We are trained from a young age that right after we graduate high school or college, we need to find a job. We frantically throw together a resume and start applying to any company that lets us upload our profile, impatiently waiting for anyone to give us an offer. This mind-set tends to continue on for many people as they get older, especially when they find themselves in a situation where they desperately need a new job. What is the right way to go about it?
I love helping people find jobs. My family and friends know it as well; whenever anyone I know is in the market for a new position, they tend to call on me for help. My years as a Recruiter paired with my job searching experience has taught me a lot on how to streamline the process and find a new job for someone quicker. One of the most consistent struggles I hear from job seekers is that they are not getting any responses from applications that they have submitted.
While it is a tough market out there, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of hearing back:
1. Apply for more jobs. If you think you are applying for too many jobs, you aren’t. Research has shown that for every 50 jobs you apply for; you will hear back from one. I always recommend setting aside the first hour of your day to scour the job boards every morning and apply for all new and suitable (see below) positions posted. You are more likely to get a call back if you are one of the first applicants to apply rather than being the 50th person to apply after the position has posted for 20 days. You should shoot to apply for a minimum of ten new jobs per day until you start lining up consistent interviews.
Note: Make sure you keep a spreadsheet of all the positions you have applied for. Include the company name, position title, and source (i.e. what job board you found it on) so you can make sure not to duplicate your application. I like to keep a copy of the job description as well so you can quickly reference the details if you get an interview.
2. Only apply to positions you are qualified for. I cannot stress the importance of this. If you feel like you are applying for dozens and dozens of jobs and aren’t hearing back from anyone, you are probably applying for jobs that you are extremely under-qualified for. Make sure to take the time to read the responsibilities and qualifications section and only apply to those where your skills and experience match the majority of what is listed. Recruiters are typically turned off by a candidate who applies to every single opening at a company regardless of experience; this tends to show you are not taking the time to read the description and aren’t very concerned about finding the right fit.
3. Proofread your resume – and have someone else do it too. A Recruiter wants to see your attention to detail and having a typo on your resume will show the exact opposite. Don’t count on Microsoft Word to proofread for you; you’ll be surprised at how many mistakes it can miss. If writing is not one of your strengths, reach out to a professional resume writer for assistance – the investment will be worth it in the end.