The Three Job Interview Questions You Should Have Down Pat

Preparing your resume for a new job is difficult, but not impossible. You have the benefit of time — no one is going to burst into the room and demand to look at your CV before you send it — and the comfort of multiple edits to help you feel alright about the part of your history you’re showing to the world.

Interviews are an entirely different beast. You only get one shot one opportunity to look great and whether or not you do is entirely based on your ability to improvise around an interviewer’s pet questions.

Here’s a sampling of a few odd questions I’ve personally been asked:

  • Can you fold a fitted sheet?
  • How do you feel about your name?
  • What kind of animal would you want to reincarnate as?
  • Thoughts on karaoke?
  • (In a windowless room) Which way is north?

These questions are meant to startle, to get you thinking creatively or to get a sense of your priorities without asking about them directly. And because they are so rare they can be hard to prepare for, leading to the dreaded moment of actually having to sit and think about your words before you say them (a big no-no in the job hunting world and nowhere else).

But you can smooth over any potential speed bumps by preparing yourself with a few solid answers to questions you know are going to be asked. I know we just said that interviewers are trying to rattle you with let-field queries, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few questions that almost every recruiter is going to ask.

Tell Me About Yourself

This is the opener for 99% of interviews for obvious reasons. It’s a good, open-ended way to get started talking about the subject at hand, allowing multiple jumping-off points for the interviewer to move forward with the conversation. Or, at least, it will if you don’t completely bungle it.

Knowing that this question is coming is half the battle, as a long-forgotten war hero said. And since you can almost guarantee that this question will kick off any interview, there’s no excuse for flubbing it.

The interviewer wants you to recap your experience in your own words, hopefully leading up to the point that you’re clearly qualified for this gig and ending in an explanation of why you decided to apply.

Job Search Tip: Write out your response, going through your history chronologically and run through it a few times until it feels natural.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This question is truly tough. It flies in the face of a lifetime of home training, asking you to talk bluntly about things you’re good at. It’s akin to straight-up bragging, but within limits.

Both knowing how to brag on yourself and knowing when to stop are difficult, but that can be fixed if you think of it in terms of resume bullet points. What they want to hear is your most relevant skill backed by an example of you using that skill in the past. “I’m really good at X and I got that way doing Y.” Keep this formulation in mind when practicing for your next interview.

Weaknesses can be even trickier. You don’t want to share anything that might disqualify you, but you don’t want to give a non-answer that will leave the interviewer rolling their eyes. Be honest here and share something that you have struggled with in the past, but follow that up with an explanation of the steps you took or are taking to change that. They want to know that you’re self-aware and adaptable.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is a great one for all the dungeon masters out there, because it’s plotting out a bit of a fantasy. Imagine a magical land where job security is assured and you’ve found a job you like doing. Might as well throw in some orcs at that point, right?

What the interviewer wants to hear from you here is how you plan to grow at the company. What do you see yourself doing when you outgrow the position they have offered? What skills will you have honed by that time? And what passions will the job be fulfilling for you? You need to show that there’s something about the job that interests you and that you’ll be willing to grab that part of the gig and run with it.

Job Search Tip: Plot out several trajectories based on the requirements of the job at hand and try and use the one that you feel will resonate the best with the interviewer. If you need to know which skills they are looking for, look out for the points where they ask follow-up questions.

To even get to these questions, though, you have to leap some pretty big hurdles. That’s where we can help. Allow us to optimize your resume and automate your job search to ensure that you’re sweating over interview questions quicker. For just $10, we guarantee that we can land you the interviews you’ve been after.

 

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Speed Up Your Job Search With A Cover Letter Cheat Sheet

We all know that sending the same canned cover letters to every job opening is a waste of time. Even if we ignore the fact that every job is different, making it impossible to meet all the requests of every posting in one single document, there’s the person on the other end to consider. Scanning cover letters is their actual job and they’ve developed a strong sense of when they’re being fed a form letter.How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?

It would be a  waste of time to send out letters about your [INSERT SKILLS] to [HR MANAGER NAME GOES HERE]. But writing custom letters from scratch for every application is an equally unjustifiable timesuck. Luckily, there’s a happy medium: a cover letter cheat sheet.

Whazzat?

A cover letter cheat sheet is a form of plug-and-play elements that you can insert into any letter depending on the asks and qualifications of the position you’re throwing in for. It gives you the ability to address the needs of every posting without writing out every last letter by hand.

