Navigating a job search is no easy endeavor. You must create and package your application materials, monitor job boards and listings, and complete applications that sometimes require additional forms, questionnaires, or knowledge exams. And that’s all before the interview.
What makes matters even more difficult is that even after all your time and expended effort you can be met with total silence. Why isn’t your work paying off?
If you are in the midst of an employment search and are getting lackluster results, here are a few quick tips to increase your engagement and get that interview.
1. Fine-Tune Your Application Process
At the base level, people like to be heard, seen, and understood. While companies are not people, per se, there will be a person who looks over your application and resume. If you can convey that you acknowledge and appreciate the uniqueness of the company and the particular role, you stand a better chance at filtering to the top of the pile.
Customize your resume slightly for each individual role you apply for. View the posted description with a keen eye, looking for keywords, company values, and the most important responsibilities of the role. Then, tailor your resume to reflect those characteristics. Highlight challenges you’ve overcome or issues you have mediated that show your ability to exhibit the values the company holds dear.
Cover letters should be even more personalized. If you attach a cover letter, phrase it as a direct conversation with the HR professional at the company. Clearly explain why you are applying, and what elements of your skill set will help you achieve success in the role. A boilerplate resume or cover letter, by contrast, can actually hurt you. If a company perceives that you are applying to many jobs “at random” with little to no effort put towards customization, they might view you as a lazy candidate.
With that in mind, only apply to roles you genuinely feel you are excited about and could excel at. Don’t put yourself in the position of answering the interview question, “why do you want to work here?” if you actually don’t. The more specific and pointed your application process is, the more likely you will hear back.
2. Prioritize Your Network
If you are receiving little feedback from the traditional online application route, it might be best to try a different approach. Reach out to contacts in your network that work in the industry. Ask them if they might know of any openings. Or ask if they have any advice on the search and application process. Just your inquiry might spur them to help you in a way that could positively change the trajectory of your search.
Using the opportunity of connecting with your contacts to further reach to a second-degree contact can pay dividends as well. Ask if your contact can introduce you to a professional with a certain job title or function that you might be interested in – your mutual friend introducing you will probably be graciously received, as opposed to a cold call or email that might find its way into a spam folder.
When all else fails though, the cold call or email can still work the occasional wonder. Research ideal companies and roles on LinkedIn, and reach out to a few professionals with a genuine, honest request for advice. A few of them will likely help you.
3. Stay Current
A successful job search requires consistent work. You could receive an invitation for an interview at any moment. Be prepared. Stay up-to-date on the major news and events in your industry, and have well thought-out opinions of key issues. Being able to facilitate a discussion with a new connection, recruiter, or potential employer might make the difference between a casual glance at your resume and a job offer.
Also, make sure to keep your social media profiles, personal website (if applicable), resume, and LinkedIn profile polished and current. If your work history gets too crowded, omit the least important or the oldest experiences on the list. Keep your discussions and posts measured and professional.
Staying current applies most notably, though, to the job market itself. Many companies fill jobs within a day or two of the initial job listing. Make daily deep dives into online job boards, keeping your finger on the pulse of the job market. Watch for when your dream job pops up. Being one of the first applicants might be the opportunity that gets your foot in the door.
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No matter where you are on your career journey, partner with a trusted and proven recruiter can help alleviate stress and equip you for success. AP Professionals can assist you in finding the ideal fit in your next role. Visit us at https://approfessionals.com/ today to learn how we can help carve the career path that’s right for you.