What to Do If Your Resume Is Working, But You Can’t Land a Job

Here at LiveCareer , we often provide posts and recommendations dealing with resumes that just aren’t working. We take questions regarding all kinds of resume ailments, and we do our best to help readers fix resumes that come off as confusing, boring, irrelevant, too long, too short, too messy, too forgettable, or off the mark due to all kinds of major and minor presentation and messaging issues. 

But what about the resumes that are pulling their own weight with no trouble at all? How can job seekers tell when the resume isn’t the problem? Here are a few answers to some questions we’ve recently received from our readers.

Question #1: Oh So Close

“I’ve been on the market for about three months now, and since I’ve been rejected from several positions after the interview stage, I’m not sure where to go from here. How can I revise my resume if I’m landing interviews on a regular basis and editors are handing my document back to me unchanged?”

Answer

Don’t touch that resume! Put it down and back away slowly. Based on your description, your resume isn’t the problem. If you’re landing plenty of interviews and receiving positive responses during the early stages of the application process, then it’s time to leave your resume alone and take a closer look at your interviewing skills. Get some coaching tips, and take a few videos of yourself answering standard questions that are relevant to your industry. Look for verbal and nonverbal signals you’re giving off that may be hurting your chances.

Question #2: Still Searching

“I’ve been searching for a job for six months and so far, I’ve had no luck and not a single acceptable offer. But as far as I can tell, my resume is fine. I can’t find a single typo, and everyone I know tells me that my resume is an accurate reflection of what I can and cannot do. I just don’t know what to change!”

Answer

Look beyond your resume for answers. In your case, I would start by taking a closer look at your cover letter. Your letter may be accurate, but is it also interesting, smoothly written, warm, competent, and memorable? If you aren’t sure, start reaching out for feedback and advice. 

Question #3: Spread Too Thin?

“I’m casting a wide net during my job search. You might call me an ‘accounts manager,’ but you could also call me a jack-of-all-trades and a person with multiple talents just looking for a way to apply them. But here’s my issue: even though I’m gifted in many areas, employers aren’t responding very well to my message. And I’m pretty sure my resume isn’t the problem.”

Answer

If your resume isn’t the problem, try taking a closer look at your search strategy. It seems like you aren’t exactly sure what you’d like to do and you can’t clearly describe the type of job you’re looking for. Instead of marketing yourself as an all around superstar, try trimming your message back and focusing on a few of your strongest skill sets. In the meantime, stop chasing employers who may view you as under or overqualified for a given position.

Get a Little Outside Help

Turn to LiveCareer for search tips, tools, resume builders, cover letter templates, and a wide range of services that can help you land the job you need. 

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