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Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty of Applications
Friday, August 03, 2012

Once you submit an application, it's all a waiting game after that. From there, all matters are out of your hands and into those of the hiring manager.
It's nearly impossible to tell whether you did enough to get a call back making the process all the more difficult to endure. From the moment you hit send, you're probably under the impression that you sent in an impeccable application and resume. The hiring manager would have to be crazy not to hire you.
But days and maybe even weeks go by and still no word. Not even a little thank you. It can become discouraging after a certain period of time. So why such a terrible turnout? It's news to no one that the economy has been less than ideal and have put a strain on many job seekers' efforts. The following tips are to help you identify some key areas that hiring managers take into consideration and how you can improve some of your weakenesses.


1) Unqualified.
You might be applying for a job that you want or believe you can do. But being passionate about a certain position can only go so far. It can't make up for a lack of required skills, knowlege and experience. You have to think realistically from a hiring managers perspective. They are looking for the best possible candidate so you have to know what you're up against. You have to expect that it's going to be a long shot if you apply for jobs you are insufficiently qualified for. Apply for ones where you fulfill the requirements and even exceed them a little.

2) Format.
Just have the information they asked for on your resume won't cut it. If it's not formatted properly and in the way they expect to read it then they simply won't. When they happens, it's another lost opportunity that didn't have to be. It's always easiest to start with a template and go from there toward making it reflective of you.

3) Optimization.
Optimizing your resume with keywords is, well, key. Sometimes your application can get screened by a recruiter or a machine to pick out certain elements that hiring managers want candidates to have on resumes before giving it a look themselves. The easiest way to get an idea of what words they will be looking for is by skimming the job description for them. Also try to group the same words together used in the description.

4) Timing.
Why you don't get a call back can even come to when you submit your application or resume and often does. Keep in mind that companies will get hundreds and thousands of applications for just one opening. Until you get the job that you're looking for, you have to search diligently like it that was your job. It helps to have a morning routine of scouring job boards and submitting at least 5-10 applications before continuing throughout the day. Prioritize which openings you want most and apply to those first thing in the morning.

5) Conflicting profiles.
Even with the most impressive resume, it will get you nowhere if your social media networking sites don't match up. The resume you submit may have been fully keyword optimized but if your LinkedIn isn't, it's a clear sign that you were probably bluffing. Some employers may even look you up on non-professional sites such as Facebook or Twitter so make sure that you secure your profiles from prying eyes.

  • Do your research on companies through social media sites and get to know their cultures. These are also a good place to get updates on jobs.
  • Become notable in your industry by starting a blog, website, or social media page.
  • Begin your search before you have to. If possible, if you feel like you might be on thin ice or don't like your current job, start your search before you're out of options. That way there will be less pressure from time and you can do a more thorough search.
  • Ask around. Ask your friends, neighbors, family members, and even friends or friends whether they might know of anything available or anyone else who might be able to help in the search. This is a resource that should be tapped into. A lot of the time how you end up getting a job is through who you know.