About this time four years ago, I sat on the floor of my Berkeley apartment wondering why the hell I didn't have a single job interview, a month after graduation.
Since then, I've become a career coach for immigrant professionals looking for their next six-figure job.
I've helped my clients negotiate $115k a year jobs, and they've landed positions as software engineers, financial analysts, UX designers, animators, GIS analysts, mechanical engineers, and more.
One of the most common questions I get asked is:
"Why aren't my resumes turning into interviews?"
Here's my response to the question, in three parts:
Reason 1. You Are Competing With Everyone in the World With an Internet Connection
One of the reasons why you're able to apply to so many jobs yet get so little response is because of the internet.
Have you ever sold a chair on Craigslist?
If your experience was anything like mine, within about 30 minutes I would get 20 responses from buyers eager and ready to pick it up.
Now imagine instead of a chair it was a job description.
Linkedin does this pretty well, it shows how many competing candidates are applying for the job, and many times I will see a job with 200 applicants.
With this much competition, is it a wonder that even the employers pass out from exhaustion and just decide to hire the person that was referred?
Mistake 2: Being a Technician Rather Than a Salesperson
Every client I've had who was in the STEM field always gets annoyed when I say this, but the fact is that it's not the most qualified person who gets the job -- it's the person who sells themselves as the best fit gets the job.
Many recent graduates make the mistake of only focusing on the technical aspects of the job but never tie into how THEY were they best candidates for the job.
What happens is that they end up not being able to differentiate themselves from every other candidate who focus on the following:
- their major (same as every other competing candidate)
- their school (and end up talking about it instead of themselves)
- their past experience in terms of technical things they did
- or the worst, revealing mistakes that made the interviewer think twice about hiring them
If there is one thing you do, make sure your resume gives a reason for them to call you.
Reason 3. Relationship Building Trumps Button Clicking Every Time
I used to feel that it was unfair how people who knew the right people got the job instead of the more technically qualified applicant.
I only understood once I got fired in my first job as a business analyst.
Someone can be the best at what they do, but if they are a pain in the ass to work with, that person's going to be gone faster than you can say "You're Fired."
You can teach a person skills, but if they just aren't a right fit or have a bad attitude or are terrible at communicating, there's not much you can do besides not bringing that to your team and destroying the dynamics.
It's much harder to establish a relationship than to click buttons to submit a resume, but that's also why people who build relationships get jobs faster.
That person may be able to get fired on Friday and get a new job by Monday.
It's not by mistake -- they've been cultivating their network since before they needed it, and when they do need it their people are more than happy to help them.
That's much more work than even 1,000 resume submissions can do.
So if you are in a job search and not seeing results by mass resume submission, know that it's not because you're not working hard, it's because you're not working smart.
Start to develop relationships with people who can either directly hire you or refer you, and you'll see a massive difference in your job search, I guarantee it.
p.s.: Interested in learning how you can Land 6 Job Interviews in 60 Minutes? I've developed this training over the past 2 years while helping my clients land their dream job. Watch the free training How to Land 6 Job Interviews in 60 Minutes by clicking here.