Are you receiving phone calls, interviewing with employers, and still not landing a job? Job search mistakes can essentially be boiled down into two categories: a bad resume or a bad interview. If you’re getting to the interviews, your resume probably isn’t the problem! So what exactly happens in these interviews that you thought went reasonably well?
If you’re coming in for an interview, the employer has already read your resume (perhaps even brought it with to the interview) and has deemed you to have the qualifications for the job. News flash: you are only one among many candidates that meets the requirements for being qualified. Your interview must show the employer more.
There are several ways that you can go about doing this:
- Frame your skills and strengths within the context of the company. If you’ve done your pre-interview research, then you should be aware of the company’s missions, goals, current projects, and areas that need improvement. Bring these topics up! First, it’s impressive that you went to the extent that you did to learn about the company. Not every job seeker does that. Second, go a step further and explain how your skills and strengths would be beneficial in reaching the company’s goals and furthering its mission. If you have specific ideas to offer—perhaps an addition to the current marketing plan, an audience that the company can start to target, or an additional project that would help accomplish the company’s goals—then absolutely mention these. Now, you’ve really got the employer imagining you as a part of the company!
- Go beyond the text on your resume. Given that you can generally only fit three to five bullet points under each professional position, it is impossible to cover everything that you gained from these experiences. When asked to discuss your previous positions, impress the employer by offering new descriptions, stories, or accomplishments that you didn’t have room for on your resume.
- Show the employer that you really want this position! If you’re not enthused about this position from the get-go, then why would an employer want to hire you? Half-hearted employees are not sought after. It’s important to show that this position would mean a lot to you and that you would take it seriously. Knowing background information about the company and being prepared to ask company-specific questions at the end of the interview is a great start. Also, make sure that your body language shows your excitement. Are you slouching back into your chair and talking with a monotone voice or sitting upright and smiling? Lastly, be prepared for one of the most common interview questions: Why do you want this position?
If you’re still stuck in a slump of not even getting interview offers, consider pairing your resume with a video resume. This will give you an edge that will catch employers’ eyes and make them want to bring you in for more.
Note: I thank Eve Tahmincioglu for providing the inspiration for this blog post.