"I’ve submitted my resume but I’m not getting interviews. What’s going on?"
This is a big one. Sometimes it’s called the black hole. You submit your resume but the hiring manager has hundreds of applications to look through. Here are a few things to try:
- Tailor your resume to each job you apply for. It sounds like a lot of work but taking a close look at the job description and using some of the same language in your application can help make your materials jump out at the hiring manage who is probably looking for those keywords.
- Find out who the hiring manager is through LinkedIn and follow up with a message or an email thank them for their time considering your materials.
- Make sure you’re applying for jobs you are qualified for. It is probably a waste of your time to apply for a job that requires 10 years of experience if you just got out of school.
- Get even more tips on our article “How to get a job without experience”
"How do I know if I’m qualified for the job I’m applying for?"
Keep your job search in terms of titles broad — you don’t have to be a perfect match but you should be close. Sometimes “requirements” are preferred, but not necessarily required. Don’t let one to two years’ preferred experience scare you away from applying. If you’re applying to a job with 10 years' experience that’s probably too much.
"I’m getting interviews but not getting hired. What’s going on?"
Sometimes it isn’t even about you. Maybe there was an internal candidate they went with instead. But whether or not it’s within your control it’s a good idea to practice your interview skills and keep them in top shape.
Practice your interview
Try doing mock interviews. Career centers will often offer this service. Get feedback from whoever did the mock interview with you and try changing your approach based on their feedback.
Think about your answers to common interview questions in advance. A common interview style is known as a behavioral interview. Basically, the interview questions are set up to get you to describe how you’ve handled something in the past. For example, an interviewer could say, “Give me an example of a time when you had a difficult customer/patient.” You may not have experienced this in a healthcare role but think back on your experience and consider how you’ve handled a difficult customer experience in the past.
Be prepared to talk about why you want this specific job. Read about the organization you’re interviewing with (their office website will have the info you need). Many hiring managers would like to bring people onto their team who are interested specifically in their organization.
Anticipate the interviewer's needs
Before you go in to the interview, put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. Imagine what their needs are and what is most important to them. Try to think of ways hiring you will help them solve their problems.
Dress for success
Assess your interview outfit. An interview is a time to dress professionally to show you are taking this opportunity seriously. Clean, neat and pressed clothing makes a difference in a first impression. It’s hard to overdress for an interview.
Say "thank you"
Follow up after your interview and thank the person for their time. A short note letting someone know that you appreciate the opportunity to interview can help you stand out and demonstrate a good attitude.
"I got hired! But I’m nervous that working is going to be really different from school/jobs I’ve had in the past."
First, congratulations! Second, it IS going to be different – and that’s a good thing! You’ll have the chance to learn more things, grow your professional skills, gain experience and have more responsibilities. You’ll work with new people in a new culture and expand your professional network. This is what you’ve worked so hard for and it’s really just the beginning!
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