Beyond the need to save time, a cheat sheet can also save you from costly mistakes. The more you have to type out, the greater chance of typos and other errors appearing in your application. With a cheat sheet, you only have to proof your premade paragraphs.

How’s It Work?

Make a list of skills that you think are relevant for the jobs in your field. It should be easy to find these, they are probably in the “Skills” section of your resume. For every skill, write out a paragraph explaining how you have used or came to possess that talent in the past.

Check out two examples below:

Skill Relevant Experience
Organization & Administration I honed my administrative and organizational skills during my time at SaveTheWhales.org. Tasked with taking minutes, case management, phoning patients, data entry and general filing, I’m able to handle any administrative duties given to me with little to no supervision.
Clinical Interviews During my time at the King County Health Department, I conducted hundreds of clinical interviews with AIDS victims. By being sensitive, sympathetic and understanding of their situation, I was able to distill useful information that subsequently helped educate the community on risk factors of the disease.

With this list of skills in hand, you can quickly customize any cover letter to address the needs of any position.

 

Of course, cover letters aren’t the only thing that need to be tweaked in order to catch a recruiter’s attention. And they are far from the only bit of the application process that can be a pain. Luckily, we can help!

For just $10, we can optimize your resume to make sure that it’s landing on the top of the pile. And we can take that clean, new resume and send it out to jobs you’re interested in on your behalf, automating your job search and landing you an interview that much faster.

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Searching For A Job? You Should Have A Portfolio

Listen, you need a portfolio. This isn’t some moment at the open mic where you can pretend the person on stage is talking to someone else. This isn’t a stage production of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you’re reading this, you should know that you need a portfolio.

How do I know you need one? Well, for one, you’re looking for a job and a clean-looking collection of all your accomplishments can only help. But mostly, a portfolio is just something that every person, no matter their field or job, should have.

The Big Reason Why

I know I’ve been telling you that you need a portfolio, now let me show you why they’re necessary. That’s actually exactly it: showing over telling.

Literally every single person who is applying for the same jobs as you is saying that they’re the right fit for the job. After a while, it’s all so much white noise. A portfolio showing that you’ve handled the exact sort of work that they’ll expect from you at this new gig is a surefire way to stand out among all the people who are just saying “trust me.”

If they are looking for leaders, go ahead and share a few projects you’ve lead. If they’re looking for someone with an eye for design, wow them with your work on a website that looks great. There’s no reason not to have examples of your work contained in one easy-to-navigate space.

But I’m Not A Creative

Doesn’t matter. Even if you don’t have copies of projects to share, a personal website with crisp and clean photos of yourself alongside you accomplishments is bound to make the right impression. As we’ve mentioned before, being heard above the din can be hard. You want to do anything that will help you stick out in a hiring manager’s mind even a tiny amount.

Knowing What Type Of Portfolio To Create

Since everybody needs one, quite a few places have cropped up that work well to host portfolios. Which portfolio works for you depends entirely upon what type of work you’re looking to do.

Behance works well for creative work, Medium is the spot for written words and Dribbble is for all the graphic designers. For the B.S. types, GitHub is great for engineering work. If your jobs have been a bit more nebulous, try out Squarespace or WordPress and fill the pages with stories about your experience.

What Should I Share?

Only your best. Seriously, go over all of your potential best projects and ding them. Be as ruthless to your own work as you possibly can. When you get done, you’ll probably be left with 3-5 really good examples and that’s what you want to build around.

Job Search Tip: While you’re in the mood for criticism, pass your portfolio off to friends and have them critique it. A fresh set of eyes never hurt.

While You’re Here…

We’re sure your portfolio is great, but that isn’t going to matter if your application never grabs a recruiter’s interest in the first place. For just $10, we can optimize your resume to make sure that it’s what hiring managers are looking for and automate your job search, sending out applications to all the jobs you want without wasting any of your time. We even offer a money-back guarantee because we know that our portfolio would be stacked with successfully placed candidates.

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Making Sure Social Media Doesn’t Hurt You In The Job Search

We all preach keeping our personal life and work life separate. But in this endlessly interconnected age, that’s not always possible. Your personal online life will absolutely intersect with your professional online life at some point. It’s unavoidable.

