Troubleshooting Your Job Search

Many job seekers have been there - you spend all your waking moments on each of the various components that constitute a successful job search. And yet, it’s been months and you still haven’t landed a new role.

According to the Forbes magazine article, "7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Job Search," "The average number of people who apply for any given job is 118. 22% of those applicants get an interview."

Companies who use talent management software to screen resumes, "weed out up to 50% of applications before anyone ever looks at a resume or cover letter."

“On average, interviews last 40 minutes. After that, it usually takes 24 hours to two weeks to hear from the company with their decision.”

With statistics like these, the job search process can be tricky and job seekers need to know when to take a step back and evaluate exactly what they need to change, beef up or stop doing.

Here’s a checklist to ensure your job search efforts aren’t being sidetracked somewhere along the route:

Not getting calls for interviews?

Double Check:

Your resume. Is it compelling enough, well formatted and sufficiently aerated? Are your cover letters onerous to read and sound like everyone else’s? Are you spending most of your time applying on-line?

To Do:

Review and rake your resume and brutally edit your cover letters. Spend more time networking and less time applying to on-line positions.

Phone screens but no in-person interviews?

Double Check:

Are you preparing sufficiently for phone screens and following up? Do you sound desperate and “over talk” why you are out of work? Do you have a list of accomplishments in front of you and a chart that matches your qualifications to their requirements?

To Do:

Ask a friend or coach to phone screen you for a job you’ve already applied for. Be upfront about your situation and make it sound as positive as possible. Create a document that lists your top 4 or 5 accomplishments to use during phone screens.

You came in 2nd….again?

Double Check:

How are you preparing for your interview? Are you anticipating obvious questions? Do you have the top 4 or 5 accomplishment statements squarely in mind? Are you researching the firm sufficiently? Have you prepared a 2-minute drill? Are you rambling on and on as you watch the interviewer’s eyes glaze over while you are delivering it?

To Do:

Practice, practice, practice interviewing with a coach and get some honest feedback. Ask someone to videotape you answering a handful of questions. Adjust your presentation accordingly. Prepare a short and focused narrative. Include a brief statement about your background, education, career history and current situation. And then practice your delivery some more!

You have run out of contacts?

Double Check:

You’re kidding, right? Do you have a networking profile with sufficient detail to help people make recommendations? Are you asking enough questions so that someone can make additional referrals? Are you being too timid? Are you getting at least 3 names from people you meet?

To Do:

Make a list of all the people you know by category. Start approaching them. Ask each person to suggest at least 3 people for you to speak with. Refine your networking technique. Create a specific agenda for the meetings and a list of questions you might ask to prime the pump.

The job search process can be tough, but it’s important for job seekers to meet every challenge head on and with the right information. Continually learning and adjusting your job search plan to achieve the desired results will definitely help you land a great job in less time. 

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