If you are not getting called for interviews you may be making some fundamental mistakes with your job search. In case you are wondering if you are alone in this, you are not alone. Lots of job seekers make the same mistakes which lengthens the amount of time your job search takes.
One of the first things you need to do is, identify what may be causing the problem. One size doesn’t fit all but look at some of the trends that may have created challenges for you. The core reasons that would affect your search is one, you are not personalizing the search and two, you are going for anything, and not being specific. Knowing what you want, why you want it and where you are starting from is essential in this process. Here are the three things that reasons that may be causing it:
Your search strategy or lack of a strategy
Your resume and
Your social brand
Your search strategy
Do you have a plan on what you need to do, how, when, who needs to be involved and where to begin your job search? Did you set a career goal for yourself? Most people usually answer no to all of these questions.
It’s more common than you think that many job seekers hop into job search mode before actually creating a plan for the job search. To really stand out, before you start searching, you need to answer the fundamental question of, where am I starting from?
Am I entering a new industry? Continuing an existing one, but a new position? Or, am I starting brand new – after a long gap?
If you have been in a role for a long time, switching careers and new to the industry or changing fields altogether, your job search strategy will look different than from someone in the industry.
If you are doing an industry or entirely new job function change, for example going from an accountant to nurse, doing a one to one match to the job application will be difficult. You will need a strategy that helps you understand the industry and tailor your skills.
Career changes require a different approach. To have a job search strategy that works, you will need to modify your approach, which may mean leading with your transferable skills, and your networking, instead of doing online applications. Doing networking doesn’t have to be events of awkward moments. But doing cold online applications will not get you in front of the hiring manager or shortlisted on a recruiters list to their client, if you don't jump off the page as a great fit.
Most people use the generic resume, or the over “optimized” keyword filled resume that screams that it is been done to trick the application tracking system (ATS). If you are writing a resume, know your audience. Don't write purely for the tracking system and forget that someone has to read it.
Your resume needs to highlight what makes you unique from the hundreds of other candidates! If you are not getting in the doors you need to look at what your resume is saying to potential employers. Is it saying, "I'm junior", "in experienced", "not detailed oriented", "not specific", or just "not relevant" to the position ( literally nothing matches the job ad).
The resume is the second most important thing in the job search, after you have considered and decided on a job search strategy.
Examples of what else might cause your resume to be ineffective...
You are not demonstrating value in your resume, or
Your resume is filled with all the right words, but no practical demonstration of “how” and the impact of your role.
We tend to forget the impact of having solid accomplishments that speak the same language of the hiring managers. Remember the hiring manager is hiring you to solve a need or a problem, are you showing your capability to be that person they are looking for?
Your social brand
Is your professional social media updated? Does it speak to your professional value? And if it is, what is it saying or telling potential employers?
I stress the importance of value, but not just the value of the work that you do, but the personal brand that tells employers that you are also a fit for the organization and that you are able to build relationships, communicate effectively and tie your professionalism in your social presence.
LinkedIn has become that tool that allows this to happen. The hiring process can be a lengthy one and it is true when they say, good talent is hard to come by. Referral and recommendations through networks remain the most common way to recruit new talent.
Most employers and recruiters will first look at your LinkedIn profile to determine if you are a good fit and then review if there is a match with your skills and what you have written in your social media. This is why it is important to really know what you want employers to know you for and as with the branding that you have on social media.
Use LinkedIn's features to let people know you are looking for opportunities. Create a profile of what you can offer and what you are looking for – simple one pager and send it out to your network.
The search strategy helps you determine the best approach, the resume gets you in the door, but the social brand lets them know if you are the “right” fit for the role on a culture fit.
Staying silent on the job search, may work for being discreet for you but won’t help you stay top of mind for people who can sell you to their own networks. Tell people that you are looking and keep your profile updated.