It happens to the best of us, you apply for a job and you don’t hear back. Or you do hear back and it’s not the news you were hoping for. Job rejection certainly doesn’t feel good but the silver lining is the learning experience. Understanding why you didn’t get the job will help to ensure you get hired the next time! Job seeker competition and the demand for top talent are steep these days, so standing out above the rest is imperative. Here's how to make the most of the 3 valuable job search tools you've got to help you get hired and start a new career.
Your resume and cover letter are your most important tools when applying for a job. And you have a very short amount of time to make a rousing impression. A recent study revealed that recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing a resume (The Ladders). It is so important to check both your resume and cover letter over several times before you apply to each and every position. Grammar and spelling errors happen more often than you think and, unfortunately, MS Word doesn't always detect a grammatical error or a typo. A CareerBuilder survey found that 61% of recruiters would immediately dismiss resumes if they contained typos.
Have someone else read through your resume and cover letter with a fresh pair of eyes, and solicit their feedback. Don’t forget to customize them both to highlight areas that are relevant to each position you are applying for. And don’t just focus on job duties; list your accomplishments as well.
Most job postings contain a detailed description of what is required to be a successful candidate. In some cases, you may be the perfect fit, you may be under qualified or even over qualified. Pay close attention to these job expectations. You may think you can do something you haven’t done before but the company could be seeking someone specifically with hands-on experience. Being overqualified may seem like an odd disqualification, but many hiring managers and recruiters are likely to assume that overqualified professionals expect higher pay or additional perks and benefits that cannot be accommodated. And companies would rather not under-utilize a person’s skills and expertise as this often leads to job dissatisfaction over time.
Before you apply to any job, make sure you are a fit, that your skills and qualifications meet the requirements. If they don’t, you definitely won’t be considered for the job.
Your Interview Performance
On average, only 2% of applicants are considered for a job interview (Workopolis), and that’s a very small margin. If you’ve made it to the interview stage, way to go! Now, nailing the interview means making the absolute best impression possible. If you show up unkempt, if you seem scattered, or even if you appear to be overly nervous, this could hurt your chances of landing the job. Interviews are about communication, and the great thing about that is anyone can become an expert. Practice makes perfect. Practice in the mirror, read a script aloud, or stage an interview with a friend. Do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable and confident with the interview process. And remember, interviews are nerve-racking for many of us, you’re not alone.
Always invest time in yourself. The payoff will be rewarding!