You’ve been scouring the job boards searching for that perfect opportunity. The opportunity that’s going to give you the satisfaction you’ve been starved of for years. You read post after post, but they all seem to be written the same way…
responsibilities, requirements…responsibilities, requirements……
You decide to take the “shotgun approach” and send in as many applications and resumes as possible.
After all, Desperate times call for desperate measures right?
If you’re tired of hearing nothing but crickets in response to your applications, consider these top 5 reasons why it may be happening to you.
Respect the Power of LinkedIn
In the digital world we live in, you better believe one of the first things employers do is check you out on social media, LinkedIn being one of the first places. If your profile is not optimized (including a professional picture) and synced to reflect what you have on your resume you are going to miss out big time. Ensure the dates, positions, and outcomes/accomplishments mirror each other (resume & LinkedIn profile).
Your Resume & Cover Letter are not Keyword-Optimized
Many large corporations, and even many smaller companies, are using intelligent applicant tracking systems to help screen large portions of applications out upfront. If you aren’t reading the job descriptions and optimizing your resume and cover letter to ensure it accounts for key terminology there’s a good chance you won’t make it past the robot.
You Aren’t Customizing Your Resume & Cover Letter
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a targeted search strategy. While applying for as many positions as possible, letting the strength in numbers work to your advantage seems logical on the surface, this actually backfires more often than not. Instead, select the niche, type of role, and type of organizations you’d ideally like to work for. Gather your target list and be stay hyperfocused on your search within those paramaters. If you do veer off course, ensure you are customizing your resume and cover letter for each specific position you apply for.
A Candidate Has Already Been Selected
As much as you may not want to hear it, many times companies already have their selected candidate picked out simultaneously as the post goes up. This could be from referrals or internal promotions/transfers, etc. Or, it could be that you are just late to the game and were victim to coming in on the tail end of the employer’s search. This is just par for the course when it comes to your search.
You Simply Aren’t Qualified
Again, especially when times are tough, it can be tempting to “spray and pray”, sending your resume to as many postings as possible. According to theladders.com, candidates on average spend just 76 seconds viewing job postings. Remember that even if you think your skills are transferrable, or “close enough” to what the requirements on the posting dictate it’s more likely that someone other than the hiring manager (human resources, talent acquisition, headhunter, etc) will be the one screening. This means that if they can’t clearly see how you would fit into this role you will likely be screened out from the mix.