Why can’t you get a job interview in this hot job market?

Why can't I get job interviews in the hot job market? Free Career Advice Blog at MichelleYouBiz.com
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I have been on both sides of the high tech job market for a long time as an employee and executive recruiter with a lot of stories and insights to share with job seekers in this post and upcoming posts. You'll learn in depth analysis about the five reasons why many job seekers can't get a job interview even in a hot job market, my insights on today's job market, how to compete for hot jobs, how to search and apply for jobs and more. Follow us for more strategies and insights on jobs and free career advice for you.  

📜 Table of Contents 

- Is it a good time to look for a new job now? 
- Why can't I get a job interview in this hot job market? 
- Five common reasons why you can't get a job interview in a hot job market 
- What have changed in today's job market? 
- What are the hot jobs now? 
- How to get the job you want or even compete for a hot job? 
- How to search and apply for a job? 
- Follow Us for More Job Insights and Free Career Advice  

Is it a good time to find a new job now?

The job market is pretty hot right now particularly for jobs at tech companies, such as DevOps engineer, software engineer, Java developer, cloud architect, AI engineer, machine learning engineer, systems analyst, network administrator, product manager, technical sales, programmer, designer, digital marketer and etc. The list can go on and on, and these high demanded jobs are very similar to the jobs I have recruited for.

The year of 2022 becomes a difficult year for employers to fill their empty job positions, but it’s a great time for employees to look for new jobs or better job opportunities. Nowadays, tech jobs and other jobs at tech companies are still the most attractive job opportunities for many job seekers and career changers who are interested in cutting-edge technologies, excitement at fast growing tech startups, diversities, higher pays and perks, lucrative stock options, flexibilities and other reasons. 

Jobs at tech companies are my most familiar jobs through out my own career, starting from working as an employee on various jobs in another hot job market during dot-com boom at various type of tech companies in China, Singapore and the US as a software engineer, web developer, system and database administrator and more jobs, more details on About Us

I have an even longer history as an entrepreneur working in Silicon Valley, the global center of high technology and innovation, and running my own high tech recruiting businesses hiring for tech companies and other businesses, and as a career coach helping seasoned and young professionals with job interviews, career development and more in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, California.


Why can't I get a job interview in this hot job market?

That's the question many job applicants have been wondering now in such a hot job market. As many other job seekers, John Doe, an experienced software engineer with Master’s degree in computer science who has worked at a big tech company for a few years who doesn't like his demanding boss, has decided to take advantage of this hot job market in 2022 and look for a better job opportunity. 

He updated his resume, polished it to his satisfaction and was ready to go. After searching jobs online for a while, he found a perfect job, at least in his mind, as a Senior Software Engineer at a fast growing startup where he could own a piece of the company through generous stock options. He was really happy and immediately filled out the online job application form, attached his resume and clicked the submit button.

But other than an automatic response for acknowledging receiving his job application, nobody has contacted him while he was waiting confidently but anxiously for his interview. A few weeks has passed but still nothing. He went back online to check the job posting again. Suddenly, he noticed that he has overlooked the instructions about how to apply for this job at the bottom of the long job description. The hiring manager has asked each job applicant to send a cover letter along with the resume with the reasons why he/she is a good candidate for the job. 


Five common reasons why you can't get a job interview in a hot job market

Let's get back to the job seeker John Doe. How could he miss this important instruction on how to apply for the job? What else might be the reason that he didn’t get a job interview? Now, let us look into it and see what we can learn from John Doe’s experience as a job seeker and improve our own job application skills.

The first reason why he didn't get a job interview was that he has underestimated the competition in the job market for his dream job. He got a little too cocky because he thought that it would be a piece of cake for him to find a job in this hot job market. The second reason was that he did not understand how important a job description is. Once he read the job requirements section of the job description and thought it looked like a job that fits his background, he was pretty much done his reading. He just browsed through the rest of the job description and didn’t pay much attention to other details, including the important instruction on how to apply for the job at the bottom of the job description. He didn't even think about customizing resume for the job he applied for, and he made a mistake and didn't submit the required cover letter with his resume. 

It maybe not hard for John Doe to find a job as a software engineer at a tech company in this hot job market in the US now with his tech experience and skills. He probably already got a couple job offers if he just wanted to switch to another tech job as a software engineer that is similar to his current job and get a raise at his new job. But, he wanted more than that. He was looking for his dream job that is also a great job opportunity for other professionals. Even in this hot job market, competition for such highly desired tech jobs or other jobs at tech companies are still very keen. If you found a perfect job in tech for yourself, most likely, many other job seekers are also going after the same job opportunity. 

