Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

The Lesser-Known Reasons You’re Not Getting an Interview

By Kelsey Mulvey

We’re not going to sugarcoat it for you: Finding a new job is so time-consuming, it feels like a job in itself. You spend hours combing your favorite outlets’ career board (and Ed2010’s Whisper Jobs, of course), selecting your best clips, crafting a thought cover letter — and for what? Most of the time, you don’t even make it to the next round, let alone receive a “thanks, but no thanks” email.

There a lot of reasons you may not getting an interview. A lack of experience or submitting your resume too late are just two of them. But if you’re submitting job applications by the dozens and still not hearing anything, there’s a chance you’re making a mistake without realizing it.

A few recruiters shared lesser-known reasons you’re not getting the interview. Trust us, it’s worth scrolling through before you submit yet another job application.

1. You’re over-qualified

“Focus job search efforts and applications on jobs that meet your experience.”  — Robin Schwartz, PHR, Managing Partner of MFG Jobs

2. Your application has grammatical errors…yes, including your clips

“An immediate turn off for me when reviewing is grammatical errors (no matter how small). Ensure your cover letter, resume, and writing samples are perfect prior to submission. Consider having someone proof your work prior to submission.” – Kimberly Marek, MS, PHR,  Owner of 7 Charming Sisters and HR Expert

3. The resume isn’t tailored to the job announcement and an automated screening software disqualified them.

“Tailor your resume each time you apply to a job. Make sure the keywords
from the job announcement can be found throughout your resume or cover
letter.” — Schwartz

4. You didn’t follow directions

“Make sure you follow the directions included in the job posting. Are they requiring you to submit work samples? Do they want them in link form? Or is attachment form acceptable? If you don’t follow directions pre-employment, I can’t be sure you’ll do so post-employment.” — Marek

5. Your resume has some missing gaps

“Address any gaps in employment on your resume. If you’ve engaged in
contract work, make sure that’s clear and the employer doesn’t just think
you job hop.” — Schwartz

6. HR doesn’t know how to reach you

“This is surprising, but some people don’t include the preferred means of contacting on their information. Always include your phone number and email address. Failing to do so might be the reason you’re not getting a follow up from HR. Also, check your spam box frequently after applying for a job or gig. You may find your interview offer waiting for you there!” —  Marek

Kelsey Mulvey is a New York-based writer.  She has written for several publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Time Out New York,, Taste of Home, Check out more of her work at and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.


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