Only 2% of Applications Get Interviews. What Can You Do? |

EP 1122 The odds of being chosen for interview are 2%.  What can you do to improve the odds?

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Hi Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, the head coach for and I host “Job Search Radio” and “No BS, job Search Advice Radio, “and I coach people because, frankly, I learned a long time ago that the skills needed to find a job are different, but complement, the skills needed to do a job. So I try to share a lot of information that is designed to help job hunters.

I do a lot of reading, generally web-based stuff, and there was an article that someone pointed me to that was being shared at SXSW. The article was entitled at “6 Shocking Job Search Statistics That Will Surprise You.” None of the main 6 did. So I will just simply state them together.

Only 4% recruiters don't use social media when hiring.
LinkedIn is the number 1 social network for recruiters.
Recruiters spends 6 seconds reading a resume.
50% of job candidates are considering a new job in 2016 and more than half of companies are googling candidates.
90% of job seekers use mobile.

Okay, this is pretty predictable stuff, but there was one thing that they threw in at the end that, got my attention and makes sense as well. And that is only 2% of candidates receive a job interview. Translated 90% of job seekers are unqualified for the role that they are applying for. So, it begs the question what can be done?

1st of all, why that happens is that you find it so easy to apply. Most job hunters, “what the heck.” Then, they submit a resume and you are not going to get an interview because you've done nothing to tailor your resume to demonstrate how you would fit.

And, from employer’ s perspective, they don't want to know that you that you want to do the job. They want to know that you are qualified to do the job. Unless you put that together for them, they're not going to bite. So, you wind up being rejected and wonder, “Hey! I didn’t hear from them. There was a reason for that.

So, here's a couple of very simple suggestions for what you can do you get more responses.

The 1st 1 is only apply for jobs you actually qualify for. This should go without saying, but. When you read a job description, there is a section that says, “qualifications.” Look at your resume. Do you demonstrate those qualifications easily in your resume or are you expecting someone to read between the lines? If you expect them to do the latter they are just not going to do it. They are just too busy. You have to give them a document that is pre-chewed, predigested, and easy to spot how your background fits the role. Got it?

So, if that means tailoring your resume to pull that stuff to the surface, you do it. You use the message area of your email in order to demonstrate the fit. So, if they have a list of qualifications you lay it out the left-hand column and in the right-hand column, you might list how long and how recently you have done it. But it all starts off with only applying for jobs that you actually qualify for.

Next, talk about how you stand out on the job. What makes you different in some way open (and obviously in a good way), and do it in a way that the employer is going to go, “Huh! Okay. That's interesting.”

There is one more that has a quirky title – – apply to the job that you are applying to. I shook my head way when I read that and I'll give credit to for this article. It's entitled, “Why Only 2% of Applicants Actually Get Interviews.” I would add something on top of what they've written, but what they say is it goes back to what they mentioned earlier about people using one generic resume to apply for numerous jobs. If the job title on your resume doesn't match the job that you are applying to, there is little chance of you making the top 2%.

Similarly, even if you have the qualifications for the job, if your career objective doesn't match the role, you're unlikely to be hired for it. It gives the impression that you be a bad fit for the job. It makes perfect sense to me.

So, you want to make sure that your resume shows in title, structure and language that you fit the role. I went ahead and added something else on top of what they have written. Applying for a job is not ideal. What you are better off doing always is networking to a hiring manager. I say that, even though firms always tell you apply to there applicant tracking system.

I say it because when you swim in ocean with lots of fish and one hook, everyone is trying to leap onto the hook and get caught. Thus, applying for jobs is like being in the lake or ocean with a lot of fish going for a hook.
When you're contacting the hiring manager directly, when you're contacting someone on the team directly and saying, “Who is the manager that you report to or who is involved with hiring for this role, what you're doing is cutting the line and getting to the front of the line and saying, “ I don’t want to play with the other fish. I want your attention on me,” and asking them to review you directly without will these filters like the applicant tracking system, parsing software, artificial intelligence I (which certainly does seem artificial doesn't it).

So, t those are the basic ways that you can improve and I'll simply say that if you want to be 1 of the 2%, be prepared to answer the question, not just simply tell me about yourself but tell me about yourself and makes you different from all the other people that they are going to see. That is my bonus for you. Tell me about the work that you do and what makes you different in a good way from all the other people they are going to talk with.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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