But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With proper planning you can make sure that the crossroads at Facebook & Your Resume isn’t the site of a flaming wreck. Knowing that hiring managers are going to snoop on your social media profiles gives you the upper hand, allowing you to craft your online presence in a way that will show them what they want to see when they come digging.

To make it a little easier to snoop-proof your socials, we’ve put together a few tips.

Visit Like A Stranger

This is the most important part of any steps you might take to make your social media profile more presentable. You have to visit your page as an outsider if you want to have any hope of finding all the things that might pop up and scare off a prospective employer.

Dig around. Click on links that you wouldn’t if you were just using the platform in your day-to-day life. Double check what friends have tagged you in. If anything comes up that you think might throw off an employer, delete it ASAP.

Job Search Tip: Visit your pages in incognito mode to see what they look like to everyone else.

Make Sure You Match

Everyone stretches the truth during the job application process. You’re trying to make the best possible case for yourself, so you go ahead and look at your experience through rose-colored glasses and share that idea of yourself with recruiters. But that carefully constructed rosy reality can come crashing down quick if it doesn’t jibe with your social media profile.

Make sure that any recruiter who would stumble upon your page will find something roughly consistent with what you sent them. Your page doesn’t have to match your resume line for line. People do present themselves differently in different spaces, after all. But your employment history should match in a way that’s not going to send up any red flags.

Use A Professional-looking Profile Photo

This one’s easy. Try and get yourself a headshot. The first picture that any snooper might see should be a clean, clear photo of just you. Bonus points if you’re professionally dressed and smiling in a way that seems candid.

It Ain’t All Bad

I know we’ve made it seem like social media is nothing but a minefield meant to blow up any chances you have at landing your next gig. But social media can do at least as much helping as it does hindering, if you know how to make it work for you.

LinkedIn can be a great resource to provide you with legs-up and ways in if you regularly make a point of connecting with the people you’ve worked alongside. Growing your network (and maybe getting a few recommendations for skills you claim to have along the way) is a great way to show recruiters that real, live people enjoyed working with you.

Beyond that, Twitter is an excellent resource to find out who is hiring in the first place. Following people from the companies you want to work for can provide an inside scoop on a new gig, allowing you to get your resume in ahead of the horde.

We Can Help!

While we can’t paper over the pitfalls in your profile, we can help with everything else. For just $10, we will not only optimize your resume to guarantee that it’s giving hiring managers what they want, we’ll also automate the application process and send out that resume for you. We’re so confident in our method that we’ll put your money where our mouth is. If you don’t land an interview, we offer your money back. Luckily, our success rate makes this an easy bet to make.

 

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How To Make Sure Your Resume Is Right For The Job

No resume is ever perfect. You might have selected the perfect font, put together the crispest heading and explained your crazy amount of experience. But all that smooth, flowing work history is bound to need re-arranging once it smashes up against the sharp rocks of the job search.

Frankly, almost every application is going to require little tweaks to your resume to guarantee success. Your painting in broad strokes while recruiters are looking for a photorealistic rendering of the person they want. But that’s no reason to lose hope. You just have to work hard to be given the opportunity to maybe, one day work hard.

Here’s a few tips to make sure that your resume is as close to perfect as any one piece of paper can get.

Include keywords from the job posting in your resume

This is the easiest and perhaps most-crucial step in getting through the callouses that the average hiring manager has over the CV-scanning part of their brain. People are attuned to respond positively to people who speak like them. (Semi-related fun fact: when people like each other, their accents move closer together over the course of a conversation. Cute and scientific!) If you reflect the words that they chose back to them, you’re not only piquing their interest in this way, but you’re guaranteeing that you address their specific needs.

Resume Tip: You can shorten this process significantly by searching for 10-15 jobs in your field and noting the skills that all the listings have in common. Be sure to list those words in your skills section.

K.I.S.S.

Don’t have to talk dirty, baby,  to impress recruiters. While we don’t imagine you’re chucking vulgarities into your bullet points, there’s more than one way that a resume can be unclean. Follow the acronym K.I.S.S. (“Keep it simple, stupid.”) to keep yourself in line of you’re thinking about adding a little too much flair to your application. The less you have going on with your resume, the easier it is for people (and the machines that aid them) to read. A few quick and easy resume tips under the KISS umbrella:

  • Use standard fonts: Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Times New Roman and the like
  • Try to avoid tables, graphs or pictures
  • Save it in a widely used format like .docx or .pdf

The average hiring manager spends less than seven seconds looking at your resume before making a decision on whether or not it’s going in the trash. Make it easy to read or you’re going in the worst kind of outbox.

