Finding a great job can be difficult, but it's especially hard if you're making mistakes that ruin your chances with hiring managers. A job search is a job in itself, and it's important to step back from time to time and assess how your actions are influencing the outcome. If you're getting discouraged in your job search, work on these issues to improve your prospects.
Inadequate Cover Letter
Cover letters are still an important part of your application package. Make sure yours does its job. A great cover letter is neither too stuffy and formal nor too casual. Instead, succinctly share why you're interested in the specific position and why you're uniquely qualified for the job. Use a friendly but professional tone and keep it to less than a page. Remember this is your introduction to the hiring manager. Be extra careful with your proofreading to ensure you make a great first impression.
Does your resume ramble on by giving your job history for the past 20 years? Is it difficult to read or not clearly relevant to your current job search? Long resumes and resumes that are hard to read are quickly discarded. Make sure your resume is well-organized and the reader is able to see clearly how the points on the resume relate to the open position. Focus on your achievements and include quantifiable data whenever possible. Bulleted lists and white space make it easy for the reader to pick out key points in just a few seconds.
Although it's possible to get a position without having all the required qualifications, not being qualified is a huge disadvantage, especially if the applicant pool is large. If you're applying in a field where most applicants are better qualified than you, go ahead and seek more training. Add courses you're currently taking to your resume to show you're willing to continue learning and growing in the field. If you feel you're highly qualified but are still overlooked, consider seeking extra credentials to help you stand out from the crowd during your job search. For example, become certified in technologies commonly used in your field, join a professional organization and attend conferences, or add CPR and first-aid certifications to your credentials.
Not Enough Effort
Many applicants feel discouraged in their job search after only sending out a few resumes. Don't let that happen to you. It can take hundreds of applications before you get a job offer. If you're determined enough, eventually you'll get interviews. If they don't lead to offers, seek feedback to help you do better in the future. The only sure way to avoid getting hired is by not trying, so get out there and network, research and apply.
If your cover letter and resume are on point, your qualifications are high, and you're making enough effort but still aren't getting any responses, have someone in your field take a look at your application materials with a critical eye. Concerted effort is the best way to remedy any issues for a successful job search. What steps have you taken to improve your chances of getting hired?
Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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