In Singapore, many job seekers have the "Spray and Pray" mentality when it comes to getting a job - they just blast their resumes out to as many places as possible, and then sit on their couch praying for an answer.
There are certain cardinal sins when it comes to doing up a resume, some so horrific that it'll make your eyes roll to the back of your head.
If you're not sure of what they are and what you should and shouldn't do, you should read this first. If you've done all that and are still stumped, here are 8 plausible reasons why you're being ignored:
1. I don't understand what you are saying
Job applicants tend to go way overboard when it comes to technical jargon and business speak. It's not that the person looking to hire doesn't understand it, but that's not what they are looking out for.
No one wants to hear about how you "optimized the scalability of your responsibilities to greatly improve the strategic goals of the company". Just be clear on what you did, sold, created and how it impacted the company.
Be specific. Which brings us to…
2. The only number on your resume is your phone number
Don't get me wrong. It's damn important to have your phone number on your resume. What we're talking about here is using quantifiable numbers to measure your success. How many sales did you drive with your efforts?
What was the reach on a campaign you executed? All these things help hirers have a tangible idea of your success.
3. You use a hotmail address
Whether you like it or not, your email address and domain is a reflection of how current you are, which in turn lends itself to projecting your overall image to the person looking to hire you.
If you're applying for a job related to digital media and you have an email address associated with a custom domain you own, huge bonus points are waiting for you right there! Of course you don't have to kill yourself going out and getting your own domain name (heard of Gmail, anyone?).
4. Tweet the talk
If you want to position yourself as a digital expert, someone who's in tune with what's going on with the latest happenings on social media and the world, then actual participation in the space is key, and Twitter is the place to be.
You don't have to have a massive following (although that is guaranteed to get you some attention at least). Even something as simple as sharing other content and keep abreast of things helps, perhaps with a few tweets a week.
If your last tweet was 2 years ago, then we have a problem. It's better to be fully engaged on one platform (and do it well), than to have plenty of social media accounts and use all of them terribly.
5. But first, let me take a selfie
LinkedIn has become the platform of choice for professionals to engage and certainly, to get hired. It's a professional network, so I think it goes without saying that people expect you to be, well, professional.
Or at least look professional, especially if you are looking to get hired for a more "serious" industry. Save your selfies for Instagram.
Face the camera (I broke that rule but hey, my company is cool), and show your entire face. Want to know a few simple ways to spruce up your LinkedIn profile?
6. Your Facebook profile looks like you're still in university
These days, it really isn't uncommon for hirers to look through your social media profiles to see if they're hiring the right person.
They also do it when they fire people as well, by the way. So unless you're applying to be an underwear model, those half-naked photos really shouldn't be in your public-facing profile.
Also, any suggestion of excessive alcohol consumption is clearly a big NO, especially in an Asian country like Singapore. I really shouldn't have to explain why.
7. You went overboard with your applications
This may surprise you, but we're not talking about sending out resumes to multiple companies. We're talking about sending out multiple resumes within the same company.
Sure, there are only so many ways to show that you really, really want to work for them, but this definitely shouldn't be one of them. There's a fine like between being enthusiastic and being completely desperate.
Here's a tip: If you aren't sure which position is the right fit for you (and this may not be your fault at all, but the function of terrible job descriptions), drop the hiring manager an email to clarify before applying.
The last thing you want is to end up in a job that completely doesn't fit your skill sets.
8. Get the company name right
Moving beyond basic spelling and grammatical errors, this has to be the king of all mistakes. If you can't even be bothered to check whether you're addressing your cover letter to the right people, it just shows how much respect and desire you have for that position.
On top of that, it would then follow to also ensure that the hiring manager and job position you are applying for is reflected correctly as well, because believe it or not, getting those things wrong stick out like a sore thumb.