“If you’re lost and alone, or you’re sinking like a stone, carry on.” – “Carry On,” fun.
You’ve submitted hundreds of job applications, and you haven’t heard anything – silence. Well, you did get a few immediate rejections at two in the morning when you know no human was looking at your resume. It was software program. If being rejected by humans wasn’t bad enough, now you’re being rejected by machines. You’ve sent messages to connections on LinkedIn, updated your profile, and still – crickets. You’re starting to wonder if you aren’t in some warped version of the Truman Show. In fact, you’re secretly hoping that a microphone will suddenly crash into your driveway and start to make some sense of this perplexing situation.
If this is you, the first and most important piece of truth you must hear and hear now is that you are absolutely not alone. According to some of the most recent statistics, the average job receives more than 200 applications, and only 2% are called for an interview. Couple this statistic with the fact that upwards of 80% of jobs are not filled through the traditional application process, and you have a very stressful situation on your hands, a situation that you did not create and that is not unique to you. You simply happen to be a professional living in this new era – an era where location matters little and everyone has access. Information technology, social networking, and geographical mobility have revolutionized the way we work and the way we look for work. There are many benefits to the new world of work, one of the biggest being the flexibility of the modern professional position, but unfortunately, there are also many drawbacks – the stress of the job search being one of the more significant of those drawbacks. This might seem like bad news, but you should read it as good news. This means that the answer to the question of the title of this piece is a resounding “No!” Nothing is wrong with you! This is the plight almost every jobseeker is facing – some are just more likely to admit it than others.
Another piece of good news is that now that you know what’s causing the problem, you can fix it by making yourself stand out from the crowd. These 5 tips will make you more likely to be competitive in this era of complex job searching.
- Ensure your resume is ATS friendly. If you are getting a lot of immediate rejections, something about your resume is triggering Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to say, “no thanks.” That something might be a design issue (i.e. you are using numerous text boxes, which are obscuring your content) or a content issue (i.e., you are not listing your degree name, so it appears that you do not have a college degree. Try utilizing a more standard design and ensuring you have used relevant keywords to describe your positions, job titles, and education.
- Tell LinkedIn recruiters that you are open. A well-developed LinkedIn profile is a key component of the job search strategy. However, your stellar LinkedIn profile won’t catch the attention of any recruiters if you don’t tell them that you are looking. On your profile, be sure you have switched the toggle next to, “Let recruiters know you are open” to “on” and that you have filled out that section completely. This lets recruiters know you are looking and makes you more likely to appear in their searches.
- Ensure you are networking with the right people. Networking is a great way to increase your chances of getting the job you want, but connecting with everyone just for the sake of connecting likely won’t get you the results you are looking for. Instead, be intentional about your connections. This isn’t to say that you should shun individuals who connect with you outside of the industry that interests you. However, when you are taking specific time to network (which you should do), concentrate on people who can connect you with industry leaders.
- Use a cover letter. Yes, you’re right, some people hate cover letters. They don’t understand why they are needed and would prefer to simply read your resume. But for every cover letter skeptic out there, there is someone else who loves cover letters, who enjoys reading them, who thinks they show you are especially prepared, and who enjoys the chance to get a sneak peek into your personality. So, send a cover letter, and tailor it specifically to the position for which you are applying.
- Don’t give up! Remember that job seeking isn’t easy, and most jobs take more than a month to fill. If you submit 100 applications, you should expect to receive only between 5-10 replies. What you’re going through isn’t unusual. So, stick with it, and dont’ be afraid to speak with a career coach or counselor who can give you customized tips for your specific situation. Many universities, state governments, and non-profit organizations offer services that you can utilize at no cost.
If you would like to talk more about how you can manage rejection and excel at your job search, book a free call here: https://morleycareersolutions.com/contact/