We got a comment on our blog from Michael, a very frustrated job seeker. Though we can’t republish his comment (he was really frustrated), he said he had submitted what he felt were a lot of applications, and hadn’t heard back.
We know that he’s not alone – for many people, job searches are taking a really, really long time. Here is the response we sent:
I saw your comment on the blog, and though we're not publishing it because of language, I wanted to reach out to you and see if there was something we could do to help you with your job search.
Have you been following up on your applications? 25 applications isn't a ton these days, but it is quite a few, and if they didn't have spelling errors and you are applying to jobs you are qualified for, following up could be the last step to getting interviews. These days it's not uncommon for hiring managers to receive hundreds of applications for a single position, so if you submit a perfect application and you're qualified for the position, that means they will consider your application, but there are probably still lots of other applicants who meet those same standards.
Here is what we’ve found works to set yourself apart in a competitive market:
To be considered for a job:
- Make sure your applications are error-free
- Make sure you are qualified for the positions you are applying for
- Make sure your availability matches what the employer wants
For a better shot at being interviewed:
- Make sure you follow up with the employer after you've applied
To really stack the odds in your favor:
- Take on volunteer projects that enhance your experience and fill gaps in your work history
- Customize applications for each job, don't just copy and paste a one-size-fits-all objective statement
- And if you get an interview, don't slack off - stand out.
Job searches are taking longer than ever before, and it's easy to become frustrated and upset. That's completely natural, but try to approach your search with a positive attitude - it really helps. And don’t be too discouraged when you don’t hear back; it’s really just because hiring managers are so swamped that the only people they can respond to are the ones who are being called for interviews. When I was looking for a job, I sent customized resumes, cover letters and portfolios to over 30 employers over the course of a single month. It was exhausting, time consuming and I only heard back from two companies... But thankfully, those two wanted to hire me. It takes a lot of time and effort, but submitting stellar applications and following up on them will get you better results.
If you’re frustrated or have a question about your job search, please let us know! We’re here to help.