Question: I applied to several jobs and have not had any calls. What should I do?

First off, you are not alone. It often takes a few months to find a job which is something many people do not realize. On the other hand, it is important to continuously reflect on the job search process and evaluate what you can be doing better or more effectively. Here are some of the reasons why you may not be getting any calls after you submit your application:

  • Have you been tailoring your resume for each job? First thing I would do is re-evaluate your resume. Has it been critiqued by multiple people such as career center staff, someone who works in the industry you are applying, a friend who is good at editing, etc.? It is always beneficial to have 3 or more people look at your resume. Also, you always, always, always need to tailor your resume to each job you apply for. It is pretty obvious when an employer receives a resume that is used for all job applications and that is not impressive. Keep in mind that most resumes get 15 seconds of the recruiter’s attention, so it needs to be easy to read, clear, concise, and make them want to read more about you! Check out this video for quick tips on resume writing and check out the Career Services website resume section for examples and more tips.
  • Are you following up? It is important that you follow up after submitting a job application, but you should do so only once by email and to make sure to be unobtrusive. Alison Green from Ask a Manager says, You can do that by sending a quick email saying something like this: “I submitted my application for your __ position last week, and I just wanted to make sure my materials were received. I also want to reiterate my interest in the position; I think it might be a great match, and I’d love to talk with you about it when you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews.” That highlights your interest without interrupting the employer or demanding an immediate response.
  • Are you spending most of your time applying online? Many people make the mistake of spending all their time online when it comes to the job search. 10% of your time should be spent online while 90% of your time should be spent on networking! Many jobs aren’t even posted (like 80%) and therefore it is all about getting referred or knowing someone. So, applying online is one strategy but make sure you are also networking…you will probably get a much better response rate!
  • Have you been networking? This is follow up from the question above. We are told to network but how do you do that? First, let all of your friends, family, acquaintances, professors, advisors, etc. know that you are looking for a job and give them some specific details such as the industry, any companies or organizations you want to work for, job titles, etc. It is hard to help someone find a job if you aren’t able to communicate to your network what kind of job you want. Also, try connecting with people who work where you want to work by doing informational interviews. This is a great way to find out information that you won’t find online. You may also want to join a professional association in your industry to meet people with your interests and definitely join LinkedIn. Find out more about networking using social media.
  • Is your online identity professional? Many employers are learning more about you by searching for you online. Make sure whatever they find is clean and professional. If they don’t like what they see, they won’t call you for an interview. So, clean up your profile on Facebook, be careful what you post, set high privacy settings, and get on LinkedIn since it is a more professional social media tool.

If you still aren’t sure why you may not be getting any calls and you are an OSU student or alum, then make a career counseling appointment with  Career Services. We can help you come up with some job search strategies.

Any other suggestions why someone may not be getting any call backs after submitting applications? Anyone have some tips for someone experiencing this frustration? How have you found jobs?

Jen Busick, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator at Oregon State University advises students about internships and the job search, applying to graduate school, resumes/cover letters, and interviewing. She also organizes and updates resources, manages social media for Career Services and coordinates outreach opportunities. She enjoys working with students in coming up with a plan to finding a job and assisting them with figuring out the next steps. She has a lot of international experience, including the Peace Corps, study abroad, and independent travel.

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