Have you been submitting job applications, but not hearing from hiring managers? It can be disheartening to put time and effort into creating a resume and submitting online job applications, and then receive no response. Let's examine a few reasons you may not be getting the phone calls you anticipated.
Your Resume is Too Generic
Job seekers often want to create one resume and submit it to multiple openings. This time-saving approach can backfire, however. While you may be "saving yourself some time" initially, you are likely not providing the level of detail necessary to attract the attention of any individual hiring manager. The person reviewing your resume wants to see how you would fit this particular opening. If your resume is too generic, they won't be able to determine how your skills match the role they are trying to fill and may pass over your resume.
Instead of creating one resume and submitting it multiple times, you need to make modifications for each job opening. Study the job description and see which requirements you fulfill. Then, be sure to tweak your resume to demonstrate how you are suited for that role. Submitting a unique resume to each position may be what causes your phone to start ringing.
You are Applying for Too Many Jobs
If you are applying to multiple jobs within the same company, it will likely be viewed negatively. Submitting an application for a variety of positions shows you are unsure of what you want to do. It may also indicate that you have not self-reflected to determine how your skills align with the job openings.
Instead of applying for multiple jobs, evaluate each job description closely. Determine which position aligns best with your skills. Or, identify the position that interests you the most. Then focus on creating a resume that demonstrates how you have the education and experience for that opening.
You Aren't Networking
Submitting applications online is only one of the steps you need to take during a job search. You should also be connecting with employers online. LinkedIn is a great way to reach out to friends, neighbors and community members to learn more about companies that are hiring. If you don't have a LinkedIn account, consider setting one up. Build relationships to gain advice and even potential referrals.
Outdated Resume Style
Are you sure the resume you submitted is up to current standards? We have had hiring managers tell us that they immediately discard any resume that has an objective statement on it. Although this used to be common practice, it is now outdated. The resume shouldn't show what you are hoping to gain, but instead what you can provide to fill the company's need. Be sure you submit a resume that meets current guidelines -- not one that looks like it hasn't been updated in 20 years.
Obvious Resume Errors
Hiring managers have also told us that resumes with obvious errors are often eliminated automatically, regardless if the candidate has the skills for the position. If you haven't taken the time to proofread your resume and revise appropriately, you likely won't get called for an interview. Errors show lack of attention to detail and poor communication skills. Soft skills are important too, with communication and detail-oriented listed on almost every job description. Be sure your resume itself demonstrates that you are qualified!
You Skipped the Cover Letter
If you aren't including a cover letter in your job application, you may be missing out. A cover letter could be what you need to elevate yourself compared to the competition. If you have any "red flags" on your resume, the cover letter can help explain why the hiring manager should overlook them.
We believe the only time to skip a cover letter is if it explicitly says on the job application that you shouldn't submit a cover letter (a rare occurrence).
Hiring managers indicate they approach cover letters in different ways. Some will read a cover letter before reading a resume. Others will only read the cover letter after evaluating a resume. Since you don't know which category the hiring manager reviewing your resume will fall in, it is best to submit a cover letter each time.
If you aren't hearing back from hiring managers, it might be time to re-evaluate your approach. Consider contacting Revision Resume for a resume critique. We can let you know if your resume is too generic, uses an outdated style or has obvious errors. Need help crafting a cover letter? We would love to assist you! Contact us for more information. We are proud to help job seekers in the Rochester area and beyond.