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1.) You are qualified on paper, but some are a better fit

When recruiters advertise jobs, they expect to get thousands of applications. However, recruiters do not have the time to interview hundreds of qualified applicants. Most recruiters I have interacted with would compile qualified applications and trim down the list to a manageable number based on factors that are not part of the job requirements, such as:

  • Past places of employment – If s/he has worked in a structured company, there is an advantage there for us – prioritize him over the other
  • Location – If s/he stays on the mainland for a job on the island, there is a potential problem there – put aside for now
  • Age – If s/he is too old or too young, he may not quite fit – put aside for now
  • Possible earning – If s/he has worked in certain companies, there is a chance he would want more than we can offer – put aside for now

2.) You are not qualified for the job at all

This is the most frustrating part. In a world where many people believe in miracles, they believe you can apply for a job that requires a higher degree with an OND and be lucky! Some are fresh graduates and they go ahead to apply for positions requiring 7 years’ experience. They are simply not qualified for the job, and such applications don’t go further than the sighting stage.

Some are qualified but their CV isn’t in the best shape for the job screening. Why not review your CV with requirements for the job before applying? This little adjustment may be what you need.

3.) You are over-qualified for the job

Forget the title. Always read about the job description and then further read about the company. The Operations Manager in a multinational company falls in a different category as the Operations Manager in a cleaning company. The cleaning company may very likely not be able to match your asking salary or other requirements for the job. Out of respect, your CV would simply be set aside.

Unfortunately, many people have missed out on opportunities for this reason. Interestingly, some of these over-qualified candidates, when desperately in need of a job don’t get called upon.  Anyone in this category should learn to utilize the power of a cover letter.

4.) Your resume was not seen

A recruiter once told me she does not have time to read all applications. Instead she goes straight to the use of keywords. For instance, if she is looking for an Accountant, all she had to do was search ‘ICAN’. All applications with ICAN will simply be called up and she begins her search from there.

Your CV would miss out on ‘keyword recruiters’ for the following reasons:

  • Your CV was not written with keywords in mind – Optimize your CV with keywords
  • Your application was sent via a link on Google Doc or Dropbox (Keywords can’t pick out such applications – use attachments)
  • Your CV was not sent in the right document format (MS Word is always your best choice). PDF is good as it retains structure of complex CVs, but keyword search won’t pick a PDF document – always use MS Word or accompany your PDF document with MS Word
  • Your CV was sent in JPEG format – not acceptable
  • Your CV was sent without using the appropriate email subject
  • Your application was not received at all – check recipient’s email address carefully before sending

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