Job searching can be an arduous process. Between updating your resume, searching the web for the latest jobs, and submitting applications, there’s a lot of work involved. That’s why there is nothing more frustrating than finding out that a job has been filled before you even had the chance to interview. This is especially true if you are experiencing this time and time again.
While there are certain factors that are out of your control, you do want to ensure that any radio silence isn’t due to a mistake on your part. After all, you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken! This isn’t a guarantee that you’ll receive a call back from an employer, but sometimes a minor edit or change in strategy can make all the difference.
To determine whether you’re holding yourself back from landing interviews, consider the following questions:
Are you proofreading your application materials?
Even the most scrupulous professionals can miss a typo—especially when continuously rearranging content to match job listings. This seemingly minor oversight can raise some red flags about your attention to detail, which is a skill that is required for success in any type of position. Therefore, it’s important to always give your resume and cover letter a final review before pressing send.
Are you being strategic?
When submitting applications, it can be tempting to cast a wide net in the hopes of maximizing your prospects. However, this typically does more harm than good. Prioritizing quantity over quality may lead you to apply to jobs that you’re either not the right fit for, or worse, you’d never consider taking. To ensure you don’t make this mistake, thoroughly review each job description to determine whether the position aligns with your career goals. Following this strategy also means that you’d be a better fit for each company you apply to, and as a result, actually increases your chances of landing an interview.
Do you follow up?
In today’s digital age, it’s easy to apply to a job and forget about it until you hear (or don’t hear) back. The only problem? While you busy yourself with different applications, new resumes are piling up on the hiring manager’s desk. To help them find your resume before it’s too late, it’s acceptable to send the recruiter or hiring manager a quick email or LinkedIn message to follow up. The note should be a brief paragraph that mentions the position you applied for, explains why you feel you’re a good fit, and asks for the opportunity to interview. To ensure you are respectful of the employer’s time, remember, that one email or message is enough. If you don’t get a response, it’s best to move on.
Have you been networking?
If you’ve been keeping your job search a secret, you might want to rethink your approach. Though the internet can be a great resource for opportunities, solely relying on the web as a job search tool can potentially limit your options. Since not all jobs are published online (and the ones that are can receive hundreds of applications for a single posting), networking should be a key part of your strategy.