Signs You Need to Modify Your Job Search Print E-mail

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

A job search is a complicated and sometimes lengthy process. To accelerate your job search, be aware of signs that your tactics may need tweaking. Review these red flags to identify areas you may need to change in your job search.

No Response from Your Resume

How long have you been sending out your resume? If you have consistently sent out your resume for a few months and are receiving no response at all, you probably need to take a few minutes and review your resume. Typical problems include:

  • Not targeting your resume and cover letter to specific positions.
  • Not researching the company to become familiar with their mission.
  • Highlighting your own objectives instead of your value to the company.
  • Ineffective resume format, such as too many bullets.

No Offers after an Initial Interview

You may be getting responses to your resume, but can’t get beyond the initial interview. The format for an initial interview can range from a phone or Skype interview to an informal lunch. Regardless of the interview format, it is a test of your performance. The hiring manager will be analyzing your interpersonal skills as well as specific job-related abilities.

Review your personal style of interacting by videotaping yourself or setting up a mock interview with a fellow job hunter or local career center. Remember that your contacts with support staff that arrange the interview, and even wait staff at the restaurant, are just as important as your interactions with the hiring manager. Be cordial and pleasant in all interactions surrounding the interview to demonstrate your ability to work well with others and be a team player.

Searching for the Wrong Jobs

Review the types of positions to which you are applying. Everyone has an idea of a dream job, but how closely do your skills and experiences match the qualifications? Take an objective view of your skills from the hiring manager’s perspective. If your resume does not provide examples of skills or achievements that align with the positions you seek, you may need to adjust your target positions to get results.

Focusing Narrowly on Job Roles

Another common error is focusing too narrowly on positions or job functions instead of how you can provide value to the company. Researching companies of interest to you can help you target your job search based on your enthusiasm about the company. Passion about shared values and company initiatives will set you apart from other candidates. In addition you may want to expand your search to include similar positions within the same corporation. 

Taking “No” as a Global Rejection

A “no” from the hiring manager often applies only to the position for which you interviewed. Take advantage of the thank-you note to express appreciation for their time as well as to convey your interest in exploring other opportunities with the company. This simple follow up will help the hiring manager remember you for future positions.
Negative Web Presence

Be sure to search online before any interview to see what personal information turns up on the Internet. You can be certain the hiring manager will do so. Many candidates who do not have a website or any social media postings don’t consider the possibility that other sources may have placed information about them online. Do a quick search to see what the hiring manager is likely to find so you will be prepared for any necessary damage control during the interview.

Check Your Network

Review your contacts to make sure you are connecting with the right people to help with your job search. Search existing and new contacts in professional organizations as well as industry leaders. Don’t forget to check in with your potential references. It is common courtesy to contact references to be certain they are aware of your job search and are willing to be contacted.

Disorganized Job Search

Are you having trouble tracking companies who have contacted you after you submitted your resume? Have you forgotten to whom you submitted your application? Be certain to devise a spreadsheet or other system to record all contacts and keep the list readily available for those unexpected phone calls. You can use the list to sound prepared when the call comes in as well as when going for interviews. Present yourself in a positive light at the job interview by taking along key documents such as your resume, a business card dedicated to your job search, and any information from your search of the company. Don’t stuff everything from all your applications into a briefcase and expect to make a good impression at the interview. Handing the wrong version of your resume to the hiring manager or having papers fall out when you are retrieving your resume sends the wrong signals.

Review your job search for signs that you need to make changes to your approach. A few small tweaks can make all the difference between getting the call and waiting by the phone. Demonstrate your organizational skills and readiness for the job in every interaction and you will move your job search to the next level!