From John Doe's story, we can learn the five common reasons why many job seekers can't get a job interview in this hot job market:
  1. The job seekers underestimated the competition for the job they were applying for;
  2. The job applicants did not understand how important the job description was for the job they applied for;
  3. The job applicant did not know how to read a job description;
  4. The job applicant did not follow the instructions on the JD and/or made avoidable mistakes;
  5. The job applicant did not customize their resumes for the job they applied for.

What have changed in today's job market?

Even though it is difficulty to fill up their empty job positions and desperate to hire talents, many companies don't want to lower their hiring bar. I think maybe partially because it is costing more money for employers to hire people now, and they want to get the best talents they can afford. Nonetheless, employers need someone who have what it takes for their jobs and can deliver to their clients and stakeholders. 

HR or recruiters may have to change their criteria for screening job seekers, such as focusing more on job applicants’ work experiences than their education background, particularly for jobs as software developers, programmers and etc. Hiring managers still want to interview high quality candidates they can possibly find. Like any other companies, tech companies want the best job candidates available in the job market to fill up their engineering jobs, designer jobs, sales or other jobs.


What are the hot jobs now?

There is a lot of buzz about The Great Resignation. Americans quit jobs at a record pace during the second half of 2021, and the trend is continuing into 2022. I believe that one of reasons is that this pandemic has not only changed the way we work, but also changed many people’s perspectives about career and life. Many engineers and other professionals started to reevaluate their goals for their life, some people decided to leave the workforce for good, some started their own businesses. Other professionals have decided to change their careers and look for jobs that will provide better opportunities for their career advancement, reward them with some ownership of the company, more flexibility to balance their work and life, and other qualities they desire. These kinds of hot jobs become very competitive and hard to get.

I found that some of the job opportunities at tech companies are more attractive than the others, for example, some job postings only got several job applicants online in two weeks, on the other hand, there were hundreds or even more than a thousand of job seekers applied for one single job position at another tech company. I also noticed that most of the entry level tech jobs at tech companies and other companies are crowded with a large number of job applicants. I think that it maybe because there are a lot of people from other fields are rolling into tech industry where more jobs are available, which ironically, makes the entry level tech jobs harder to get for many job seekers.

How to get the job you want or even compete for a hot job?

In general, it may be relatively easier and faster for job seekers to find a job in a hot job market and get paid more. But in reality, it all depends on what jobs you are applying for. For hot tech jobs or other job opportunities at tech companies or other businesses, you may be competing for the same job opportunity with much more job applicants than you expected. Because employers usually post their jobs on multiple job sites and recruit through various channels too. What are hot jobs in the market that are chased by many job applicants may vary in different industries and from time to time, but they are always very competitive jobs, doesn’t matter the job market is hot or cold. 

You may have heard of this old saying, “Looking for a job is a full time job.” Many people, including some recruiters and career coaches, dismiss it as a myth, because it doesn't make sense to spend another eight hours a day to look for a job, particularly when you're already working forty hours a week or more at your current job, right? Well, in my opinion, it's just a figurative speech that we shouldn't take literally. The true meaning of the saying is that we should take it very seriously and work hard when we’re looking for a job. 

The job seeker John Doe thought he got everything he needed to apply for a job once he finished his resume. But I think that he was far from ready to apply for the job. If we have decided to find a job, we must be very serious about our job application process and avoid any mistakes if possible. Because mistakes that look small on the surface may be the very reason for you to loose a great job opportunity to another job applicant when the hiring manager was on the fence to choose between you and other candidates for the same job.

As a job seeker, you have to work hard and smart to get the job you want even in a hot job market if you want to compete for a jot tech job or any job in any industry around the world. Next, I'll show you the strategy to search and apply for a job.  

How to search and apply for a job?

Job seekers should focus on the quality not the quantity of the jobs they are searching for. Applying for a hundred of jobs or even a thousand of jobs doesn't really improve your chance to get the job you want. It may actually lower the possibility for you to get a job interview, because you would not have enough time to do your research on each job you apply for. Or worse, you probably don't even remember what job and on which website you have applied for when you finally got a call from a recruiter out of blue, which does happen occasionally. How can you answer the recruiter's questions on the fly like this? 

Job seeker should only apply for the jobs that match their background and experiences and the jobs they BELIEVE that they are qualified for (Note: 1. I'll talk about why I use "BELIEVE" here in a future post. 2. We'll use different strategies when you want to change your career which is another big subject for us to talk about in the future). 

This way, you will increase your chance to get an interview or even get a job offer. When you found a job you want to apply for, there are some important things you need to do before you click the Submit button when you apply for a job online. That is what I'm going to talk about in my next post:  
How to Read Job Descriptions, Secrets & Strategies for All Job Seekers from Interns to Executives

Follow Us for more free career advice and updates, and join our followers in our professional network on LinkedIn. You're welcome to leave your comment below which is open for anyone now, and let us know about your experience or thought about this topic. 

Published on
3/10/22 2:49 PM


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