Use task/result structure

Instead of telling hiring managers what your job responsibilities were, try telling them what you did specifically that made your last workplace better.

Here’s a comparison of two bullet points:

BAD:

  • Ran fundraising campaigns

GOOD:

  • Launched a fundraising campaign that raised $10,000 in 8 weeks which extended runway for X months

Take note of the use of numbers, too. Quantifiable impacts are catnip to hiring managers.

Isn’t there an easier way?

Of course! We understand that all of this can be a hassle. It’s very hard to land a job and making sure that your resume is on point every time is a lot to keep in your head. So, why not use ours? Our collective brainpower and our ResumeOptimizer tool can help make sure that you never send out a bad resume again. For just $10, we’ll clean up your resume to fit the positions you want and automatically send it out to the people who are looking for you! And we stand behind our work, guaranteeing that we’ll land you an interview or your money back.

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Avoid These Five Mistakes At Your Next Job Interview

You finally made it. After weeks or months of looking and applying, someone finally wants to talk to you about maybe, possibly giving you a job. You put on your best (or at least cleanest) dress clothes and head down to an unfamiliar part of town.

Afterward, you feel pretty good about your odds. But the weeks pass and your phone doesn’t ring again, leaving you wondering which of the thousand variables in a given conversation you could have plugged in wrong.

Of course, you aren’t going to hear any feedback from the people who made the decision not to hire you. But we can probably guess. After all, we’re pretty well-versed in this sort of thing and we actually care whether or not you land your next gig so of course we’re willing to spill.

The truth is that most people are making the same kind of mistakes while they’re sitting on the wrong side of the desk and trying not to sweat too noticeably. Here’s a few easy mistakes to train your way out of next time you find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile sitting in an unfamiliar office.

Consider Logistics

This one may seem obvious. In truth, that’s why we put it first. But you would be surprised at the number of people who can’t seem to show up on time for a job interview. If you’re driving to an interview, make sure you get there with time to spare. If you’re taking transit, know your route and consider leaving some extra wiggle room for unforeseen happenings.

And if you show up super early, 30 minutes or more before the interview, use the opportunity to take a walk. Being too early can also hurt your chances, but familiarizing yourself with the area might give you something to connect with the recruiter on.

Job Search Tip: Do a dry run of the route you plan to take around the same time as your interview to ensure that you know how the trip will go.

Do Enough Research

You should know quite a bit about the company you plan to work for so that you aren’t wasting the recruiter’s time getting you up to speed. They want to talk about how you will fit in with their company today and they can’t do that if you’re asking obvious questions about things you could easily learn on your own.

Of course, failing to ask questions entirely is also not a good look. It can either read as you not knowing enough to ask or thinking you know too much. Just about every interview is going to end with a request to ask questions. Have a few prepared and make sure they aren’t the most obvious.

Interview Tip: See if the company has been in the news any and ask about that. Of course, this only goes for positive stories. Don’t ask them about their latest scandal if you aren’t applying to be Olivia Pope.

Wrap It Up

Talking about yourself can be difficult or it could be your favorite thing. Either way, you need to keep it quick. The interviewer only has a short period of time to talk to you and if you ramble, then they might not be able to get to everything they need to learn to make a decision.

Not to mention, rambling directly contradicts all that stuff you put in your application about being a good communicator. You don’t want to be a blabbermouth and a liar, do you?

Don’t Whiff On Lobs

There are certain questions that interviewers are almost always going to ask. They’re allowed to be lazy where you aren’t. So have solid answers worked out to the Greatest Hits of recruiters.

Know where you see yourself in five years, have an answer for why you applied that doesn’t involve money and prepare an honest answer about your biggest weakness that won’t completely disqualify you from the gig. These questions are coming and you should be ready for them.

Job Search Tip: Be ready to talk about salary expectations in an interview. We know it’s difficult, but it’s necessary to get the job you want at the pay grade you deserve.

Posi Vibes Only

Not to get all schoolmarm on you but sit up straight, be nice and don’t talk down on people who aren’t there to defend themselves.

Bad-mouthing former employers is almost never going to come across in a way that reflects well on you. And you definitely shouldn’t do anything that might make the receptionist or the people who already work in the building think of you as curt or rude. You need to be on and pleasant from the second you walk in. Save the slouching for the car ride home.

