Job searches bring little feedback from your resume, phone interviews, and face-to-face interviews. Usually, what you hear back is…nothing. No comments on your resume, a silence after the phone interview, or the perfectly generic legal rejection after a face-to-face interview.
What are some of the successful techniques you’ve used to find a job? Share your thoughts below.
But here you are, looking for the elusive job offer and not knowing what to improve on since you get so little feedback.
Let’s take a look at the different areas of job search and see what the silence might be all about.
While there are many ways to format and present information in resumes, the key pieces of the resume need to be:
- Standardized job titles so that the job title is easily searchable
- Job skill listing so that your skills are easily searchable and match job postings (and don’t forget soft skills as part of your job skills)
- Showing business results in your accomplishments for each of your positions
What your resume needs to show is that you have the skills to do the work, and you’ve proven you can deliver. If you’re not getting interviews from your resume, these are the key areas to examine for improvement.
The Phone Interview
Phone interviews happen when someone sees your resume and wants to talk about your work. The purpose of the phone interview from the hiring perspective is to find out if you have the skills to do the work so that you can move on to the face-to-face interview. If you don’t get much movement on to the hiring manager from phone interviews, here’s the areas to check:
- Don’t over-complicate your responses. The person interviewing you most likely will not know the job as well as you or the hiring manager. Simplify your communication about how you go about the work.
- Use stories to show how you accomplished stuff in your work. The interviewer will relate more to the story and, if the story is constructed well, will enable the interviewer to more easily follow your work.
- Focus on a checklist of skills in the job description, since the interviewer is trying to put a check next to each of the job skills needed for the work. The more you have, the better your chances of moving on to the next interview.
Your job is to communicate you have the skills and can do the job in a way that a lay person in the field can understand. It also demonstrates your communication skills about the work you do.
The Face-to-Face Interview
The face-to-face interview is much less about your ability to do the work, since that part is often assumed from your resume and phone interview. Instead, the face-to-face interview is often about your ability to work with the team (including the manager) and your motivation to do the work.
If you are not getting the job after face-to-face interviews, you should work on the following areas:
- Showing how you work with managers and teams
- Showing how you work in difficult situations
Again, stories about your work get your points across better and are more memorable to the hiring manager.
Don’t confuse what is needed between stages
Each of these areas requires a different set of work to improve on as you go through the job search process. Not getting interviews in the first place is different than failing to get past a phone interview.
For example, reworking your resume won’t solve the phone interview issues — they are different parts of the job search process that need different types of work to improve how you do.
The job search process is often filled with silence, with no response at every stage of the process being the norm. Because of this, figuring out where you can improve your job search skills requires you to know what stage of the process is faltering and then taking the right steps to improve those areas.