It has become a common lament among job seekers, one you hear often. They send out hundreds upon hundreds of resumes, all to no avail. There is no doubt that in their job search they are working hard, but the question is, are they working smart?
If you send out several hundred resumes and do not even get one response, you might want to take a look at your resume and what you might be doing wrong, rather than simply lamenting how tough the job market is, says career coach Priscilla Claman.
The problem might be a simple one – such as a misspelling on your resume. But you need to confront the fact that something is wrong and take steps to correct it.
There are three questions you need to ask about your job search, Claman says.
The first – Are you getting five or six interviews for every 100 resumes you send out? (This ratio should not be taken as uniform. It may vary depending on where you work or what type of work you do.) If you are not getting this many interviews, the probability is that the problem lies with your resume, or you are not targeting the right kinds of jobs. If you simply take a scattershot approach to sending resumes, giving it to anyplace that is advertising a job opening, the odds are you are not going to have much success.
If you are not getting any bites after sending out batches of your resume, stop the mass mailings.
First, have someone take a look at your resume for errors or any other problems.
If you’ve been focusing on job boards like Monster, get away from that and move toward other job search strategies, such as using social media and networking through friends, or using company websites. Zero in on companies you really want to work for and go after them, even if they are not interviewing. Get your name out there. Find what works and stick to it.
The second question to ask, according to Claman, are you getting at least one follow-up interview for every eight initial interviews? If not, again, stop and think about what you are doing in the interview process. Are you preparing properly? Do you know why you want the job and can you express your reasons well?
The third question to ask, Claman says, have you been a finalist for eight or nine jobs and still not received an offer? Again, if not, you need to assess why not. At this stage, since all candidates are likely very qualified for the position, you may not get a sure answer, but you need to examine the situation.
The important point, Claman says, is that if something is not working, you need to change what you are doing, not simply do more of it and hope things will be different.
If you’ve applied to dozens of jobs with no results in the Washington, DC area, bring your resume to RealStreet Staffing. We’ll take a look at your resume and offer pointers on how to improve it. We’ll also help you find temporary (long- and short-term) assignments in the construction, engineering and architecture sectors that often can lead to full-time employment. Contact us today!