Applied to multiple roles only to receive immediate rejections? Or worse, to hear nothing at all? Looking for a job can be a tiresome process on its own. But, it only becomes more frustrating when it feels like you are getting nowhere fast. Here are the most common reasons why candidates consistently fail to land an interview:


The biggest mistake that candidates make is the failure to tailor their resume to the role they want instead of the roles they have held in the past. Think about your audience when crafting your resume. More than anything, the hiring manager wants to know that you can do the job they need done and that you will fit in the company culture. Ways to strengthen your resume:

  • Achievements. Toot your own horn so no one has to guess. Tell them why you can do the job by highlighting what you have done.
  • Specifics. What have you done lately, why, with who, and what was the result matter. Small details can make a huge difference.
  • Keywords. 70% of resumes are caught in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) black hole when applying online. Getting through the black hole often requires you to match with the position description as it was posted by the recruiter. Read the posting carefully and use the words exactly whenever possible.


A bad profile can be as problematic as no profile when applying for jobs. Recruiters are now using software tools that compile all of your social media profiles to assess whether you could be a good fit for the role and the company culture. A few tips to clean it up and create a strong social media footprint:

  • Google yourself. Performing a simple google (or bing) search can reveal a lot of information about you that you may not even realize. This can be particularly troublesome for people with common names or who share names with people that have a less than desirable past. Knowing what is out there is the first step to understanding how to position yourself.
  • Be consistent. You took a lot of time to update your resume, now make sure all of that hard work shows on your LinkedIn profile. Building a consistent personal brand across social media channels (i.e. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) adds considerable credibility to your application. Take the time to build out your profiles properly.
  • Adjust your privacy. Schedule time regularly to check  your privacy settings on various social media profiles. It’s fine to have a sense of humor, but make sure that your settings are aligned so that prospective employers are seeing only the professional content you publish.


No one is an island. Take the time to tap in to your network to see if they can help with your search. Consistently building a network can be challenging, but it can make or break a search. No one wants to beg and everyone feels awkward when asking acquaintances for help with their job search. Check out these tips to more effectively ask for help in your search:
  • 5 Minutes. Take 5 minutes at the beginning of each workday to build your network online. Your network will quickly double and it will start to have increasing value when you need it the most.
  • In-mail. Many people will send an in-mail to the person who posted a job to express interest and attempt to learn more to determine if the position is worth pursuing. When the poster isn’t visible, they message your connections to ask for a referral. However you approach it, social media presents a number of less invasive “ins” that can make a huge difference.
  • Ask. What’s the worst that can happen? The person says no? More likely, they will say yes. Who knows, they may just be the person that helps you land the interview despite a crowded candidate field.


Applying for as many jobs as possible will not result in more interviews. Instead, you will simply waste time in front of your computer and get burned out. Focus your search to maximize your efforts. Check out these tips to refocus your search:

  • Job Titles. They matter and in many companies you will never land an interview if you do not have the desired background or experience level.
  • Consider additional training. Obtaining additional training or education can sometimes be the only way to make a career transition. Invest the time to understand these before investing in the course to understand whether it will actually help your search.
  • Get experience. Volunteer, intern, shadow people, take a temporary job, or pick up a side gig. Be creative and you will find many entry points to any field.


Applying for a job can be a full time job in itself. Although the talent market is tight generally, that doesn’t mean the competition is down. In fact, in some roles, the competition is more fierce than ever. The old adage of one week of searching for every $1,000 you want to make can often hold true. This only takes longer if you aren’t consistent. Ways to keep your search going even when you do not have time:

  • Work with recruiters. Recruiters like the Contingent Plan are hired by employers to find people just like you. Keep your momentum going by letting us know that you would be interested in hearing about opportunities that may be of interest even if you are not actively searching.
  • Set up job notifications. Go to the job boards in your respective field or on social media and set up email notifications. Automate the search so you can spend the time you have on applying whenever possible.
  • Network. Many of the best jobs are never posted. This can be because the employer is working only with recruiters or simply wants to tap into the networks of their existing employees. Cast a wide net and avoid being left out.
Do any of these hit too close to home? Stop being overlooked and start landing interviews for the job you really want. Little changes can make a big difference in any job search – no matter the stage of your career. Not sure where to start? The resume writers and career coaches of the Contingent Plan are ready to help. Contact us today to get on the right to track to landing interviews!