Ask Dana: Sending out scores of resumes and getting no response? Here’s what you’re doing wrong

Sending Out Scores of Resumes


I’m sending out 10 resumes a week, which has translated to zero interview requests and only a few auto-rejection letters so far. What am I doing wrong?

Answer from Dana:

Although it’s hard to tell exactly what you need to change, allow me to venture a few guesses:

1. R.A.A. or Random Acts of Application

Too many job seekers submit resumes for positions that they either aren’t qualified for or have no experience in. Is your search well refined by role and industry? Are you reading the job descriptions in detail before you apply?

2. Resumes, alone, don’t work

Resumes are flawed by design since they don’t tell the reader why you’re a fit for that specific job. The company took the time to write a job description, and you respond with a chronological mish-mash of your work experience. Why put the onus on the hiring manager to connect the dots? Write an easy-to-read cover letter and make it Page 1 of your submission. Outline at least three reasons why you fit their needs: “You’re looking for X, and I have Y years of experience at X.”

3. Applying is 5 percent of your effort

After the application, the real works begin. Imagine entering a massive house where you need to find your way from front to back — submitting your application is like knocking on the front door. You’re in their system — and if you’re lucky the company acknowledged your existence. Now you need to work the back door by networking. Connect on LinkedIn, contact employees in the target department you seek to join, and reach out to recruiters within the company’s HR department. A little extra effort could mean a big edge.

To that end, try to get new connections to talk to you on the phone — or meet you face-to-face.

Unsure what to ask your company-specific connections for? How about:

  • “Do you have an employee referral system and, if so, would you please submit my credentials?
  • “I am excited to apply for position X; would you please forward my credentials to the hiring manager?


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