Of course, to even take these tips into account, you have to get the interview. That’s where we come in.

For just $10, we can optimize your resume and automate your job search to guarantee that you’ll get a call back. And that’s not just long talk, we actually guarantee it. Stop stressing about how to get the interview and start worrying about what you’re going to wear.

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Job Seekers Should Use The Tight Labor Market To Their Advantage

unemployment, job search, tight labor market

Unemployment has been historically low for an improbably long time. The New York Times reported that the last time we saw such a consistently tight labor market was nearly half a century ago. That might not seem heartening on first glance if you’re looking for a job now. But trust us, the low unemployment rate can be turned to your advantage during the job search.

unemployment, job search, tight labor market
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

If you’re looking for a job in this particular market, there are several ways that you can make this historic period of jobs gains work for you.  

Apply For Jobs You Aren’t 100% Qualified For

When the unemployment rate hits 3.9%, the hiring managers of the nation scramble. Their bosses are looking to hire ASAP and, if the last several years are any indication, the pool of talented applicants is only getting smaller. They need bodies and they need them now, so don’t feel put off by a job whose qualifications you aren’t fully meeting.

We’ve crunched some numbers and told you before that you should be applying to jobs for which you’re 60% qualified. Go ahead and bump that number down a bit. If you’re on the fence about an application, go ahead and throw it in. The time is right.

Hit The Job Search Hard (Especially If You Aren’t A White Guy)

The need for people can counteract some of the sadder facts of the job search. Where a market that’s weighted toward the people doing the hiring allows all sorts of biases to run rampant, a tight labor market with low unemployment means that hiring managers are forced to give applications from outgroups a fair shake.

“When companies have a hiring need and it becomes acute, all of a sudden, a lot of the old stereotypes and biases fade away, because need outweighs everything else,” Tony Lee of the Society for Human Resource Management told Marketplace.

Ask For More

This is probably the single greatest asset that a job searcher receives from low unemployment. Less people competing for the same positions means that you’re free to ask for more when the dreaded salary question rears its head during the interview. The supply-and-demand problem puts applicants in a position to ask for what they want and not what they think the person on the other end of the desk wants to hear.

All that being said, the job search can still be a difficult process. Even in a time of high demand, getting an interview is not a sure thing. We hear you and we’re here to help.

For just $10, we will do it all for you: we can automatically find the best jobs and pre-fill job applications for you based on your desired role, location and years of experience. We can optimize your resume to make sure that those harried HR folks see exactly what they need to give you a call. In addition, you’ll get our Interview Guarantee — if we can’t get you an interview within 60 days, we’ll refund everything back to you, guaranteed. It’s an easy bet for us to make: 90% of job-seekers using TalentWorks get an interview in 60 days or less.

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Opportunity In Chaos: The Many Ways That Tragedies Lead To Jobs

Anyone who loves the news might have found themselves a little green in the last year. Mad World syndrome has been up and running since babies in wells were 24-hour-news but even knowing thatm trying to take an objective view of the big stories of the last year is tough. It just seems like more and more bad things happen more and more often. But our numbers have shown us a bit of a silver lining (even if it is a bit macabre).

parkland.png

We’re just going to come right out and say it. It sure seems like tragedy creates job opportunities. While no one wants the devastation that comes with a natural disaster or a nationwide crisis, the bad old days immediately following a breakdown of order and normalcy can be a big boon for job seekers.

For example, let’s take a look at Parkland. The surge in personal gun purchases following any national tragedy where people are killed by high-powered weaponry is a well-documented phenomenon at this point. But this time around we also found that Americans were hiring more people to hold guns for them.

In the month following the Parkland shooting, as the discussion around guns in the U.S. soured and actual reform pushes started to seem possible,  hiring for gun-related jobs surged +79%.
And all that hiring was doing a number on the overall gun numbers in the U.S. In spite of the teen-led movement to make sure that fewer people could get their hands on weapons, the hiring surge for gun-wielders inched up the overall amount of weaponry in the country.  89% of gun-related hiring in the 2 months following Parkland increased the number of guns circulating.
The numbers might look a little disheartening for anyone looking to reform gun laws in America and, on its face, it definitely looks bad. For every worker hired to work on new gun reform campaigns immediately following Parkland, 9 others were hired that increased access to guns. But these numbers can be misleading. The 5 biggest anti-gun employers hired just 32% of people promoting gun control, meaning that a significant amount of the push around gun control is coming from unpaid sources: passionate protesters, people affected by gun violence and folks who can’t help but share the way they feel about the state of their country.

harvey

This pattern of job surges holds true for different types of tragedy. For example, in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey devastating Texas, many jobs were lost the month of the storm. But 261,000 jobs were added in the following month, more than balancing the lost positions as the recovery process got under way.  Several sectors and industries saw huge increases in hiring in the wake of the catastrophic storm that left significant chunks of Houston underwater.

