by Sunny Simon
The silence is killing me. This is a common complaint I hear from job seekers quite often. Yes, I get it. You sent off your market-ready resume for a position you feel has your name on it and a month has gone by without even a phone screen. Or maybe you got to second base and aced an interview with the hiring manager three weeks ago, but since then experienced dead quiet. Whatever the scenario, playing that waiting game is frustrating.
But why are you being ignored and rebuffed? Let’s take the resume situation. I tell my clients repeatedly, you can be the most ideal candidate on the planet but if you do not have the right key words and phrases in your resume, it is destined to end up in a big black hole. Applicant tracking systems are used by many mid-to-large sized companies. This means software scanners are looking for a match. Your resume achievements must align with the job description.
You can increase your chances of meeting the criteria by writing a short, concise, customized cover letter sprinkled with additional key words. You noticed I stated customized. That means one size does NOT fit all. Craft a cover letter specifically tailored for each job. Your objective is to stand out from the competition. Do not repeat facts from your resume (recruiters don’t have time to waste and hate redundancy) instead showcase your communication skills and let your unique voice shine through.
What about that interview you felt so pumped about? Did you send a thoughtful thank you email, letting the employer know you enjoyed learning more about the position and reinforcing your interest in the job? You may have been one of five stellar candidates who all aced the interview. Writing a profession note (again, be brief) repeating your belief that you are a good fit keeps you on the radar screen. Still no answer two weeks after your email? Pick up the phone and politely check in to ask their timeline on making a decision. At this point, you have nothing to lose, you deserve an answer and it may be good news.
If after all your dedication in creating a top notch resume, cover letter, thank you note and follow up, you find the job was awarded to another candidate, do not take it personally. There is a company out there in need of your talents. Keep going and you will land successfully. I promise. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog www.lifeonthesunnyside.net