Have you experienced frustration when starting off in your first career or looking to make a career change? You’ve sent off cover letters and your resume in response to the job advertisements/recruitment agencies and then wait. The dreaded “no thanks” letter arrives, or worse no response at all?
If this happens time after time, there could be a variety of reasons. Some are within your control, but sometimes it’s are out of your hands. In this situation, you shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about it. Here’s a few things, you can control, to improve the possibility of a positive response.
Is your resume well laid out and easy to read?
Is the information on the front page going to grab the readers attention? A good example of this is, if the job specifies a degree as essential to the role, make sure to put your education on the first page. Don’t leave it to the fourth page, so the reader has to go looking for it.
If your cover letter clear about what your looking for and what you can offer?
If you’re approaching a company you would like to work for, but may not have an opening, are you stating what you’re looking for in the first paragraph? e.g. “I am seeking an entry level position as a graphic designer.” Recruiters and internal human resources are very busy. If they have to spend too much time working out what you’re looking for, your letter may end up in the ‘too hard basket’.
Who do you know?
To be referred to a company by an internal employee or well connected contact is worth ten well written cover letters. Recruiters and human resources see resumes all-day every-day. So, you’ll stand out if you are introduced as a person rather than just a resume. If you have contacts within the industry you want to work in, take them for coffee, pick their brain as to who and what they know. Again, make sure you can articulate the role you’re looking for. That will make it much easier for your contact to help you out.
Do you have a plan?
It’s easy to make a few applications and think you’ve really tried. But have you? Getting a foot in the door may require your own marketing campaign with research, lists of potential employers, resumes sent, follow up calls and ongoing contact until you crack the job you want.
These are just a few areas to consider, unfortunately not a fool proof approach. It may feel frustrating and demoralising but don’t give up, review your approach and ask for help, you never know what might just be around the corner.