In coastal Texas, for instance, demand for project managers surged by +179%, nurses and counselors by +140%, and architects by +114%.  And that growth held for quite a while (disaster recovery is a painfully slow process).

So, even in the wake of the worst events imaginable, people who are in the market might be able to see some benefit from dark days.

Of course, you can’t (and shouldn’t) be waiting around for the next news story to break. If you need a job ASAP, we can help! Check out our services. Our AI-driven job search tools increase hireability by 5.8x and start a $10 per month. Storm or no storm.

 

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4 Common Resume Mistakes That Are Costing You The Job

Whether it’s grading an inaugural lunch at a new hotspot or the mental calculus when perform when a date walks through the door, we put a lot of stock in first impressions. When you’re having hundreds of interactions per day, you have no choice. There’s simply too much to do to give everyone time to explain themselves.

Hiring managers operate in much the same way in their day-to-day work. They need to quickly scan applications to weed out the people who aren’t going to work and the spam. And although a resume might not be the first thing they see, it’s definitely the easiest place for them to start making cuts.

Hiring managers’ need to see information conveyed quickly makes the resume the most important part of any application. And any tiny mistake could leave you wondering where your phone call is.

Since sitting around waiting for an interview that never comes is our antithesis — getting people jobs is kind of our thing — we figured we’d point out a few easy-to-fix and common resume mistakes that are costing applicants the gig.

You Aren’t Pitching Yourself

Your resume can tell a hiring manager what you did and still not tell them what you do. Don’t just explain what your duties were at a given position, tell them how you met or surpassed the expectations of your employers. If it’s at all possible, use hard numbers to quantify your specific impact on the workplace. Tell them why they should be impressed.

Resume Tip: Include words that demonstrate leadership for a serious boost in your response rate.

demonstrating-leadership-resume-tip.png

For the love of God, Proofread

When we posted an opening to work here at TalentWorks, nearly 10 percent of the applicants disqualified themselves via simple typos. As our own Kushal Chakrabarti has mentioned, the default position for any hiring manager on any given application is already “no.” Don’t give them any reason to chuck your resume before they’ve finished reading it.

You Made It Hard For People (and Bots) to Read

Many hiring managers are using resume-parsing software to narrow down the applications they review before they even have to look at them. To that end, you need to make sure your resume is saved in a machine-parseable format. Keep the resume simple and clean so that even after it gets past the bots, the hiring manager can easily scan it and see what you’re all about. Colorful fonts, odd tables and other quirks need not apply.

You Aren’t Tailoring Your Resume

One more thing about those bots: they’re frequently looking for keywords that the hiring manager has set and tossing those that don’t have any. In our job search, a keyword-parsing tool eliminated 77% of applicants simply because their applications did not match with the keywords that we were seeking.

Resume Tip: Add 15-20 specific skills and industry buzzwords to your resume

Admittedly, this can all be a little tough. It can be hard to proofread your own work for errors or to know which keywords hiring managers are looking for. Luckily, there’s us!

For just $10/month, we offer access to our ResumeOptimizer tool. It uses our expert knowledge of the hiring process and millions upon millions of data points to make sure that your application is the sleekest and most noteworthy application it can possibly be. We’ll then take that buffed resume and send it in for you automatically to positions matching your skill set using our ApplicationAssistant.

If that’s not enough, we also offer TalentAdvocates to walk you through the process and ensure that you’re on the path toward the job you want. Take a look at our services here and happy hunting!

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Five Reasons Recent Grads Aren’t Getting The Job

If you’re a recent college graduate entering the job market, the deck is stacked against you. And not in any sort of minor way. We’re talking the sort of card-game cheating that would get someone plugged in the old West. Beyond the obvious factors like having less experience and being new to the job hunt, there’s an unfortunate lack of entry-level jobs that are actually looking for brand-new candidates.

