Question: I’ve sent out so many resumes and never get an interview. What can I do differently?
While there is never a guarantee that you will get an interview, people who do these things have a much better track record of getting interviews:
- Apply only for jobs for which you are qualified, using the job posting as your guide.
- Write and send targeted cover letters, specific to the job and company.
- Use clear, simple language; look on line for Strunk & White’s wonderful, easy to understand guidance on plain writing.
- Research the company and include references to its mission in your cover letter.
- Use language from the job description in your letter; there are key words in there that they want to see in your materials.
- In two short paragraphs, match your expertise, experience and skills to the requirements listed in the job description.
- Tell a story about how you used your skills and expertise to produce a clear result for an employer, and say that this is the kind of work you would do for the company if they hired you.
- Express enthusiasm for working for the company so they know you want this job and this company.
- Flatter the company by telling them how important their work to “xyz” is to their industry, to the world, to the community – something.
- Include your contact information in the last paragraph of the letter, as well as on your resume.
- Make your cover letter 1 page and never more than 1 and a half pages.
- Get the name of the person to whom the resume is going and address the cover letter to them.
- Ask someone to review your letter and tell you if it makes a compelling case for you. If not, change it.
- PROOFREAD your cover letter and resume, and then ask someone else to proofread it.
- Make sure your resume contains measurable accomplishments that demonstrate the impact of your work.
- Put in only as much detail on your resume as you need to explain what you did and the impact of your efforts; it’s GREAT if the reader has questions! That’s what an interview is for.
- Call after you’ve sent your materials to make sure they arrived and say “you wondered if you could answer any questions now.”
- Find a contact inside the company to pull your resume to the top of the pile.