One of the most common questions asked by entry level job seekers is: “Why am I not getting any interviews?” This lament is often followed by a general description of the activities the job seeker has performed, which usually includes sending out hundreds of resumes with virtually no response.
If this is you, then ask yourself this question: “If I were the employer, would I interview me?”
If there is something fundamentally wrong with your job search approach, sending out hundreds of resumes is not going to get you any interviews.
The problem is usually due to at least one, if not both, of the following reasons:
Reason #1: Your resume is wrong.
You put your resume together quickly and haven’t really taken the time to format it correctly, update it properly or customize it sufficiently. Your resume is lacking the key information required for the job. So you’re not getting a second look and you’re not getting any interviews.
Reason #2: The job is wrong.
You are applying for jobs, yet they may not be the right jobs. You need to apply for specific jobs for which you meet the basic qualifications of the role. Throwing your resume at as many jobs as possible to see if any stick is not a viable job search strategy.
You need to stop doing a quantitative job search and start doing a qualitative job search.
Start with your resume. Go back and analyze all of your content. If any part of your content isn’t positive, remove it. Then make sure you have your best content in the right resume format for internships and/or entry level. CollegeGrad.com provides our award-winning resume format for free with our Quickstart Resume Generator. Simply add your content and we automatically format it for you. You end up with a great resume that is completely customizable. If you want to do it yourself in Word, use one of our Quickstart Resume Templates. We supply the format, you supply your content. In the end, you have a full personal and customized resume in the best format to get your resume noticed.
Then look at the jobs. Stop applying for “experience required” jobs and begin applying for true entry level jobs and internships that are specific for entry level college students and recent grads. At CollegeGrad.com, we have a unique search filter that allows you to limit results to only entry level jobs and/or only internships. Yes, there are far fewer jobs of these types than the ones that require experience. But you will actually be qualified for these jobs and will receive a much higher overall response rate.
If you are looking in a limited geography, now may be the time to expand your geographic horizons to include jobs which fit better, even if they are further away from your ideal location. It is better to be flexible with your geo than unemployed in your parents’ basement.
Then take the time to send out a quality first approach. Don't just click and send, but actually take the time to customize your resume for the position and the requirements of the role. Taking the extra time to customize your response will go far in increasing the odds of an actual interview.
And beyond job postings, be sure to also contact everyone in your network. Remember, it’s not who you know, it’s who they know. Get your finished resume in the hands of your network contacts to expand your search exponentially.
I am a firm believer that there is a job out there for everyone. Your job is to find it. And we’re here to help you get the interview and then to ace your interview, with plenty of additional information and guidance for prepping for your interview.