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I've been looking for job since July and I have got only one interview. I'm realistic, I'm a recent grad so I'm applying for intership/entry level positions, not mid/senior ones. I'm not even applying for entry positions in which they ask for more than a year experience.

I'm kind of desperate right now, not only because I haven't job but because I do not even get the chance of show my skills in an interview.

What can I do to figure out what changes I need to make to my resume to get more interviews?

Would it be appropriate, in the cover letter, to ask for a reason if they choose not to interview me, or to request feedback on my resume?

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    @PaulBrown similar question but this is not even getting interviews. So Ido not think it is a dupe – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 28 '13 at 12:57
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    What have you done to either practice interviewing or have people review your resume? – enderland Mar 28 '13 at 13:32
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    There are minor language errors in your post. If your resume has similar errors, it would really help to clean that up. When I have a stack of resumes to look at, I make two piles at first - one goes in the trash. Spelling and grammar errors get you in the trash pile. I understand English might not be your native language, but for a resume, if the person didn't take the time to get the spelling correct, I suspect they will give that same level of attention on the job and I don't need that. – Jasmine Mar 28 '13 at 17:54
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    As a recent graduate, doesn't your university have any career support services? – user8365 Mar 28 '13 at 19:37
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    And, what I'm doing here is not to say this is the reason you're not getting calls. I'm simply trying to show you the level of detail you need to look at. When the job market is crowded, we're just going to pass you up for someone who didn't make those mistakes. I'm pushing you to have your resume professionally edited. One word can eliminate you from consideration, it's true! And, it's not because the mistake is really bad, it's because you are competing with others who didn't make that mistake. – Jasmine Apr 1 '13 at 15:12
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It is definitely not appropriate and is more likely to hinder your chances at getting an interview than to help you with constructive feedback. The reason is you are indicating to them that other employers have found something lacking. This sends them on a hunt to find the problems rather than looking to see how you can fill their position. And since you are unemployed and have no real experience there is plenty to find. This is not necessarily a reflection on you but on pretty much every person seeking their first job.

So what can you do? You can start by having your employed friends review your resume. I indicate employed because you likely have other friends in the same boat as you. When asking for advice go to those people who are successful. You would not ask the guy that seems to be constantly getting into fender benders to teach you to drive, the same goes for getting a job. Find someone who has successfully found employment and get their feedback. Do not take what they say personally. They are trying to help you and the best way is to give you the brutal honest opinion on the failings. It does not matter if you think your resume looks perfect, and fits the bill for some guide you found, it is not getting you the job. If possible have some friends of your family that are in business review it. If you have a friend that actively hires people for a living getting their feedback can be invaluable. Do not try to get them to give you a job just ask for help fixing your resume. If they are inclined to hire you they will, if not they should provide you with tips from the most useful vantage point.

Most importantly when having people review your resume do not argue with them. It is better to agree and then ignore their advice than to argue about why they are wrong. You asked their opinion and now they are giving it. You may find yourself coming back to them for help in the future and if you did not argue you will find much more willing assistance than if you fought with them while asking for their help.

Once your resume is ready for prime time practice your interview. As many people as you can get them asking you any question they can think of. In interviews you will have curve ball questions that seem to come out of nowhere that you are not ready for. You need to be able to handle those questions with poise. If you panic in your interview you are more likely to panic on the job. Besides that take the criticism of your interviews to heart and work on correcting them. Again do not argue with the people you are asking for help.

