One of the most common complaints we hear from frustrated job seekers is that they spend tons of time applying to jobs, but never hear anything back, which then became the term GHOSTING!
If you’re not getting the response you want in your job search – but have no idea what you’re doing wrong-it’s time to go back to the basics and make sure you’re not making the following classic mistakes:
Have You actually Targeted an Employer
Your Resume and Cover Letter Aren’t targeted to the Employer
You’re wasting the top third of your Resume
Your RESUME is too long
You Don’t take LinkedIn Seriously
Your Social media presence scares employers away.
Come to The Job Forum on Tuesdays for 1 to 1 advising, on Wednesday evening on zoom for the group Job Forum where you get your own time to ask your most burning questions, or to special Thursday Job Forum Zoom events which are speaker panels with Q&A with experts, organized by industry or job role (sign up on Eventbrite). Come to The Job Forum to discuss how to avoid more mistakes that waste your job search efforts!
- Have You Targeted an Employer
You may think that because you’re submitting application after application online, you’re conducting an effective job search. Not true! Blindly applying to any and every position that you come across doesn’t usually yield good results.
The most effective way to find the right job for you is to target your ideal employers- the companies that interest you, align with your passion, and need your skills. Once you develop a list of dream companies, you should tailor your resume or applications specifically to those organizations, which will give you a much better chance of getting noticed and landing the job.
- Your Resume and Cover Letter Aren’t targeted to the Employer
Even if you have a targeted job-search strategy, a generic resume and cover letter can quickly stall your efforts. One glance at your resume will tell an employer if you wrote it specifically for the company or if you created a one size-fits-all document that you emailed to every business on your list.
Your search will be much more successful when you customize your cover letter and resume to specifically address the company’s business problems and your capacity to solve them.
- You’re wasting the top third of your Resume
Because so many resumes are read online, through applicant tracking systems, or on mobile devices, the top third of your resume is prime marketing real estate. If a hiring manager doesn’t immediately see a compelling message in that portion, they will swipe to the next resume – meaning, as Heidi Klum would say on Project Runway, “You’re out.”
We tell job hunters to think of their resume as a newspaper, you want all your pertinent experience to be above the FOLD.
- Your RESUME is too long
When I see a resume that’s multiple pages long, it usually indicates that the job seeker hasn’t tailored his or her resume to the specific job- and instead, included everything but the kitchen sink.
While you may think a longer resume allows you to show off more of your qualifications, in reality, it usually causes your reader to get bored, become confused about why you applied to the job, and then toss it aside.
A resume is not your whole life story. You simply want to provide enough applicable information to score an interview. To do that, lay out the most relevant aspects of your experience that you’re qualified for that particular job. By doing that, you should be able to keep it to one page or two, at the very most, if you have lots of meaty content that’s relevant to the job.
A good rule of thumb is not to go back more than 10 years of work history.
“When I led the project to automate time cards, we were able to reduce payroll processing time by 20%, saving the company $15,000 per quarter.
Now that’s a powerful accomplishment.
- You Don’t take LinkedIn Seriously
Imagine that you’re in charge of hiring a candidate for an important position, and you’ve narrowed it down to two strong applicants. You look up both on LinkedIn. One has a profile packed with accomplishments, a great personal story, tons of connections, and samples of her work. The other has a couple of connections, no photo, and little to no content.
Who would you choose?
Companies are increasingly using LinkedIn as a component in their hiring practices,- meaning that your profile is often the first-place employers go to check you out.
- Your Social media presence scares employers away.
Hiring is a big risk for employers, so they aim to gather as much evidence as possible to either validate their choice or eliminate the bad applicants.
The latest statistics indicate a whopping majority-93%- of hiring managers go online to research a candidate before they offer him or her a job. Worse, 55%, have changed their minds about a candidate after getting a negative impression of him or her from social media.
So, clean up your social media. Comb through all your social profiles and ensure you’re comfortable with your privacy settings- i.e. what potential employers can see.
Remove anything that could be perceived as offensive, including badmouthing former employers. No company wants to hire a problem child.
These tips are serious for you to follow if you are being ghosted in your job search.
If you don’t pay close attention to these details, you could be losing opportunities to snag your perfect job. Nail the basics, and you’ll be on your way to a dream career.
Come to The Job Forum and discuss more details with Job Forum volunteers who are hiring managers at SF Bay Area companies who will problem solve with you and share how to improve your job search and avoid wasting time on common job search mistakes.
By Cindy Fassler, Job Forum volunteer, career coach and executive recruiter