Are you exhausted from job-hunting? Perhaps you’ve sent out numerous resumes, but are not getting interviews? Or maybe you’ve made it to the interview, but have yet to receive a job offer?
If you feel like you’ve done everything in your power to land a job and you’re not hearing back from recruiters or hiring managers (or are not receiving job offers), there could be something hindering you from getting hired.
Here are 7 practical tips to consider when you can’t find a job:
- Improve Your Online Presence – Many studies prove that hiring managers and recruiters research a job applicant’s online profiles before reaching out for a job interview. It’s important to ensure each of your social networking profiles are professional and up-to-date. This includes displaying appropriate photos (including quality headshots for profile images); ensuring your information is consistent across platforms; and engaging in online conversations that are relevant to your field of interest.
- Review and Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter – Recruiters and hiring managers typically receive numerous applications for jobs and are looking for ways to weed out candidates. Dismissing applicants whose resumes and/or cover letters have errors is an easy way for them to do this. Before sending out your resume and cover letter, you should not only review it yourself, but also have a colleague or family member look it over for accuracy.
Recruiters are also looking for job seekers who positively stand out from other applicants. In your quest to find a job, try customizing your resume and cover letter to fit each job description, including emphasizing your accomplishments that align with the key requirements or qualifications outlined in the position descriptions. For cover letters, relate your skills to aspects of the position and share how you will be able to address them if offered the position. This will help recruiters see you as a viable, strong candidate, and will at least, help you get an interview, putting you in a better position to find a job.
- Strengthen Your Interview Skills – Interviews play a critical role for employers looking to fill positions. Job seekers should aim to prepare as much as possible for upcoming interviews. This can include doing role-plays/mock interviews with friends, family, and mentors who can help identify areas for improvements. It can also include researching common interview questions for your field of interest. For job seekers with disabilities, part of interview prep may include deciding when and if you will disclose your disability to a potential employer. You may choose to reach out prior to an interview to determine if the interview/office space will meet your access needs. You may also consider disclosing your disability during or after the interview process. This is more common for people with invisible disabilities, or those who may be completing a virtual/phone interview. Ultimately, disclosing your disability is an individual choice that must be made by the job seeker. For more information on disclosing your disability, visit the Job Accommodation Network.
- Show Greater Interest and Follow-Up – Employers generally want to hire job seekers who are eager to work for them and appreciate the opportunity to do so. It’s important for job seekers to express their interest in the positions they’re applying for at all stages of the hiring process. This means promptly returning voicemails and emails from recruiters or hiring managers, following up when there’s been a lapse in correspondence time, and sending thank-you notes after each interview stage.
- Verify Your References – Making it to the reference-check stage of the hiring process is typically a very good sign that an employer is interested in hiring you, but this doesn’t mean you’ve secured the job. Job seekers should choose their references wisely, making sure to have individual conversations with references to confirm they are willing to provide positive recommendations. Even still, simply letting your references know you are looking for jobs or that you’re in the final interview stages for a position will enable them to prepare for a potential call or message from a recruiter or hiring manager.
- Gain More Experience – Most job seekers do not like hearing the words, “You need more experience,” from a potential employer. However, if you’ve been applying for similar positions and are not receiving interviews or offers, it could mean you lack the skills, education, or overall job experience necessary to fulfill the job requirements. While pursuing more education (including certifications) can sometimes be an option, this may not be the best choice. You can also try finding contract, freelance, or part-time work and internships to strengthen your skills.
- Build Your Networks – When it comes to looking for a job, relationships matter. For an employer, sometimes the deciding factor between you and an equally qualified job candidate can simply be that the other person had a connection that put in a good word. Although selling yourself can be difficult, networking remains one of the best ways to meet people in your field of interest and find out about job opportunities. For job seekers with disabilities, this not only means going to industry-specific networking events, but also connecting with disability advocacy or support groups, both in-person and online.