You’ve done the research, found the jobs you want, created a killer resume, applied for a dozen job openings, and. . .nothing?
It’s not uncommon to feel stalled in your job search. Sometimes it means you just haven’t found the right match yet. But sometimes it means you haven’t crossed all your t’s or dotted your i’s. The fact is, there’s always a certain amount of tweaking you can do to your resume, your cover letter, and your interviewing skills. Read on for some ideas.
Are you not even getting called in for interviews? You might want to brush up your resume. Check out some of these common problems—and how to address them:
- You aren’t tailoring your resume and cover letter to EACH job you apply for. Show each prospective employer why you’re the perfect person for the job. If your skills or experience isn’t an obvious match, you need to connect the dots for the employer.
- Your cover letter or resume are poorly written or have typos. Have a friend or relative who is a good writer look over your materials. A fresh eye may catch errors you missed.
- You have gaps in your employment history. Consider using a functional resume format instead of a chronological one to highlight skills and accomplishments rather than job history.
- You aren’t selling yourself well. You need to communicate what’s special and unique about what you have to offer. If you’re not sure where to start, try taking a skills assessment.
- You aren’t using the right keywords. Many online job banks use a keyword matching system to match resumes to job openings. Good keywords can be found in the job ad or position description. Use these to describe your skills, experience, and education.
Are you getting interviews but no job offers? Something might be going wrong in the interview process:
- You don’t know enough about an employer. Researching the employer is an important step in applying for any job. It’s best to do it before you apply, but you really need do it before an interview. Your research will help you be better prepared for the interview questions.
- Your interviewing skills are falling flat. Review interview tips to prepare for the interview and practice answering common interview questions. It may also help to do a mock interview with a friend, family member, or former colleague.
- You’re sending the wrong message. Even when you’re not speaking, you’re sending a message. How you walk, your posture, eye contact, and how you dress all say something about how you feel and what you are thinking.
- You’re saying negative things about your past employer. An interview is not the time to do this. Unless you can show how you turned a negative situation into a positive one, potential employers will think less of you.
- You’re pricing yourself out of the job. Employers will ask about your salary requirement or your previous salary. If you name a salary that’s too high, they may no longer consider you for the job. Too low, and they may think you’re not serious. Visit Salary Info to learn about average salaries for your field, and use that information to guide your salary negotiations.
Want to learn more about job search techniques like networking, writing resumes, interviewing, and more? Visit Job Search at CareerOneStop.org