Getting your first job is often the toughest. You may want to consider getting involved with professional groups in your field. Search on line for meetings in your area. These groups are almost always looking for new members and are great ways to network and find people looking for talent. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

  • And if you know anyone at all that does hiring in any capacity (not necessarily your field), then ask them to review it. What a person who does hiring looks for is vastly different that what your frineds at the entry level might think. – HLGEM May 14 '13 at 15:42
  • Another reason to not argue with people giving you feedback is that you have no way to argue with the recruiters who are reading your resume - you have no way to correct any poor impression they get by pointing something out as they read it, so you have to correct it ahead of time. – Bobson May 14 '13 at 16:18
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It is unlikely that you would actually get useful feedback by adding that request. If you're applying for very entry-level positions, there are almost certainly dozens if not hundreds of applicants applying for the position. Hiring managers have to spend a lot of time identifying the handful of applicants they want to interview. It is very unlikely that they would spend the extra time to critique a rejected applicant's application. Even if they would be willing, HR would almost certainly object to them doing so since it only has the potential to create issues if the rejected applicant believes that the feedback implies that there was some sort of discrimination. Plus, the hiring manager would tend to suspect that providing feedback would cause the rejected applicant to try to address/ object to the feedback.

Beyond that, adding that sort of request will tend to send a poor signal to the hiring manager. You'd come across as someone that is expecting to get rejected. That doesn't leave the hiring manager with a good impression when they start to look at your resume.

If your goal is to get feedback, there are much better options. Many colleges have a career office that is available to recent graduates that will employ people that can help you revise your cover letter and your resume. If your college is not one of them, can you find a friend or two that you can review your materials?

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    +1 for the college career office. Many people shrug these off, but they can be very valuable and most offer the services to current students and alumni alike. My school's career services office will do resume help and job searches for students for life, after graduation. – xdumaine Mar 28 '13 at 19:59
  • Also, get in with recruiters. They may/may not hold you up for consideration, but you can at least get feedback on your resume. – SliderBlackrose Mar 30 '17 at 18:28
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Another option:

Rather than going direct to companies, consider going through a recruitment agency. I'm not sure what it is like where you are but here (UK) a lot of jobs are available with recruitment agencies.

I have recently had a successful job search after 9 years in my current role, not having written a CV in a long time mine needed a bit of "polish". The first agency I went with gave me advice on how to bring my CV up to scratch and make my skills "pop".

Again, something slightly UK specific but we have sites like JobSite and Monster if you have something similar, consider activating your CV on one of those and see what feedback you get. Agents are generally more amenable to helping you flesh out a CV than a companies own in house recruiter.

Also, consider having a presence on LinkedIn and see if you can get endorsements on your skills from classmates, lecturers etc.

  • Good answer! Agencies are the only way to get technical jobs in today's world. Simply updating your resume on Monster will often get them to call you. – Jasmine Mar 28 '13 at 17:55
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    Related: since OP mentioned that he's a recent grad, he could probably avoid the recruitment agency and go directly to the school's career services (or similar) office. Many colleges offer the service to students and alumni for free. – xdumaine Mar 28 '13 at 19:57
  • Of course, I have CV's in sites like those. Actually I'm using two of them and LinkedIn. But I never get feedback, just one time I got and was "lack of experience" (on an internship...). – user8137 Mar 28 '13 at 21:44
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    I don't think agencies are the only way to get tech jobs, or even an especially good way, for your first job. The best way to get a good job is to know someone--or have them know you. A good way to get known is to participate in forums like this on (but more specific to your actual job). – Amy Blankenship Mar 28 '13 at 21:45
  • I'm not sure LinkedIn and related sites are actually that helpful for a first job. I was contacted by a recruiter for my current job on LinkedIn, but they did that specifically because of previous jobs listed on there.. – Brendan Long Mar 28 '13 at 22:29
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As IDrinkandIKnowThings said, I do not think it would be appropriate for the same reasons. That being said, I'm surprised no one reacted when you say

I'm a recent grad so I'm applying for intership/entry level positions, not mid/senior ones. I'm not even applying for entry positions in which they ask for more than a year experience.

I am a recent grad too so I may not know much, but for what I have seen so far you should not hesitate to apply for positions where they ask for more experience than you have. Maybe do not apply for Senior ones, but if they ask "more than one year experience" you should at least try to apply (but do not lie about having experience !).

Note : I kind of went and assumed you were in computer science so my opinion is based on what I know for this domain.

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