Are you regularly applying for a steady stream of tech jobs but not landing any interviews? This is a frustrating proposition for any IT professional. If you find yourself in this situation, you could be engaging in some common job search behaviors that sabotage your chances of landing the interview or the job.
Slacking On Your Resume and Cover Letter
Yes, you still need to include a cover letter with every application. A cover letter helps make your case as to why you’re a great candidate and it helps you stand out because most people today think cover letters are optional. Your cover letter and your resume should also be tailored to the job you are applying for, as well. Hiring managers can spot generic cover letters and resumes a mile away, and un-tailored documents may not pass through the initial scan of automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Make sure to study the job posting carefully and showcase the skills that align with the needs of the position. Also focus on highlighting your achievements in past roles, rather than just your job responsibilities. A little bit of up-front work can go a long way towards landing an interview.
Getting Too Creative
It can be tempting to want to showcase your creativity on your resume by incorporating graphic elements, but an ATS may not be able to read a resume that is not formatted as a simple Word document or PDF. If automated software can’t “read’ your resume, you’ll never get called for an interview. Rather than showcasing your creativity on your resume, provide links to your online portfolio to showcase your body of work.
Lying On Your Resume
It might be tempting to add skills or exaggerate your level of proficiency on your resume, but resist this urge. If you do land the job, your lies will be obvious very quickly, and it could mean you find yourself being shown the door and back out on the job hunt sooner rather than later. Always be honest about your skills – the right job for you is out there.
Aggressive Application Follow Up
There is nothing wrong with reaching out to a hiring manager or recruiter if you apply for a position and don’t hear anything back in a few weeks. However, incessantly calling or emailing about the job to the point of making yourself a pest is a great way to blow your chances. It is frustrating to apply for a job and you hear nothing back, but unfortunately, it is extremely common. It’s probably safe to assume you are not in the running for the position and it’s best to just move on rather than pester the decision makers.
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