Written by: Mike Schroeder
We’ve all been there, maybe more times than we would like to admit…neck deep in a search for your next job, likely while trying to balance your search with the endless meetings and responsibilities of your current position, not to mention trying to have a life on top of it. It isn’t always pretty, and the lack of results can be frustrating to say the least, but don’t worry because we have your back. In order to maximize your efforts, we’ve put together a list of 8 main reasons that the fruits of your labor seem to remain just out of reach during your job search.
#1: Resume Formatting
Let’s start with items you can address immediately. Your resume is your ultimate sales tool which needs to grab both the attention and interest of recruiters and Hiring Managers. It must speak on your behalf, before you get the chance to yourself. It must accomplish this quickly and effectively. There is no room for poor grammar and typos. Titles, timeframes, and employers must be bolded, and easy to comprehend with just a quick glance. Bullet points under each title must be listed in order from what your primary focus was first, down to the more minor aspects of the role. They must also contain concrete, quantifiable stats, accomplishments, and responsibilities.
Also, in your header, make sure you include your full name, phone, email, and city, and zip code. Zip codes are what many recruiters use to find you in their database when they have relevant roles which match you. You want to make it easy for them to find and contact you.
#2: Not Tailoring Your Resume
When you apply to an opportunity, you want to make sure your resume explicitly showcases your relevant experience for that specific job. If you are well qualified, you need to make it known. If you are applying to a lot of roles and you’re only hearing crickets, this certainly could be why.
This one isn’t an immediate fix, but more of a strategy you should be aware of throughout your career. When a recruiter is looking through resumes for a Full-Time Permanent role, this is one of the key aspects they use to quickly eliminate resumes from the pile. If you have several positions in the past few years, your technical competency may not even matter. Every role and company is different, but ideally you have past positions on your resume which show tenures of at least three years.
#4: Communication Style
Moving on to the interview stage, you want to maintain a good balance between diving into too much detail, and giving too little detail. Too much, and you can be seen as unfocused, unqualified, or come off as a politician just trying to win the job regardless of fit. Too little, and they can’t tell if you are truly qualified, or may even seem aloof, unwilling to give honest answers, or just showing a bad attitude. Just keep your answers direct, and relevant to the question or topic at hand.
#5: You Aren’t Showing Interest
You don’t have to come off as corny, but if you are genuinely interested in the opportunity, make sure you convey this to the hiring team during the interview! They are looking for someone excited to join the team and make a difference.
#6: You weren’t clear on your “why”
One of the most important answers to have ready walking into any interview is your “why”. This isn’t just why you are interested in this type of position, but specifically why you are interested in this company and role in particular. This will always be addressed, and you will need to convey clarity and enthusiasm in order to move forward.
#7: You aren’t doing your homework
Nobody likes homework, but you need to at least acquire a general understanding of the company you are interviewing with, prior to the interview. You can often simply cruise their website for main products or services, and current events. Candidates who fail to do this show their lack of interest and are almost always eliminated quickly.
#8: Not a Culture Fit
The last one here isn’t something you can do much about, but it is almost always a significant factor in determining if you advance or not. The action item would be to just show an honest picture of who you are. You wouldn’t want to join a company anyway if you won’t fit in, or you don’t believe in the way they operate.
That’s it! If you follow these fundamentals, you will not only streamline your search, but you will have a much easier time of getting traction in the hiring process when you are a fit. Great adventures await you and your unique skillset, so best of luck in your search.