I have recently graduated, and am now having trouble getting a job in my field of study. I have submitted my resume to hundreds of entry level positions that fit my degree, but have yet to receive a single interview. My friends reviewed my resume. I also took it to campus career centre. So, I know my resume is good. I’d really like to know if you have any advice on what I may be doing wrong.
Signed: Waiting for my first break (WFMFB)
Tailor, prioritize quality over quantity, and leverage your network are the keys to the advice that Mentor Coach, Luki Danukarjanto of FOCUS.inspired provided when I interviewed him recently to address your question. A former expert recruiter and business consultant with Deloitte, Luki had some excellent insights to share:
“Part of what I look for as a recruiter is ‘did the person even try?’ Often I receive a cover letter that is a cut and paste of the job role and company into the body of a note that generically describes their qualifications.”
A resume should be specific, not a general summary. Resumes should have your responsibilities and accomplishments adjusted to reflect the role. Incorporate some of the messages you learned from your information gathering into your tailoring
2. Show how you add value.
Take some time and understand what value you would provide to the role and the company. Showcase this experience, skills and qualifications as well as education in your application, then to have that come out in your application.
3. Cover letters.
This is nothing more than a document that is worded in a way as to show that you understand the nature of the challenges facing the company, and describes how you would benefit them, if you were hired into the role.
4. Quality versus quantity.
“Some people complain that tailoring takes too much time”.
If you aren’t willing to spend that time on something you want, how effective would you be in the role for which you are applying? Make the effort to apply properly to fewer jobs, rather than applying on mass without making an effort.
5. Focus on the job you really want.
If you really want to a role as a store manager, for example, why would you apply to a project manager or other unrelated roles? Spending more time on finding the roles that fit you and your experience are better served than just randomly applying for similar roles that might not fit you.
6. Leverage your existing network.
Secure informational interviews, create a LinkedIn profile, reach out to friends, family, professors, teaching assistants, past employers, co-workers, and anyone you connected with at your school and from your past. See who they are connected with; see who and what you know. Connect.
Luki had a lot more advice when you get to the interview stage, and eventually when you start the job, but we’ll save that advice for a later time.
Good luck on your job hunt!