You’ve spotted a brilliant-looking job online. Great location, great salary, interesting role. You send your CV knowing that you’re the best candidate for the role then, a week goes by. Two weeks. Three weeks. You never hear back*. Rest assured, this is not uncommon, so here’s six possible reasons to explain why you didn’t make the cut…
1. Cover letter fail
Not having a cover letter or using a generic cover letter are two big fails in any job application. Most fitness employers are independent business owners that take pride in their facility. They need someone that will understand and respect their client base. Your cover letter is where you outline your intentions, abilities and relate them specifically to the opportunity at hand. It’s the first impression that influences what time is spent on your CV.
2. Ugly CV
Your CV is like a marketing document to sell yourself. It should be clear and well formatted: if it isn’t easy to read, it’s not likely to get read. Remember, less is more, leave the images out and don’t get creative with fonts and sizes. In the same way that the cover letter influences the time spent on your CV, your CV will influence whether you actually get the call.
3. Where are the skills that pay the bills?
You know you can do the job with two hands tied behind your back, suspended upside down in a water tank. The employer doesn’t, unless you tell them. Make no assumptions. You must relate your previous skills and experience to the job at hand. Employers might pick up the phone for a chat if you look promising in spite of missing information, but you’re not going be a top priority when there are three great CVs the employer is chasing instead.
4. Attention to detail
Mistakes on a CV is often listed as a big reason hiring managers will reject an application. Make good use of spell checking and always have someone proof read something before you send it. On a related note, applying to a job that isn’t relevant to you is another failure in ‘attention to detail’. Our article on why ‘no two fitness jobs are the same‘ is particularly relevant.
5. Irrelevant details hiding the gold
Rewrite your CV for every application and tailor it to precisely what is asked for. Ask yourself, ‘Is all the experience that is listed on your CV relevant to the job you’re applying for?’ If not, ditch it. Your CV doesn’t need every detail about your entire life and work history, just what will get you an interview. Again, less is more.
6. That’s not what my sources tell me
People have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts. You will be researched. Any discrepancies between your online presence and CV will ring major alarm bells. In addition, if you put reference details on your CV, don’t be surprised if people call them – any problems with references and your chances of an interview are ruined. Only give references when personally requested, and let your referee know to expect a call.
In an ideal world, every candidate would get a detailed reason why their application has failed to progress any further. Unfortunately, within the time poor work environment experienced by most employers, this is not likely to happen. So, ensure your application is well-formatted, relevant, and shows a strong relationship to the role applied for, and you’ll be much more likely to receive the call back.
* Yes, I agree, it would be courteous if all employers notified unsuccessful applicants that the role has been filled.
Have a great week,
Regards, Dennis Hosking