Recent grads are all a part of the same wave and they’re all looking for the same break from a limited number of outlets willing to offer one. Jennifer Lawrence might have been discovered on a random sidewalk, but you aren’t an Oscar-winner and the odds aren’t in your favor.

That being said, there are a few ways to increase the likelihood that you’ll be picked from among the horde of fresh-faced applicants looking for work. In the name of giving a leg-up to marketplace newbies, we’re offering some advice we wish we had received to help overcome the myriad ways that the job market is unfavorable to folks looking for their first gig.

They Want People Who Can Lead

You’ve spent your entire life being led around — be it by professors, bosses or parents — and now the job you’re looking for wants some who can take the reins. What’s a young’un to do?

Use leadership-related words when describing you work history. While you might not have much on-the-job experience, using words like managed, communicated or coordinated while describing the work you’ve done will give you a much-needed boost in the eyes of a hiring manager.

RESUME TIP: We found that dropping 1-2 leadership-oriented words every 5 sentences increased the likelihood of getting an interview by over 50%.

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You’re Competing Against People Who Know How To Look For Jobs

Yes, the people you’re competing against probably have more impressive things on their resume. That’s just a fact and we aren’t going to lie to you about it. But perhaps even more crucially, they have honed that resume after years of feedback.

The older job-seekers you will compete against have learned what works and what doesn’t via trial and error. You don’t have the time if you need a job now. Luckily, we can rate your resume using the knowledge we’ve gleaned from tons of hiring managers and countless job searches.

“Fun” Fact: Only 2% of applicants to any given job are called up for an interview. You need to make sure your resume is as crisp and clean as possible if you want to compete.

You’re Probably Making Mistakes

Your youth is the time that you’re meant to make mistakes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into the job search. If you don’t know what kind of cover letter a hiring manager is seeking, it’s going to be hard to learn. They don’t have the time to offer you a personalized critique of your application. All you’re going to see is the heavy form letter that lets you know you didn’t get the job. (Or nothing at all. Neil Degrasse Tyson has yet to study inbox black holes, but we can assure you they exist.)

Checking your application against a few simple do’s and don’ts of cover-letter writing will go a long way toward helping you land a job. And, of course, you need to check your application for silly mistakes.

Job Search Tip: We found that 10% of applications are disqualified immediately for spelling errors and other easily remedied goofs.

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‘Entry-Level’ Jobs Are Anything But

We recently ran the numbers and found that most jobs that call themselves “entry-level” are actually looking for someone with 3+ years of experience. Who are they to critique your application when they can’t even work out the meaning of entry, right?

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Unfortunately, that’s the market you’re entering. But a little bit of legwork can go a long way. Finding jobs that are actually entry-level and not just looking to pay that way will save you quite a bit of time. In a recent run-through, we found that out of nearly 1300 jobs marketing themselves as entry-level, only 240 were actually looking for people looking to enter the market. That’s a little less than 1 in 5 and it adds up to a whole lot of wasted time on your end.

Job Search Tip: Call off the seance to try and tap into an HR manager’s mind. We’ll narrow it down to the actual entry-level jobs for you for just $10.

You’ll Get It When You’re Older

We found that the most hireable time in a person’s life falls between the ages of 28 and 35. If you’re under that you’re considered too young and beyond that your stock starts to drop. While we don’t have any tips to make you older (try making a wish in a mirror?), we don’t want you to sit around waiting to be 28. We doubt you could afford it anyway.

Consider taking positions that aren’t your dream job if they’ll give you the relevant experience to land the big gig further down the line. Contract work, paid internships and less glamorous grinds all look better than a gap on your resume.

I’ve taken all of this into account but I still don’t have a job. ” Something that can’t be taught, and that young folks have a short supply of, is patience. We don’t blame them. We’re math nerds around here and each day that passes by is a significantly larger chunk of their life than it is to us.

Those who truly can’t wait can always sign up for TalentWorks. We’ll limber up and leap those hurdles for you, taking care of some of the biggest obstacles with our experience and automated tools.
Our AI-driven ApplicationAssistant automatically optimizes the day of week, time of day & delay of your application making the job search that much less messy and taking the calendar aspect out of your hands. We serve up a fresh batch of personally curated jobs every day that you can apply to with just a few clicks. And we stand beside our services with a 100% money-back guarantee.  Take a bit of the guesswork out of your search and get started here.

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