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Working Wise - Employer Job Search Tips

Dear Working Wise,

I’ve applied for dozens of jobs and attended three job fairs, but I haven’t had a single interview. What am I doing wrong?
Signed, Confused

September 21, 2017

Dear Confused,

It’s hard to say for sure why you are not getting any call backs. You might want to visit an Alberta Supports Centre and talk to a Career and Employment Consultant about your job search. Your consultant can shed a little more light on what’s happening with your job search and give you some advice. 

Employers are a great source of wisdom when it comes to job search tips. I’ve attended a few employer job-search tips presentations and taken notes.  

This is not a complete list, but it seems like some job seekers are making the same mistakes over and over. You might find some of these tips helpful.

  • Know what the company does, what positions they are trying to fill, and what skills your target job requires.
  • Try to talk to someone who works in the field or for the company to get a better understanding of the job you are applying for.
  • Do your own research. Recruiters don’t want to take phone calls from your mom or your spouse—they want to talk to you.
  • Your resumé should make it clear what kind of position you are applying for.
  • Be sure your resumé and cover letter are free of errors.
  • Don't start with negatives in your resumé, e.g., "Although I don't have any relevant experience, I am a hard worker."
  • Stand out from the crowd by dropping off your resumé in person.
  • Only ask about money when they ask if you have any questions.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile (virtual resumé). Some recruiters use LinkedIn to research candidates.
  • Be ready to talk about your strengths and your weaknesses. Ensure your strengths relate to the job and be ready to explain how you are working on your weaknesses.
  • Be prepared for behaviour-based interview questions. Look at the key skills required of the job and have a great story to highlight your use of those skills.
  • For video conference interviews, dress up, clean up your background area, eliminate noise and make sure no one else is home or walks behind you during the interview.

Networking is a fantastic, but underutilized job-search technique. Try the following to get started:

  • Start volunteering to make contacts and add valuable skills to your resumé.
  • Join a professional association.
  • Find mentors who can help you develop and find jobs.
  • Reach out to your friends and family – let them know what kind of job you are looking for.

Good luck!

Photo Credit: © iStockphoto/kzenon

Working Wise is a syndicated newspaper column prepared by the Government of Alberta to answer work-related questions from Albertans. Do you have a work-related question? You can send it to Charles Strachey (charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca), a manager with Alberta Community and Social Services.

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