Have job interviews dried up? Feel like your job search has crashed and burned?
It was going well, but now the phone has stopped ringing and the emails aren’t coming. You’re still applying for jobs but not getting job interviews. Not one.
What’s going on?
Job interviews generally dry up for one or more of these three reasons:
1. Your Resume Has Stopped Performing
Is your old resume ready for the modern job application process?
In a recent CareerBuilder.com study, only 39 percent of job seekers updated their resumes before heading into a career search.
Resumes have changed dramatically over the last few years and you may need to refresh yours.
First, you need to factor applicant tracking systems (ATS) into the equation.
Create a list of the important keywords in your industry and use them in your resume. But don’t keyword stuff either – use the keywords you see in the job description no more than 2 to 3 times or the ATS may red-flag you. Also, stick to the same language and punctuation in the job description when tailoring your resume, as the ATS will be looking for specific terms (e.g. “MBA” versus “business degree”).
Second, your resume should not have an objective statement any longer. Substitute this for a brief executive summary. Make sure to include your social media page links (e.g. LinkedIn URL) and your email address right up front.
2. You’ve Run Out of Steam
If you’ve been there, you already know it: searching for new employment is hard work!
Plus, hiring companies sometimes don’t make the employment process easy. It’s not uncommon for job seekers to run dry on patience, dedication, and persistence.
Keep these things in mind if you are beginning to feel defeated:
• Try not to pin all of your hopes on one job opportunity.
• Realize that rejection is part of everyone’s job search and try to set realistic expectations.
• Don’t wallow – take action, even if it is something small. Research new opportunities and conduct practice job interviews. Call someone who will encourage you!
• Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally.
• Reward yourself for your job search efforts by doing something you enjoy.
• Take some time off from your search and begin again when you’ve had some time to regroup and recharge.
• Volunteer. Helping others who need you cultivates a positive attitude.
• Change up your routine. Switch your schedule around, go to a café to do your research instead of doing it from home. Simple changes can deliver a new energy and outlook.
3. You’re Limiting Your Exposure
Are you on LinkedIn? Job interviews can dry up just by limiting your exposure.
Is your resume posted on the large job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder?
If not, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. Recruiters and hiring managers use these sites for a large part of their recruiting activity.
For instance, according to a 2015 Jobvite survey, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn.
So get your LinkedIn page set up or brushed up – fast. Utilize industry-specific keywords and key phrases on your LinkedIn profile, and make sure the resume you post on job boards is ATS-friendly. As you begin to use LinkedIn more, focus on building your network by connecting with a few recruiters and potential employers. An upgrade to Premium LinkedIn can turbo-charge your networking activity – you can use the InMail function to reach out to people you would like to be connected to.
BONUS: 4. You’re Not Working the Referral Angle
Jobvite’s survey also revealed just how important employee referrals are in hiring.
Some 78 percent of employers claimed they find their best-qualified candidates through referrals.
Referred candidates are more likely to get job interviews. So, instead of just spotting a job opening and applying for it, you should add a step in between those and try to connect with someone in the organization who can refer you. If you don’t already know someone who works at the target company, head to LinkedIn. You’ll be able to see if a second- or third-level connection works there, and you can reach out to them (or your mutual connection) and ask for more information on the company.
See yourself in any or all of these interview killers?
If so, then it’s time to reboot and start your search with a fresh strategy.