Why do employers not choose you?

Tram Ho

During a year of being a Project Manager at FPT Information System, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the recruitment process for the team, mainly recruiting developers. From the perspective of a recruiter, I want to share with you some of my own ideas and thoughts when making the decision to recruit a new member for the team.

The mistakes you often make in the hiring process

1. CV is too verbose and general

I think this is a mistake that many of you make. You should clearly identify the main objective of the CV is to show briefly to the employer that you have the skills and experience required by the position. The information that you should focus on in your CV can be work experience, education, qualifications and past projects. Remember that in this step, employers only “scan” through a series of CVs to see who is “best suited” to this job.

Making your CV concise and emphasizing that you have all the skills mentioned in Job Description will show your professionalism when you make the job of the employer easier. Moreover, only presenting certain information can make the employer feel more curious about you and willing to schedule an appointment for an interview.


✅ Use a professional email address and specify contact information so the employer can contact you.

✅ Focus on numbers: if you are blogging or making a vlog, show off the number of views; if you do opensource project; Please show off the download amount; If you’re making a business app, show off the number of users or time you save for the company.

✅ Focus on “keywords”, as employers will sometimes scan only if you have what they need or not. Instead of the React skill being shown “5 stars” on the CV, I would like to see keywords in React’s ecosystem like “react hooks”, “redux”, “typescript”.

✅ Attach the link to the project you did, or the Github account. The phrase I want you to remember here is “SHOW, DON’T TELL” .

✅ If the information about the projects you have participated in is too long, or too difficult to be summed up in your CV. You can attach a PDF file detailing your position, role and contributions in these projects. In case employers are curious or want to find out more, they can look in the PDF file.

Should not:

❎ Home address, Instagram, Facebook

❎ Religion, marital status

❎ Basic skills such as MS Excel, MS Word; or as general as: customer service, teamwork, work hard and fast under pressure

❎ Don’t mention that you like to read or love technology if you can’t answer the latest book you read or the latest technology video or conference you watch.

2. Write emails truncated, no subject, no header and footer.

5 days ago, I interviewed friend A for the position of Fresher React Developer. Because you can not provide projects that have been done in the past, but the basic knowledge of React you also know quite well, so I decided to give a code assignment for you to do after the interview to better understand the level. and writing code.

I email you about the topic, the requirements I set and the deadline for submission. There are two things that A could have done better:

1️⃣ Resend the email confirming that you have received your email.

2️⃣ Replace the whole content of this email: “Hello everyone, Minh, I would like to send my test github link. Https://github.com/* “, with:

Dear brother,

I sent you the result of the code assignment according to the request mentioned in the previous email. You can access the sourcecode of the assignment through Github .

If you have questions or requests regarding the code assignment, please reply to this email. Thank you.

Best regards,

Name of applicant

3. You know nothing about the company you are applying to

Actually, 2020 already. If you really want to work in a professional company and environment, you must also show that you are a professional person. If you want the company to take some time to get to know you, then you should take the time to get to know the company first.

I always expect that any candidate when applying to my team will have the following basic knowledge:

  1. The field of work of the company
  2. Main products of the company
  3. You understand how that product

There will be two ways for employers to make this clear: they may ask you to include a cover letter or ask you directly during the interview. If you really do not know the company or product in the field of what, as a recruiter role I’d had in mind: “THEN WHY ARE YOU HERE? “

4. Lack of initiative

This often happens during the interview, probably in part because of the stress and anxiety of the candidates – which is shown when I ask you to ask the opposite questions to the interviewer. Have any questions. This may make the interviewer feel that you are not well prepared or not really interested in the job. I think there are two things to do to solve this problem:

1️⃣ You should understand that the company needs you and you need the company. This is a win-win relationship that benefits both. When you get the job, it doesn’t mean the company is giving it to you. So don’t think you’re at the “bottom door” and “begging for the job”. Believe me, companies “crave employees” more than you think. So be confident, understand that you are here to negotiate for a new job and this benefits both sides.

2️⃣ Not only at work, but also in life, people ask questions when they are concerned about something. Asking an employer question is no exception, having the right question will show that you are well prepared, and you are really interested in this opportunity. There are many questions you can ask the employer:

  • How are the current teams split up? How big is the team?
  • Does the company have policies to train and support employees to take international certificates?
  • Working time? Does the company allow employees to work from home?
  • When will the results be available for this interview? What will the next hiring process be?
  • ….

The fact that you show your openness, initiative and confidence in the interview is more valuable than any soft skills that you put in your CV. Any team wants to have such people in their team.

5. Don’t know what your expected salary is

Asking for a job is like going “selling yourself”. You spend time to learn, gain experience and develop yourself as well as spend time doing the jobs that the company requires, in return you will receive a salary corresponding to the time you spent out. So the question is, you “sell yourself” for how much?

This may seem natural, but during the interview many people are “afraid” when it comes to money. My advice is to research before the average salary that other companies are paying for this position. This will help you have a significant advantage when dealing with salary, to avoid having a case after receiving it, then you feel “guilty” and not satisfied with your salary.

When asking candidates about the salary they expect, the answer is too modest will make me feel candidates are not confident enough in their ability. On the contrary, a salary that is too high outside the industry average will make you think and can make many higher requirements than originally intended. Therefore, to make the interview convenient and time-saving for both parties, be sure to know about your “price” before going “bust”.

Here are some articles, research on the average salary of programmers in Vietnam for you to refer:


Graduation season is here and it’s time for the fresher to begin their search for a job. I hope a bit of sharing from insider will help you better understand the recruitment process, help you become more professional and soon find the desired job.

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Source : Viblo