Why your job applications NEVER receive positive responses

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Are you waiting and waiting for companies to get back to you about your job application? (Shutterstock)

Perhaps you’ve been job hunting for a while and are yet to receive a call back. You’ve applied to different companies, for different positions, at different times of every single day and you haven’t received any responses – not one phone call or email!

Before you become despondent, here are a few things you should double check before sending out your next bunch of applications.

You use the same CV and cover letter for each application

Every job is different and requires a CV that is tailored to it. You need to take the time to customise your CV and think of what will make the hiring manager want to call you back for an interview. If your CV is not personalised to each job you're applying for, you won’t look any different from the other applicants. Most job seekers emphasise what makes them great employees, which means most CV and cover letters contain the same (boring) positive characteristics.

Stand out from the crowd by being a lot more honest and by being more clear about why you’d be perfect in that specific role – not just why you’re a good employee. Also add what about the company attracted you the most.

Read: 5 days till you’re hired

You sent the application to the wrong place

Many applicants accidently (and foolishly) mix up the name of the person they’re addressing. Especially if you’re applying to many different places, it’s easy to forget to update the addressee and company name with each new application you send.

If the job ad says email Andrea Smith to apply, don’t spell the name wrong or - even worse - use the wrong name completely!

Similarly, many job applicants send their CV and cover letter to Company A with a cover letter that asks for a position at Company B. While you claim to have excellent attention to detail, the fact that you erroneously sent your application to the wrong company kills any chance you might’ve had.

You don't meet the minimum requirements

You won't get a call back if you're underqualified. If you don’t have the amount of years of experience needed, the qualifications, the necessary prerequisites, or you haven’t worked in the industry or similar environment as specifically requested in the job vacancy post, your CV will get chucked without a second thought.

Remember, you may know you’re capable, but you’re only a piece of paper to the recruiter. All they know about you is what your previous experience says. And with a million other papers to still go through, they will never waste their time, give you the benefit of the doubt or try to get to know you better.

You exceed the minimum requirements by too far

You won't get a call back if you're overqualified. No company wants to hire somebody that they’ll have to replace again soon. By looking at your suitability for the role, and finding that you’re overqualified, you may either a) expect a larger salary than they’re offering or b) leave the company when a more suitable option comes along. Because you are more of a risk, your CV will get dumped and they’ll move to the next application in the pile.

Your cover letter will have to persuade them why, even though you are eligible for a better position, you are settling for the advertised post without sounding desperate. Good luck with that!

Read more: Why didn’t I get called for an interview?

You forgot to update your contact details

Stop what you’re doing and check your CV immediately! Ensure that you’ve added your most recent email address, mobile number and landline number in all your documents.

Also, if you’ve deleted (or are no longer active on) any of your old social media accounts, make sure you remove all references to it on your CV too. Do not tell the hiring manager they can contact you via your social media accounts, especially if your privacy settings are activated.

Did you know Careers24 has a handy CV builder tool that will help you create the perfect CV? Once your CV is in place, take a look at the 1000s of available jobs on Careers24. There are also helpful interview and career advice tips to help you get ahead in your career.