Job searching can be a really frustrating time. The average job search takes 18 weeks until employment, and if you’re not hearing anything back at all then it can really lower your confidence and make you feel like giving up. Don’t give up though – if you’re really struggling then complete these four steps below to identify what the problem is, and how you can fix it.
1.Revise your CV
If you’re not getting any interviews, then it’s likely that your CV is the problem. You could be under-selling yourself, or perhaps over-selling yourself to an unrealistic standard. There might be spelling or grammar errors, or a mistake as simple as putting the wrong contact details down.
Take some time to look over your CV and perfect it. Go over it with a fine-toothed comb and, if you can, get someone else to look over it. It’s great if a professional can help you, but if not then don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member – a fresh pair of eyes can easily spot the mistakes that you’ve missed.
2. Go over your application forms with someone
If you’ve revised your CV and you’re still not getting any interviews, then it could be that you’re not filling in the application forms correctly. Application forms often last for a substantial amount of time, and so it’s easy to lose focus, or not put your best effort into them. If you can, ask to sit down with someone who knows how to fill in an application form properly, and get them to read through and check your answers before you press submit.
3. Revise your cover letter, or CV-accompanying email
If you’re not already writing a cover letter with every application, then there’s your problem! If you are, then it’s definitely a good idea to revise it once in a while. One of the biggest mistakes with cover letters is sending an obviously generic cover letter to them – it makes it look like you’re not bothered about putting all your effort in. While it’s a good idea to use a template to make sure you cover everything, also focus on tailoring each cover letter to suit the role that you’re applying for.
The same goes for CV-accompanying emails. Never send a CV (and cover letter) to an employer without including a message. Make sure that it’s spaced neatly and correctly, and that the correct spelling and punctuation is used. Keep your message friendly, but also formal enough. And always remember to include a message subject – something like “Jonathan Smith Application Team Member” would do the trick, as it’s specific and easy to understand.
4. Ask employers for feedback
This might seem a long-shot, and sometimes it really can be. If there’s a possibility then it’s always worth trying! Every so often, employers will be happy to provide you with feedback on your application (if you ask them nicely). This means that you potentially can find out what you’re doing wrong, which will help you to fix it. Don’t expect this response from everyone though – a lot of employers are very busy as it is, and are unlikely to have the time to provide individual feedback for every applicant.