There are a lot of ways to describe the current job market. You may have heard the term "war on talent" or "job seeker's market," but that doesn't paint the entire picture. Many job seekers spend months searching for their next position without gaining traction. Why? Here are seven possible reasons you're not getting hired and a few ways you can fix them.
You're Sending a Generic Resume
When you get caught up in the emotion of finding a job, sometimes things can fall through the cracks. Review the job description thoroughly and determine if you're qualified for the position. Then tailor your resume to reflect your specific experience based on their needs.
You're Not Optimizing for ATS
Most companies use applicant tracking systems to sort resumes. If your resume isn't formatted for their system, it will never appear in their searches. Use bullet points, and be sure to include the most important keywords. Other ATS tips include:
- Don't use columns, tables, text boxes, or fancy formatting
- Avoid graphics
- Add a skill section with a bulleted list of keywords, including technology
- Send MS Word or PDF files
You're Not Talking About Your Job Search
You might miss out on great opportunities if you're not telling people you're looking for work. Talk to your network, work on your LinkedIn profile, and reach out to past connections. Approximately 20% of jobs TPD places are not advertised due to confidentiality or in-the-moment opportunities. Preference is often given to referrals over job board applicants. And you can always rely on your network to provide honest feedback. Ask someone you trust to review your resume. And if you don't have trusted hiring professionals in your network, talk to a recruiter at TPD who can help you in your job search.
You've Not Researched the Company Enough
It's vital that you research the company to clearly understand what they do and, most importantly, how you can fit in. Many organizations will start with a quick phone screen to see if you're right to move on to the interviewing steps. If you're not prepared for a phone screen, you may not be asked for the next round. The first question you're likely to be asked is what you know about the company. How you respond will set the tone and be a critical factor in whether you get a callback.
You're Not Meshing with the Interviewer
As you begin interviewing, you need to understand what interviewers are looking for besides your experience and skills. You want to impress them with your communication skills. Positivity is vital when you're looking for a job. Don't speak negatively about past employers or managers. And be optimistic about your job search.
You Didn't Prepare Your References
The reference process is typically the last thing a company will do before extending an offer. Before providing a reference list, talk to previous employers, managers, and coworkers to let them know you'll share their information. This also allows you to curate a list of people who can speak about your successes in your previous positions and provide positive feedback to the potential employer.
You Didn't Follow Up
You put a lot of effort into your search, so don't skip this post-interview step that can set you apart. Less than 20% of interviewees send thank you notes, so when you do, you get noticed. Send a follow-up email the day after your interview. Thank them for their time, show interest, and include things you may have forgotten to mention in the meeting.