You’ve Sent Out Your Resume, Now What? Part 1

By: Marie Donlon

You’ve likely heard it before: It is far easier to find a job when you have one than it is when you don’t.  While there is truth in that statement, sometimes we aren’t lucky enough to control our own destinies. Maybe we’ve been fired or laid off. Maybe we’ve been forced to relocate before being able to conduct a proper job search. Regardless, this kind of decision making is often out of our hands.

And if being taken by surprise by a sudden job loss isn’t enough, consider a situation where all of the resumes you have sent out once an official job search has commenced go unanswered. Then what?

What follows is a list of things to do while you are waiting for someone…anyone…to respond to your cover letter and resume.

  • Double-check your resume. Make sure that it is tailored to the actual job you are applying for. Make sure that you are rewriting your resume each time you send it out, making sure it speaks to each individual employer. This is a sure-fire way to get the attention of employers from among a pile of resumes that read like a script they have already read over and over again.

  • Likewise, make sure to change the wording of each and every cover letter to speak to specific employers.

  • Make sure as you tailor your resume and cover letter to each potential employer that you are doing so with a positive attitude. Your enthusiasm will come across in cover letters. Don’t phone in your efforts. It will be noticed by employers.

  • Send out as many resumes as you can. A mere few will not suffice. Inundate your local post office with mail bearing your return address.

  • Take a break from your search if it is going on weeks or months. Even a weekend-long break from the search can renew your spirits. When you return with a clearer head, review the steps you have taken so far in the job search.

  • While most of us aren’t in a position to move to where the jobs are, maybe considering a job search in your industry that allows for remote work is the answer. Many industries have remote working opportunities: IT, education, health care, and customer service are just a few examples. This type of job search won’t limit you to local job advertisements, thus deepening your search pool.

  • Double-check that your online presence reflects what you want it to reflect. Does it look professional? Take a few moments to make sure that it does. If you have an unprofessional profile out there with pictures that might seem inappropriate to those that may not know you, consider replacing them with more appropriate shots. The reason you might not be hearing back from an employer might have everything to do with the keg stand you are doing in your profile picture.

  • If it has been a considerable amount of time, you might want to look at going back to school. Maybe the reason that you aren’t getting interviews or even the phone calls has to do with your skill set…or lack thereof. Look into local programs in your field or in a related field. This option doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive one if you qualify for financial aid programs or if you take classes at a local community college.

For more tips on what to do while you wait, check back next week for Part 2 of You’ve Sent Out Your Resume, Now What?