You’ve been sending out dozens of applications for weeks, but still have heard nothing.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty common. In fact, 75 percent of job seekers who applied to jobs didn’t hear back from employers, according to data from CareerBuilder’s 2013 survey.
Even so, you’ve been showing your resume to everyone in sight and bemoaning the agony of a job search to your friends. You may think someone should have offered you a job by now. But while your motivation is clearly there, your approach might be spoiling your job search.
Here are four tactics that will ensure your job search will fail miserably and what to do instead:
If you find a job you think you’d be a good match for, by all means, apply! Just don’t stop there.
Instead, take action. As soon as you submit your application, search online for the best way to connect with the hiring manager or other employees who work at the company where you just applied.
For instance, you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Then, you can send a message saying you are interested in joining their team and would like an opportunity to learn more about the position. Ask who you should stay in touch with to discuss the position. If you’re feeling bold, ask to meet up over coffee to learn about the company culture.
If you’re sending out more than 10 applications and resumes each day, it might be a sign your search lacks focus.
If you apply to too many jobs, you’ll lose precision in nurturing your most important employment leads. Instead of applying for several jobs after skimming the titles in desperation, pick a few positions and research them thoroughly. Choose companies you’d feel proud to be a part of and positions with required skills that match yours.
Use the time you would normally spend on filling out another seven applications to connect online with employees at those companies on LinkedIn or social media. Familiarize yourself with company news, as well as industry news.
Handing resumes to people unsolicited has the same effect as pop-up ads.
When meeting a hiring manager or recruiter, first introduce yourself and seek to make acquaintance with some basic small talk about each other. Wait to mention your job search until the second part of the conversation or until the other person brings up the subject.
Casually mention you’re looking at employment options. If the person works at a company you have your eye on, ask questions about their experience at the company, what they do, and advice for someone looking to join the team. They might know of a position opening and ask for your resume.
There is a clear line between following up and being desperate. If your calls to the hiring manager start going straight to voicemail without any return calls, it’s time to back off.
After the interview, follow up by sending a handwritten thank you card the next day. If you don’t hear anything a week later, send a follow-up email mentioning you hope they received the card and to contact you if they’re interested in meeting again. From there, space out your follow-up messages to weekly or bi-weekly.
Pursue other opportunities simultaneously. Should this one turn out to be a dead end, don’t despair. Move forward and reach out to a new contact.
If you’re shuddering right now because you realize you’ve been using some of these tactics, relax. It’s a sign you have a lot of passion and energy to devote to your job search. Now, redirect that energy to focus on making connections and getting to know the companies for which you’d like to work. When one of your connections presents you with a job opportunity, you’ll be ready.
How did you recover from a time you’ve failed in your job search? Or if you haven’t yet, what have you tried?