Posted by: careerworks | March 7, 2011

Ever ask yourself; “Why don’t I get a response to my application?”

You’ve sent out dozens of resumes. Then why don’t you get a response from employers? As a career coach, I hear this question all the time. Though the economy can be a  factor, the truth is that job seekers can take steps to improve response rates.

While there are many variables can impact the success of a job search, three major factors merit consideration: background, resume, job search strategies, and aggressiveness of the campaign. Let’s review each of these in some detail.

General manager revamps his background, focus, and resume

John was a successful manager at a prestigious company. During his career, he had managed several large enterprises and had generated millions of dollars in cumulative cost savings. Yet, despite his super-star performance record, he was unable to attract the attention of employers.

What was going wrong? John was very passionate about his business, specifically customer satisfaction, and almost all the roles he was applying for were focused on maximizing customer satisfaction and retention. While John’s resume showcased his management and leadership track record, there was very little information about his work with customers.

John could easily conceptualize his “transferability” from general management to customer relationship management roles, but hiring managers were inundated with resumes that had a background in customer relationship management. As a general manager, John had worked on customer satisfaction initiatives but his resume was not targeted enough to bring out these accomplishments.

Solution

After helping John highlight his customer related accomplishments, he was ready for a 360-resume makeover. His revamped resume utilized targeted keywords, action phrases, and accomplishments that showcased his experience in customer management. John is now on the road to success and has started interviewing for his dream roles.

If you have the right background, a well-written resume can make a big difference

Liz was an accomplished marketing executive with five years experience and a graduate degree in management and marketing. She was considered a promising candidate by most standards and while her background was working in her favor, employers weren’t calling her? Why?

Liz was fantastic when it came to marketing her employers, but treated her resume as if it were a typed employment chronology list. It was simply not highlighting her strongest selling points. In addition to old school resume writing strategies, she was focusing mostly on her job duties, and not on her accomplishments.
There was absolutely nothing on the document that would WOW potential employers.

Solution

Liz rewrote her resume from scratch to showcase her accomplishments and brand, positioning her to the perspective of potential employers. Branding statements, accomplishments, powerful success stories, an eye-catching executive summary, transformed her dull resume into a powerful marketing tool that generated several interviews. Liz now works as a senior marketing manager with a leading company.

Active as opposed to passive job searching

Amy was applying for a project management position. Her resume was compelling and she did have the right background and credentials. Despite having ace credentials, Amy was unemployed for over six months. When her unemployment benefits were close to termination, she hit the panic button but was unable to identify the mystery cause that was preventing her from achieving her career goals. She was the perfect candidate, no doubt, but why wasn’t she able to generate interviews? Wrong job search strategies.

Solution

In the current economic conditions, it’s important to use a portfolio of job search strategies — from job boards and classified ads to networking and social media, it is very important to mobilize all the job search tools, just as if you were launching a marketing campaign for a product or service.

Simply waiting for job leads to pour in is not going to work. Amy realized this and turned-around her job search efforts. In addition to posting her resume on job boards, she started networking aggressively and focused on using a combination of several job search strategies, including cold calling employers and recruiters.

By intensifying her search, Amy started applying for more posted jobs and spent the majority of her time networking. Within a short time, Amy was hired as a project manager.

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