Not Hearing Back From Employers
Normally, we all crave a bit of silence; some alone time to centre our thoughts.
When it comes to our job search however, that silence is deafening like we’re living on a deserted island. Try as we might, we are alone. And with every new job application that goes unanswered, it gets worse.
It doesn’t have to be that difficult and lonely. There are several things we can do to make your search more fruitful. You have to understand however, that though these steps are hard work, you made a commitment that your job search would be a full time job.
Take a moment for yourself
Finding a job can be stressful. Take a moment for yourself. It doesn’t matter whether that moment is walking the dog, playing with the kids, or having a coffee with friends. Centering yourself is important so you can redouble your efforts with a fresh view. While you’re at it, take a moment to clean yourself up too. You would be surprised how effective a shower or shave can be on your morale. You will stand a little taller and be ready for that important call for an interview.
Getting back on track
You will recognize many of the following steps for elements you started with in the beginning of your job search, but over time, they likely faded in importance as your frustration rose. It’s time to revisit them to make sure you’re getting to the people you need to with the resume and cover letter that best describes your qualifications.
Pro Tip: Your mental and physical health is important. Review your daily schedule and make sure to stay alert.
In the beginning, we set a goal of so many resumes per day and we’ll do anything to reach it. To achieve that, we use one of the most common methods to apply to jobs; send as many resumes as possible regardless of the jobs. In so doing, the average time someone spends reading a job posting is less than a minute and a half.
But sending all those resumes is a noble effort. It’s hard work, right?
Hold on before you congratulate yourself too much. Sometimes working harder is just running on a treadmill. The time you spend working on your resume and cover letter should certainly remain, but rather than sending ten or twenty resumes, focus your efforts on specific jobs and companies that your skills and desires align with better. Take the time to research. Not only will you have a better chance of being hired, but you’re doing a courtesy to the hiring officers that you aren’t applying to when you aren’t qualified.
Make sure your research includes:
- Company name
- Company address
- Hiring officer’s name
- How you can help the company grow
Personalized resume and cover letter
Imagine yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager for a moment. Would you rather hire someone who has a generic resume that seems like they could be applying to the local coffee shop or one that’s specific to the job in question? A personalized resume and cover letter will achieve several things at once.
It will show:
- You’ve read the job posting
- You’re qualified for the job
- You can use a word processor
- How you stand out from the crowd
Pro Tip: Your resume and cover letter achieve two different goals. Remember to use them properly.
Many hiring managers receive so many resumes that they resort to keyword searches to determine whether a candidate is qualified for a position. That means you need to read the job posting carefully. Not only do you want to use keywords from the job posting, but you may want to change some of the language of your cover letter so it doesn’t seem like you’re just stuffing the words in. Some hiring managers have resorted to secondary keywords that aren’t in a job post, but correlate to them. They are looking for more than just words, but explanations of how you gained certain skills. Context is important.
Check your length
Are you applying for a job that requires a resume or a CV? They are distinctly different. On the one hand, a CV or Curriculum Vitae, is an extensive recounting of your work history, while a resume is a highlight of the most relevant elements like your experience, skills, and education. When you personalize your resume and cover letter, keep in mind that your cover letter should be one page long while a two page long resume is acceptable. You need to be concise, showing off the specific skills and experience that correlate to the job in question. You can elaborate further when you get an interview.
Look beyond the veil
Though we’ll cover it in more depth in our piece on using the hidden job network, you should acknowledge that many jobs aren’t filled via job postings. During your research for companies you would like to work for, inventory your skills and look at how you can apply them to make those companies stronger. They may not be hiring now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t approach them. You may find them opening their doors to you in the future if not immediately.
Pro Tip: You can also ask your friends and neighbours if they know of companies that are hiring.
Focus is key
Any strategist will tell you that a plan has to be responsive. While you shouldn’t change everything every time something doesn’t pan out, you need to be prepared to make adjustments. When it comes to your strategy for getting a job, you need to be focused on the job you want. It’s hard when you need a paycheque because all you’re thinking about is the money that gets dropped into your account every two weeks. You’ll lose focus on some of the other important elements like your mental and physical health and getting the job that aligns best with your skills.
Instead, having patience will get what’s best for you and you will be able to recognize opportunities. Take the time to properly read the job posting to make sure you apply properly and with the right enthusiasm. That positivity will spill over the rest of your journey so you can achieve your goals.