Why am I Not Getting an Interview?

Why am I Not Getting an Interview?  

The average corporate job opening gets 250 resumes – and of those, between four to six will be called for an interview. Waiting to hear back from a potential employer can be one of the most nerve-racking parts of any job search. After spending time on an application and compiling all the information needed, not hearing back from a company can often leave job seekers frustrated and disheartened during the job search process. From overlooked resume mistakes to lack of experience, there are many factors that leave applicants asking the question, “Why am I not getting an interview?” This article identifies five reasons why candidates may not be getting a job interview and how to improve them.  

You’re Not Tailoring Your Resume 

The idea of quantity over quality in the job search process can be a hindrance to gaining an interview. Often, when applicants send out many applications, they are not tailoring each resume to fit the needs of the organization they are applying to. A well-written resume not only increases a candidate’s chances of being noticed but also shows future employers that they understand their needs. Additionally, it shows that they have the relevant skills and experiences necessary to excel in the role being applied for.   

To better tailor a resume, it is important to first look at the job description for the role. Candidates should carefully read the job descriptions to identify the key skills, qualifications and job responsibilities that the employer is seeking. From there, they should identify and take note of the relevant keywords in the job descriptions. These keywords and phrases are essential to include in a resume as they will often match the criteria being set by the companies.  

You’re Overqualified / Underqualified 

There are many reasons why being overqualified can hinder a candidate’s chances of getting a job interview. Hiring managers may assume that an overqualified candidate will expect a higher salary than what the company is willing to offer for the position. Although this can be a negotiable factor when offered a job, it can often be a halting factor when considering selecting an interview candidate. Employers may also have concerns if the role will be challenging enough for an overqualified candidate. This can also create some concern on whether the candidate will only take the role as a filler until they can find another job that better aligns with their experience and knowledge. In these cases, amongst many others, employers may often choose a candidate whose qualifications and experiences better align with the job description. An overqualified candidate can tailor their resume to focus on the skills and experiences that relate to the specific job they are applying for, highlighting their qualifications that match the role requirements. They also should emphasize their willingness to adapt to the position and that they are genuinely enthusiastic about contributing to the organization’s success. Overqualified applicants should also assure the hiring manager that they are seeking a long-term commitment and career growth with the company.  

On the contrary, being underqualified can also hinder a candidate’s chances of getting a job interview. With the numerous other applications that hiring managers receive for a specific role, employers often use screening criteria to filter out the resumes that do not meet the basic qualifications. This means that a candidate’s application may be automatically filtered out before it is even seen by a hiring manager. Underqualified candidates can also be doubted regarding their ability to effectively and efficiently perform the job needed to be done. Employers seek employees who can jump into a job and contribute to the overall success of the organization. When candidates lack the necessary skills and experience, the organization will have to invest in more training and resources, which can be a deterrent for hiring managers looking for new candidates. To improve their chances of landing a job interview despite limited experience, candidates should focus on highlighting industry skills, relevant coursework, internships or any projects that demonstrate their capabilities and enthusiasm about the field.  

You Have Gaps in Your Work History 

When job seekers have gaps in their work history, it can be seen as a red flag to many hiring managers. Employers may prefer candidates with consistent work histories, as career gaps may raise concerns about a candidate’s commitment to their career and the ability to hold down a job. Depending on the length of the gap, employers may worry that the candidate’s skills and knowledge may be outdated and that the candidate will need more time to adapt to the current work environment.  

To address employment gaps and increase their chances of getting a job interview, it is important to be transparent. Candidates should be honest about the reasons for the gaps in their resume. If the gap was due to personal reasons or job loss, they should briefly explain that in a cover letter. Candidates should highlight their skills, achievements, or any relevant activities to showcase a continued commitment to professional growth. The key is to address gaps proactively and demonstrate an eagerness to excel in the role.  

Your Resume Has Typos and Grammatical Errors 

Having typos and grammatical errors in a resume can significantly reduce the chances of getting a job interview. A resume reflects a candidate’s professionalism and attention to detail. Typos and errors can show carelessness and leave a negative impression on the hiring manager. In fact, 77% of recruiters see typos and poor grammatical errors as dealbreakers. In some industries, attention to detail is critical for job success. If a candidate’s resume contains errors, employers may question the overall ability to handle tasks that require precision.  

To avoid typos and grammatical errors on a resume, take the time to proofread thoroughly. Candidates should consider using an online grammar-checking tool like Grammarly or asking a friend or colleague to review it. Candidates should read their resumes out loud to identify errors that can often be overlooked when reading silently. A well-written and error-free resume showcases professionalism and attention to detail, increasing the overall likelihood of landing a job interview.  

Your Cover Letter is Too Generic 

A well-crafted cover letter is vital to any job application, as it compliments a resume and allows a candidate to tailor an application, showcase their passions and demonstrate their ability to do the job. A generic cover letter that does not address the company, hiring manager, or position may give the impression that the candidate is not completely invested in the job they are applying for. A hiring manager can quickly spot a generic cover letter and can suggest that the candidate did not take the time to research the company. A generic cover letter is also a missed opportunity. Tailored cover letters give the candidate the opportunity to stand out by highlighting skills, achievements and experiences that would make a candidate an ideal employee for the job.  

To create a non-generic cover letter, candidates should tailor their cover letter for each application. They can do this by naming the company and position, addressing the company’s needs and explaining how the candidate’s background makes them the ideal fit to support those needs. Candidates should research the company’s values, culture and recent accomplishments, and incorporate them into their cover letter to show genuine interest in the company. Overall, candidates should make sure to keep their cover letter clear and concise.  


Waiting to hear back from a hiring manager or potential employer can be an intense experience, especially when faced with the idea of not receiving a response. However, by identifying potential reasons for the lack of job interviews and taking proactive steps to address them, candidates can significantly improve their chances of landing a job interview.  

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