In some ways, job seekers in the midst of a job search are like athletes preparing for a new season. You start off with a game plan, know that practice makes perfect, and over time, learn ways to improve your job search or season. Just like many things in life, the first attempt at something difficult won’t always be successful. It’s useful to take a few steps back to analyze what’s been working and what can be improved. Therefore, today we’re arming you with ways to step back and take a look at your job search from a new angle. These are reasons that might explain why you aren’t getting interviews:
Spelling or grammatical errors and resume length.
The first thing you should take a look at is your resume. Are there any spelling or grammatical errors? Have a friend proofread your resume because most times, we get so used to the format of our resumes that our eyes easily skip over those errors.
Furthermore, what length is your resume? Is it over a page long and bogged down by fluff words (I get the job done!) or is it too short? Usually a page is a good length and may be lengthened due to your level of experience in the industry and its relevance to the position.
Forgetting the importance of keywords.
Another aspect to take a look at is keywords. Companies filter resumes according to keywords using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and only consider resumes that contain the keywords they’re looking for. How can you figure out what keywords the company is looking for? A good resource is the job description. Look for keywords that appear more than once and place those early on in your resume. A great trick to figuring out good keywords is getting a tag cloud generator to pinpoint the best keywords.
It also helps to include a Professional Summary or Relevant Skills section where these keywords can be introduced. The goal is not to force keywords into your resume, but to use these keywords to strengthen your resume for the ATS and recruiter, while maintaining good readability.
A weak online reputation.
Employers are checking out people on social media and they’ll use what they find to make quick judgments on your candidacy. Run an engine search on your name and see what results come up. Strengthen the privacy settings to your social media accounts, and make sure what you’ve set as private stays private.
Some social media sites have changing privacy settings, and there are tools that exist to make sure your content stays safe. For facebook, secure.me is an application that scans your Facebook profile to monitor posts that affect your security and reputation.
While having social media accounts with risky content can affect your candidacy, the other side to this is… not having one might create the same effect. Some employers like to find the candidate’s LinkedIn profile, as it shows professionalism and matches a face to the name on the resume. It personalizes the hire, which is important to achieve — especially during an online job search inundated by names on resumes. Luckily, creating a linkedin profile and adding a picture (make sure to add a professional one) is easy enough and free to create.
Figuring out what works is a process – and everyone needs to tweak their job search before they find what works. Don’t give up on improving your job search!