Tell me if this sounds familiar:
“I’ve been making applications, lots of applications, and nothing. How am I supposed to find a new job if I can’t even get an interview?”
I can tell you that I’ve been hearing just that, or some version of that, so much lately! Which made me wonder what’s going on. So, I’ve done some digging into the how, the what, and the why of all the applications to see if the folks who are suffering with a lack of response have anything in common. I’ve also been looking at what those who ARE getting interviews have in common.
It turns out there are some very specific things that will increase your chances of getting called for an interview. I’ve spoken to nearly all of these individually in previous messages. So here they are, along with links to where you can read more how-tos and advice on each.
These are the things that separate the candidates who get a chance to sell themselves to the hiring manager – and those who don’t. In no particular order:
- They make a list of target employers. They know why they want to work for these companies and can talk about why they are a great fit. Instead of being reactive on public job boards – where they might miss something or a job may not be posted – they proactively monitor each company’s careers board so they can be an early applicant.
- Each resume is tailored, carefully, to the job posting. They’ve taken the time to swap out key words, pulled in new details, and made sure that the resume will pass the ATS test for each application. (What Makes a Good Resume)
- Their resume highlights accomplishments, and – wherever possible – quantifies the impact of their work (Big “no-no” – simply copying the “duties/responsibilities” from a job description!)
- They don’t worry about someone finding out they are job hunting. They want people to know, and have an answer if it comes up at work. (I’m afraid my boss will find out I’m job hunting)
- They take the time to connect with “near-peers,” and others at target employers using LinkedIn to build a professional network. They don’t always “know people,” but they find ways to connect and focus on nurturing these relationships for the long haul by staying in touch. (Why Most of Us Fail at Networking and What To Do Instead and The Career Value of Who You Know)
- They know a job search is a tactical game. They apply for jobs that match their skills, abilities and interests and resist the temptation to apply everywhere in the hopes something will hit.
- They let connections know about every application they intend to make, and when it works, ask for a referral (which may bring the connection a nice bonus if they are hired!)
- Instead of waiting to hear, they follow up directly with each employer, asking about timelines and expressing their interest
Are these easy things to do? No, because they involve time, focus, and overcoming your fears. But, if you aren’t getting interviews, just pick one of these and you will dramatically increase your chances of getting in front of a hiring manager. Take them all on, and you will set yourself up for success!
If this all feels overwhelming, I can help. You don’t have to do this alone. If your job search isn’t going the way you want it too, schedule time with me here.