Most people concentrate on their resume and hope that they aren’t doing anything else wrong in their job hunt. It’s easy to look at your resume, but your job search technique is more than just fixing your resume.
Here are a few numbers to check yourself against. Most job searches take 3 months. A hunt for a job at the high end (over $100K) can take 5 months. A great job search technique should yield good results. You should contact about five people on average for an interview. Contact five head hunters, or submit five resumes and you should get one offer on average.
In about ten interviews you should get one job offer. For each ‘good’ job offer you get about three total job offers.
Of course there are other factors that change these numbers. If you work in a high demand field you can expect more offers. If you won’t move to a new location then you can expect less offers. But based on these numbers, you can get a feel for how effective your job search technique is working for you.
Now what? If you’ve found that your job search technique is less than effective, you can use these numbers to get a clue as to where your job search problem is. Decide whether you 1.) are getting too few good offers; 2.) are getting too few offers; or 3) are getting too few interviews.
If you are getting too few interviews, then make sure you aren’t just searching job boards and submitting all applications online. Make sure you are including customized cover letters–that use the keywords and the exact language that is in the job posting. Then check to make sure you are applying to jobs that you appear qualified for. If you are applying for the right jobs make sure that the language of your resume is not cryptic and clearly matches the language of the job postings.
You may be restricting your search by something like geography. Salary requirements may be unrealistic (see sites like Salary.com to check salaries in your area).
If you are getting too few job offers, look at your interview technique. Are you using real, detailed stories that clearly tie to your resume? Do those stories really show your qualifications? Stories should show increased responsibility, initiative, and your skillset. Do you appear confident or are you nervous during interviews? Practice your stories in front of someone. Learn to control your nerves.
If you are getting poor offers, you could be applying to the wrong jobs. Keep in mind that careers shift, maybe you need to reevaluate what current job you are the most qualified for. You could also be not showing your qualifications. Are you representing yourself in the best light?
A job search problem can be diagnosed and fixed with a little thought. These steps are a good start, but there is more you can do.For more free ideas about getting the job of your dreams join me on my blog at Think UpsideDown Books.