5 reasons why you are not being shortlisted for interviews

5 reasons why you are not being shortlisted for interviews

I have been retrenched several times, and resigned once before without another job (would not recommend) and have job searched while employed. I learned some valuable lessons on how to get shortlisted for an interview. If you do not get interviewed you do not get the job. You do not yet know if you want the job or would like the company, having an interview starts to answer those questions.

When being retrenched or searching for a job, can cause you to be desperate for ‘anything’. And this can cause your job search to be endless – due to jobs such as ‘anything’ not existing. Here is what I learnt on how to be shortlisted for interviews:

1.    Searching for anything

Anything is not a job. If you would like to be a specialist, manager or have specific industry experience use that for your job search. Applying and ‘spraying and praying’ does not work. All it does is wastes your time, the recruiters time, and your energy.

2.    Your application is ALL you have

Yes very unfortunate that the person reading your application cannot see how awesome you are! If only they met you would they know (but that is not going to happen unless your application ‘speaks’ to them). Your CV is your voice and so is your application. If you send an email saying ‘Please find my CV attached for this role’ you will get as much effort from the person reading the application (FYI zero). Make your application (email or form or cover letter) speak to the role and why you are applying. Do not make it 10 pages, brief and short, to the point. But make an effort!

3.    Stand out!!!

Time to stand out and you do that with your CV. Do not make it black and white – add colour. Use a professional CV artist (Job Crystal offers this service www.jobcrystal.co.za) or use Word or Canva to make your CV stand out. Ensure you list to the point what you can do. Most recruiters will only read the first 3 pages of a CV to check if you comply with the role – make those stand out! (At the same time make sure your LinkedIn www.linkedin.com matches your CV).

4.    If you really match the requirements, then show you do

If you find your ideal job and know you can do the top 5 requirements well, then call or email the recruiter directly. We receive 100’s of applications and if you put effort in your application, your CV stands out – then ensure you call the recruiter to ensure they have received it. IT glitches happen so ensure you do not fall part of a glitch.

5.    Follow up

Recruiters, internal or external, work on around 7 job specifications at a time. They also move between roles within a week, so we do not always remember every candidate, every role, every CV, email etc. So highly suggest following up your phone call (see point 4) with a follow up email/call a week later to see if there has been any movement. Send a thank you to the recruiter for taking your call (stand out amongst the crowd).


Make sure you stand out; ensure you follow up and be human. The person receiving your application is working hard on numerous roles, if you really are ideal for the role then stand out!

Good luck and keep going! We know it is tough out there but with the right tools and consistent effort you can get to the interview!