Job hunting can be stressful at the best of times. You’ve worked on your cover letter and resume for hours, going over every little detail and making sure you have no spelling errors or mistakes. You have prepped your interview answers and applied for that dream job … and then nothing.

Days go by without so much as a phone call or an email. Did the company not get your resume or application? Did it get lost in the black hole that online job applications seem to get sucked into … never to be seen again?

Why haven’t you heard back? You’re the best candidate for the job!

Here are three reasons why you’re not getting called for an interview.

  1. You don’t have the right kind of experience

You may think you’re perfect for a role, but your experience can sometimes say otherwise.

“We place a huge emphasis on candidate experience. We look at the skills, qualifications, and applications of previous candidates, and employees who have succeeded in that role,” says Taline Ainein, HR and recruiting coordinator at A Thinking Ape. “Factors that would potentially make them stand out are involvement in competitions, like coding competitions, for example, side projects that they have worked on, links to their portfolios, a drive for curiosity and growth, and working for a comparable company.”

If you don’t have the right experience or qualifications but still want to work at a specific company, look for more junior or entry-level positions. You can then prove yourself and work your way up the ladder.

  1. You haven’t paid attention to the application instructions

It’s one thing to make sure your spelling and grammar is correct on your cover letter and resume, but you still need to fill out the application criteria properly. Nothing will put you out of the running faster than when you don’t follow simple instructions.

“I pass on some people if they cannot follow initial application instructions,” says Nicole Delorme of Tigris Event Staffing. “We request all potential events staff to submit two to three professional photos, along with a recent resume. If their photos do not meet our standards, or if they forget to include a resume, I won’t follow up with them. Our events staff are given the opportunity to represent big brands like Facebook, Microsoft, and Reebok; if they can’t follow application instructions, how can we trust them to follow instructions on site at an event?”

  1. You haven’t tailored your application to the job description

Many companies have multiple job postings and limited resources to look at (potentially) hundreds of resumes. So, when you’re applying, you need to be clear what role you are applying to.

“When applying for a job, it’s important to be specific about what role in the company you’re applying for. Here at Tigris, we have positions within the head office, in addition to event staff/brand ambassador roles. Be clear about what you want, and why you want it!” says Delorme.

Zoë Alexandra, a HR professional at The Royal Conservatory of Music, believes applicants need to take it a step further.

“Each candidate should tailor their cover letter and resume to the position. I have received resumes with objectives about finding a position in a career far removed from any a music school, such as a career as a healthcare practitioner.  Just spending a little bit more time on each application will help to ensure candidates put their best foot forward,” she says.


Take some time to evaluate your application. Make sure you have the right experience for the job and that you have nailed all the correct criteria when applying. Be clear and concise. Don’t give someone a reason to overlook you. As basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said: “Do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.”


Taylor Shold is the Founder of Shold Media Group, a networking group aimed at helping inspire and educate the next generation of young professionals. Follow him @tshold.