Optimized IT Resume in Hand but still Receiving Rejection Emails? 5 Tips for Improving Your Job Search Results
The job search process can be a long, arduous journey. Applicants often receive an immediate rejection email or never hear anything about their application. Although optimizing your career documents to the target position is an essential step in your job search strategy, there are other factors that can affect your probability to be called for an interview. First and foremost, be patient and diligent. The old saying “patience is a virtue” has never been truer than when trying to land your ideal role.
Depending on the specific hiring company and the position you are applying for, each open position can have more than 250 applicants; of those, only 5-6 are interviewed and only 1 is hired. Many online sources such as recruiting agencies and tech communities suggest that most people spend an average of 2-4 months on their search effort, averaging 15-20 applications/week. Don’t let a few rejections discourage you from persevering!
Below are 5 helpful tips for improving your job search efforts.
Tip #1—Develop a search strategy before applying for positions to ensure your job search strategy and plan is in alignment with your target role and overall career objectives (i.e., your 3–5-year career goal). This keeps your search focused on how you want to advance your career.
Tip #2—Research the company you are interested in. The majority of people land jobs through networking. A little research on a company’s website may help put your resume into the right hands. LinkedIn is an ideal platform to make connections. Find multiple contacts at each of the companies you are planning to apply to. If not already in your network, send a personal message to introduce yourself and ask to connect. Ask if they could give you more information about the work environment, culture, etc. They may be able/willing to forward your resume to the appropriate hiring manager. Not sure if your LinkedIn profile stands out? IT Career Transformation offers a service that provides update recommendations to improve your LinkedIn profile visibility and ranking in search results.
Tip #3—Put your strategy to work. Apply on the hiring company’s website or on job boards such as Indeed, Dice or Glassdoor when possible. Timing is everything. Determine how long the job has been opened for applications; are you one of the first candidates to apply or are you candidate # 245. Keep in mind that you can be the most qualified person for the job, but if the recruiter has already selected and submitted enough candidates to the hiring manager, the candidate list may be closed.
Tips #4—Tailor your career documents. One version of your career documents cannot match 100% of the openings for your specific target role. When applying to positions different from your current role, be sure to tailor your documents specifically to the position job requirements, highlighting the appropriate skills and experiences. Furthermore, each position might have different “weights” assigned to different areas of specialty/keywords. Depending on the position’s specific areas of specialties, you will need to move the relevant skills and accomplishments to the forefront of your resume/cover letter and modify the terminology used.
Pay close attention to the job posting you are applying for. You may have an optimized resume containing the necessary keywords and desired competencies for your specific target role; however, if your keywords and those in the job description differ, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will reject your resume. For example: your resume has “Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Tools” but the job description has “Monitoring and Event Management Tools”. Furthermore, different companies use different titles for the same target role. For example, your resume says “Network Engineer” but the job description has “Network Specialist”. It is important to review your documents before applying and make sure your title, keywords and competencies contain the specific wording used in the job description. Doing so will improve your chances of getting through the ATS and into the hands of the recruiters. Not sure which keywords and competencies to use? IT Career Transformation offers a “target role analysis” to provide you with a comprehensive list of role specific keywords and competencies.
Tip #5—Key Success Factors. Following up on all applications/interviews is essential!
New to the IT field or a recent graduate? You may think your experiences and skills are not relevant. However, no matter what roles you had in the past, your experiences offer something relevant to the job. For ideas on optimizing your IT career documents (resume/cover letter) refer to our blog article: 10 resume writing tips to help you transform your resume to the IT industry.
For more help advancing your IT career, visit https://www.itcareertransformation.com/ and schedule your free consultation to learn how we can help you land that target role.