You know you’ve been doing your best, but the job search doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere. You’ve sent out your resume to dozens of employers, you’ve been to some interviews. But you’ve never heard back from recruiters. You just can’t land a job.
If the paragraph above hits close to home, don’t worry: you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are going or have gone through the same rough patch as you.
Of course, being unemployed is frustrating, stressful, and outright depressing. But while it’s not in your power to change the job market outlook, you can increase your chances of becoming that one lucky applicant. Here are seven ways how.
Prepare Your Resume for the ATS System
If you have trouble making it to the interview stage of the process, your resume – and the hiring process itself – may be the reason why. The thing is, most employers use resume-scanning software these days. That’s what stands between your application and the hiring manager.
What does this software scan for? It’s designed to look for exact matches with the key skills or work experience requirements written out in the job description. So, if you want to pass this stage, your resume has to contain the same keywords and phrases that you see in the posting.
In case it all seems overwhelming for you, it’s because it is – but it’s not the end of the world. You can always turn to affordable resume writing services and let them craft a bot-beating resume for you. Besides, these services don’t just help you pass the applicant tracking system: they know how to highlight your accomplishments and help you get more interviews.
Make Sure You Haven’t Overlooked Any Platforms
Do you spend your days only on LinkedIn and Indeed? Then, you might be proactively choosing to ignore dozens of other opportunities for job seekers that simply never make it there.
Here are seven job search apps and platforms that deserve some of your time:
Pro tip: don’t hesitate to go the extra mile and look beyond the general online job boards. Go on Facebook and LinkedIn and find pages and groups where recruiters post job openings. Plus, look for industry-specific job boards and create an online presence there, too.
Adapt Your Job Application to Every Posting
Be frank with yourself here. Do you send the same resume to dozens of similar job postings? If you do, chances are, that’s what drives both ATS bots and recruiters to overlook your application.
The reason why the resume-scanning software may not let your resume pass on to the recruiter is already covered above. So, let’s say it does make it through the ATS. How does a generic resume decrease your chances to land an interview then?
The thing is, any recruiter is looking for that exact match with their ideal employee portrait. And that portrait also includes, by default, attentiveness to detail and motivation to work at this particular company.
So, how do you craft a winning resume? In short, don’t be too lazy to tailor it to every job posting you apply for. Remember: when it comes to job hunting, quality trumps quantity.
Consider Broadening Your Search
Here’s another potential reason why you can’t find a job. You might be casting your net too narrow, therefore ignoring many other job options that match your qualification. So, if you have any wiggle room, cast the net wider by:
- Expanding your search to cover opportunities in other cities that you’d be willing to relocate to;
- Applying for remote positions and/or becoming a freelancer (if your occupation allows it);
- Opening up to other jobs where your professional skill set can come in handy.
Close the Gaps in Your Skill Set
It might also happen that you’re underqualified for the position you’re after. The best way to know whether it’s the case is to just ask for a recruiter’s opinion after an interview. If that’s so, the solution is straightforward: you need to invest in your career and boost your professional skills.
How? That depends on the particular skills you need to build for your career. Typically, there are three learning paths:
- Formal training (undergraduate or graduate studies);
- Certified courses, online or in-person;
- Learning on your own.
Take Time to Network
Not every job opportunity gets posted on a job board. Some recruiters rely solely on their network to close the talent gaps faster; they don’t bother with online postings and applications.
So, if you haven’t ever tried to proactively establish your professional network, now is the best time to start. While “building a network” may sound all too serious and complicated, in reality, it isn’t. Here’s where you can start:
- Talk to your alma mater’s alumni (if you’re a grad);
- Participate in professional events, online or in-person, and mingle with people;
- Reach out to professionals in your field on LinkedIn;
- Tap into your existing network: your former colleagues and classmates, friends and friends of your friends, family.
Consider a Temporary Position
If you don’t have the luxury to wait another month or two for a suitable position, go to recruiting firms. It’s the most foolproof way to score a temporary gig that will keep you afloat and pay your bills.
But while you’re there, don’t treat the job merely as a way to earn some money. For one, temporary positions can lead to permanent jobs; it’s not unheard of. So, aim to show the employer that you can be a worthy investment.
Apart from that, you can make new connections in that workplace. These connections, later on, can help you secure a job at this company or another one.
Job hunting in this economy is even more challenging than ever before. That’s why you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you don’t secure a job for some time. Instead, keep a positive mindset. Remind yourself whenever needed: you will succeed, one way or another.
Apart from that, remember to keep yourself busy in the meantime. Find some freelancing gigs or a temporary job, start a personal project, build your portfolio, find some info about it at livecareer reviews , or spend this time developing your professional skills. There’s no need to put your life on hold.