It’s a common problem for many people. You submit multiple applications but never hear anything back. You’re qualified and have the right experience, but for whatever reason, you’re not getting anywhere. Don’t lose hope. There are a few simple things you can do to improve your chance of getting an interview.
Revamp Your Resume
The first thing to look at is your resume. Here are a few changes you can make to improve it:
Quantify your accomplishments
Many job seekers will include a laundry list of tasks and duties instead of highlighting their accomplishments. But 34 percent of hiring managers say they want to see a resume with quantifiable results. That’s why it’s so important to include hard numbers that quantify your accomplishments. If you supervised a team, tell us how many people; if you increased sales, tell us by how much. Adding values to your accomplishments give hiring managers a more complete picture of your successes and skills.
Customize your resume for each application
Revamping your resume doesn’t mean you will use the same one for each application. Instead, for every job you apply for, you should customize your resume for the role. Use the job description as a guide. Determine what responsibilities for the open position align with your skills and include those on your resume.
Most employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to manage their recruitment efforts. An ATS allows the user to search resumes for keywords or phrases, much like a search engine. This tool helps employers identify which applicants have the experience and skills necessary for the position. To get an idea of what keywords employers are searching for on your resume, review the job posting.
Tell Recruiters You’re Looking
If your job search only consists of applying for jobs you find on online job boards like Indeed or CareerBuilder, then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. An estimated 80% of available jobs aren’t publicly advertised. Those positions are typically filled by a company’s internal recruiters or a recruiting firm the company has partnered with.
LinkedIn Open Candidates
To let these recruiters know you’re looking for a new job, LinkedIn has developed a new feature called Open Candidates. When you turn the feature on, it privately signals to recruiters that you’re open to new opportunities. Go to the “Preferences” tab on the LinkedIn Jobs homepage to access this tool.
Contact a recruiting agency
You can also directly contact a staffing firm to let them know you’re interested in finding a new job. Staffing firms like Burchard & Associates are always interested in connecting with new job seekers. Firms like ours work with area employers to find them professionals for their open positions. You never know, we could have an opportunity that’s perfect for you. The best part is, there’s no obligation or cost to the job seeker. So it’s always worth seeing if a staffing agency can help.
Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is vital to job searching success. In fact, 94% of today’s recruiters use it to find, vet or network with candidates. That’s why it’s important to have a strong LinkedIn profile. Here are some ways to improve yours:
Edit the Summary section to target your audience
The Summary section is a great chance to quickly state your qualifications in a way that will entice the reader to continue scrolling through your profile. Write your Summary to target hiring managers in your industry. Find a handful of job descriptions for positions that interest you and write your Summary to reflect the responsibilities and qualifications for those positions. Include a few past accomplishments and the type of position you are seeking.
Like your resume, you should highlight exactly what you accomplished using data to back it up. For example, instead of saying “Responsibilities included business-to-business sales,” you could say “Drove $200K increase in business-to-business sales over Last Fiscal Year.”
In the Experience section, LinkedIn allows you to add media — a document, photo, link, video or presentation — to each listing. This is your chance to bolster your accomplishments and expertise with something visual. For example, if you had a particularly successful presentation in the past, add the PowerPoint to showcase your talents.
Improve Your Cover Letters
A cover letter is the first thing many hiring managers see. It can create a positive first impression that encourages someone to read your resume — or it can eliminate you from the candidate pool altogether. Here are steps you can take to improve your cover letters:
Don’t repeat your resume
Your cover letter shouldn’t be a regurgitation of your resume. Instead, tell the hiring manager why you’re the best candidate for the position. Be sure to highlight relevant achievements and experience that relate to the position for which you are applying. Avoid using common open lines like “I am writing to you today to express my interest in the Sales position with XYZ, Inc.” Think of an attention-getting first line that will compel the hiring manager to read on.
Customize your content
Like your resume, every cover letter you submit should be unique to the position.
What do you bring to the table?
Tell the hiring manager what you can do for them, not how great the position would be for you. Let them know how your skills and experience will help you improve their company. Give examples of past accomplishments that are pertinent to the position.
Making all these changes won’t be easy, but they will pay off in the long run. If you’re interested in getting additional help with your job search, contact Burchard & Associates. We may have an opportunity that’s perfect for you.