood is based off of you getting a job," Johnson said, so use them! "They will literally fight to the death to get you a job." That means the wheels are greased right from the get-go. 

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Johnson added that recruiters will also help you with a lot of the previous tweaks she recommended, like optimizing your resume and LinkedIn profile.

​Career Expert Shares 7 Reasons You're Not Getting Job Interviews Photo: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

So how do you find one to work with? Once again, it's all about LinkedIn. Johnson said to go to the app and search "recruiter, your industry, your area" — so, "recruiter accounting Philadelphia," for instance. Then reach out and ask for their help and expertise.

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These tips won't necessarily fix your job search overnight, but they will help you cut through all the noise and nowadays, that's half the battle when it comes to job-hunting.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.