Have you ever wondered about the effectiveness of your current job search approach?
Perhaps you’re doing multiple interviews but have yet to receive an offer.
Maybe you’ve been sending out applications like crazy and all you’ve gotten so far is radio silence. You might even be at the point where you feel like you’ve tried everything in the job search playbook and you’re ready to call it quits.
If any of the above sounds like you, you should know that it is completely normal to experience a lack of fast results when looking for a job. It can be a very tough and challenging time that brings out your true grit, perseverance and patience. The truth is that while there are proven strategies that can help you land a job faster, the results of your job search ultimately boil down to how effectively you execute these strategies.
In this blog series, we look at the issue of not getting any or enough job interviews and offer simple tweaks that could improve your results.
As a rule of thumb, you want to get around 20-25% of “first” interviews from your job applications. If your applications come directly from referrals or networking efforts, then this percentage might be as high as 75%.
So, for example, if you’ve submitted 40 job applications in the last month, you should expect between 8 to 10 interviews from these applications.
If you are not hitting these numbers, then the front end of your application strategy needs attention. Here are some tips to improve various aspects of the first part of your job search so that you can start getting more interviews. Each time you make a tweak, let it play out at least 7-10 days before you change anything else. This may sound like a lot of time to wait, but you want to ensure that you are getting intelligent feedback to understand where the gaps may be.
Follow the order of the recommendations below. Numbers one, two and three should be done together since they are connected.
Tweak #1. Craft a compelling and easy-to-understand personal brand.
Start with developing a clear and compelling personal brand. Does your brand highlight the strengths and expertise needed in your industry? Does it show how you are different from other job applicants? How congruent is your brand? In other words, ensure that what you are saying on your resume also matches with what is online, on LinkedIn, and what you are saying in networking conversations. Look at adding testimonials that highlight your skills or having portfolios that give real evidence of your work. Read one of our latest blogs here on how to craft a compelling personal brand.
Tweak #2. Craft a well-aligned resume.
Ensure that your resume is a perfect match for the jobs to which you are applying. Reverse engineer the process and craft your resume (honestly) to fit the job description. Avoid using canned resumes and include relevant keywords. Follow our recommended structure here to craft your resume.
Tweak #3. Get job search advocates in place before applying.
Before submitting applications, focus on finding and building relationships with people at companies of interest to you. The intention is to have them as advocates so they can either refer you to the job or promote you to the appropriate company contacts. Read this blog on how to conduct effective conversations in order to build job search advocates.
Tweak #4. Diversify your job search application approach.
Do not rely only on applying through company websites and job boards. Focus on using other strategies such as networking, writing opportunity letters, and leveraging places like your school’s career services office to help with your job search.
Tweak #5. Follow up diligently and intelligently.
It is important that you follow up appropriately after you’ve submitted each job application. Do not just apply and sit back waiting for the phone to ring. Set your own appropriate rules for following up. Find the hiring manager or recruiter for the role and reach out to check on the status of your application.
If you’re not getting enough interviews in your job search yet, don’t panic. Take a step back and consider what tweaks you can make to begin changing your results. As you make tweaks to your job search, make changes at the front end first – start with improving your personal brand and then move on to reviewing your follow-up strategy. As you make each tweak, wait for at least a week before you make any decisions or adjust anything else.