If you’ve been sending out applications but not getting job interviews, you might be getting a little frustrated.
Don’t panic though.
Here’s some things you can do to turn it around.
Not getting job interviews? Here’s how to fix it.
1. Your resume is all wrong
Don’t just list job titles, dates and responsibilities. You need to highlight your achievements. An employer needs to know how well you performed.
Example: You’ve only worked as a waiter but you’re applying to be a bartender. You could highlight your customer service skills and how you helped customers choose wine and beverages as these are skills you’d need as a bartender, too.
You might also need to tweak your resume to match the job.
Your resume needs to be easy to read too. Keep it short (two or three pages at most), use dot points to list information and don’t make it too cluttered. This isn’t the time to experiment with wild colours and font styles.
Example: Your last job was in retail at a clothing store. It’s fine to include you were responsible for restocking clothes and serving customers. But also highlight that you received the manager’s customer service award.
See how you should lay out your resume and cover letter at our job search tips page.
2. Does your cover letter cut it?
It can be tempting to simply write a summary of your resume. But there are ways to use your cover letter to get an employer’s attention.
Use it to expand on a few key aspects of your experience, skills and interests to show how you would fit the job.
Example: You are applying for a database entry position. So far you’ve worked in fast food restaurants and completed certificate qualifications in IT. You could write about your certificate qualifications and your interest in a career in IT. You could also mention you were highly commended by a teacher for a large database you managed for an assignment.
3. Can you find out more about the job?
Sometimes employers list a name and contact number for applicants to call for more information about a position. It can feel scary to phone someone in this instance, but it will pay off!
Make a list of things to ask, including:
- Why the position is vacant
- What they’re looking for
- When they want someone to start
You can also use the call as a chance to sell yourself by giving a quick summary of your experience, talents and interest in the job.
As a bonus the employer will be more likely to remember you when picking candidates for interview. And it will help you decide if you like the sound of the job.
Afterwards you can use any new information to shape your cover letter and resume to the position.
If there’s no contact listed, you can do your own research. Check out the employer online or talk to anyone you know who has worked there.
4. Are you following instructions?
It’s important your application meets their criteria or they may not look at it!
They may want you to write a statement with a word limit about how you fit the job description. Or they may want you to include copies of qualifications. Or they might want you to submit your application in a particular way.
It’s a good idea too to make sure your computer software is up to date so an employer can open any documents or attachments you send.
5. You’re rushing
If you’re rushing through your job applications, employers will pick up on it.
Sending off an application full of spelling errors and typos might make them think you have poor attention to detail. Having someone who can proofread your applications beforehand will help.
Spending time to make sure your application fits the job ad as closely as possible will benefit you, too. An application that is focused on the skills and experience the employer wants, and how yours match that, will get you in the game.
Image sources: istock, giphy, img flip