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Recent college grad who is having a tough time getting responses/interviews. I majored in Information Systems and I am getting no responses! I quit my part-time job to focus fully on my career and after three months and hundreds of applications sent, nothing. I am applying mainly for entry-level positions and usually make sure the qualifications match or are similar to my resume. Only positive thing is that I didn't rack up any student loans

I Went to my schools career center and they are just too proactive and don't tell me the truth about issues my resume might have. It's been tough.....

closed as too broad by alroc, Masked Man, Chris E, gnat, Xavier J Aug 11 '16 at 21:42

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    Most of the time, employers don't respond to applicants that they don't want to interview. Particularly when we're talking about entry-level positions where you may get hundreds of applicants for a single position. I'm guessing you mean "protective" rather than "proactive" in the second paragraph. It seems odd that a career center would be unwilling to provide honest feedback on a resume. Have you asked a friend to review it? – Justin Cave Aug 11 '16 at 17:06
  • I mean they don't tell me any negatives it might have. They just say "It looks good" just to get me out of the office...... – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 17:13
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    @Killer066 I think you probably need to look up what "proactive" actually means. – Philip Kendall Aug 11 '16 at 17:26
  • I was thinking about hiring a career consultant. We had one come to one of our career fairs and gave a lecture. Any thoughts on this? – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 17:32
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    @Killer066 While getting a career consultant is great idea what is important is having a good resume. After that, no consultant can help you land a job since they won't come with you to the interview. That's something you'd have to do. – Dan Aug 11 '16 at 17:35
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What might be reasons why you don't get response from employers when applying for a job?

Many employers don't respond when an applicant won't be considered for an interview. Some send a form letter/email "thank you", but many don't even do that.

I assume what you are really asking is why you don't get invited for an interview?

The list of possibilities is endless, and there's no real way for anyone here to know what the actual reasons were. Here are some possibilities:

  • The employer filled the job by the time they received your resume
  • The employer found enough qualified applicants to interview and stopped reviewing resumes
  • In spite of trying hard, your resume doesn't indicate a match between what you are offering and what they are looking for in an employee for that specific position
  • Your resume is of poor quality
  • Your resume got lost

Lots of possibilities, but no way to know which were the actual reasons

  • You think adding that No student loans on my resume might make me look more responsible? Lol – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 17:18
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My recommendations:

  1. Get your resume reviewed by a career expert (sometimes a school might offer this) though I recommend checking with your English department.
  2. Make sure you call for a follow up at places you applied. After not hearing for a week, call them up or email them. Sometimes this works for at least a interview.
  3. Apply everyday. Don't hold out on one job posting. Don't even read it, just search for a term and apply.
  4. Don't make long explanations like you would in school. For example, your post just now has various random, unintelligible things. As a potential job recruit if you make your employer confused, they'll pass. In school it might earn you a B+, but in real life all you'll hear is, "Next!"
  5. Never quit a job to find a new job, especially if you rely on the income. This will always make you look bad as it will create a gap in your employment. At this stage, it probably doesn't matter but as you get older, it will.

As far as your question goes, a place might not call for various reasons. If you did the above, particularly #1, and it still fails, then continue on applying.

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You have to understand that entry level jobs get hundreds sometimes thousands of applications. When I first graduated I occasionally got a letter that said something like, out of the 917 applications, you were not one of the 5 we are interviewing. In today's world, very few companies bother to contact people who were not chosen to interview.

All you can do is trudge on until you find something. You need to look at what you can do to make yourself shine above the other candidates and use this unemployed time to help improve your qualifications. Take some course, do some open source work, volunteer to do some programming work for a charity.

Look at your resume, many companies use automated systems to filter applicants, so if your resume does not contain the keywords in the job ad, then the chances of a human being even reading it are close to zero. Since you are getting no nibbles at all, this may well be your problem. You probably need to customize your resume for every job application. And don't expect those automated systems to be smart either. If the ad says C#, then saying you have .Net won't make the cut.

Next find some people out in the work world, not academia, who are managers or hiring officials or HR to review your resume. Check with your parents or your parents' friends to find some of these people. You want people who are at least ten years out into the workplace and who have been involved in hiring to tell you the truth about your resume.

  • Well, my parents are not in IT as I am a first generation college grad and most of my friends are in engineering – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 17:27
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    The point is you need someone who is not of your generation to read your resume, someone who is involved in hiring. You may need to search someone like that out. But your parents and their friends may know someone who works in a different industry. Go to a job fair, find a company rep there and explain that you need some advice on resumes since you are getting no responses and see if he/she will review it for you. Talk to a recruiter and ask that person to help you (they only get paid if the person is hired, so ti is in their interest to help improve the chances of you getting hired) – HLGEM Aug 11 '16 at 17:42
  • @JoeStrazzere, I'd appreciate it if you took a quick look at mine. There's a career fair next month at my university and will definitely be asking for advice – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 17:54
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    @Killer066 also, Check with your University's career services department (whatever they call themselves). I can almost guarantee they will have some sort of resume review/writing sessions in the couple weeks leading into the career fair. It may even be populated by industry folks already in town for the career fair. – shenles Aug 11 '16 at 18:22
  • I also wasn't able to do an internship which is probably making it even more difficult – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 18:37
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Very few resumes are read by actual humans anymore. They go into a database and are spit out, or not, as per requirements.

It is possible that you do not have the proper keywords in your resume, so it is not even seen by human beings.

After that:

  1. The Sheer volume of resumes employers see these days means that they'd have to have a full-time person working 24/7 just to answer all of the job querents.
  2. This was not a real job posting. To be "fair" many companies post jobs to their sites and in the paper because policy (or law) requires them to do so. Whey may have a C&A internal candidate (Clear and Available) who they intend to hire.
  3. Resume scumming. Some companies are just grabbing as many resumes as they can so that they can boast of how many job seekers they have, and get the attention of potential clients that way.
  4. Lack of that personal touch. This one I will expound on

If your resume comes in the front door along with every last other resume, written in the same boiler plate, and with a standard, form style cover letter, you're not going to stand out. Make yourself stand out by calling first.

One thing I did when the market was VERY tight, I would call the recruiter with "questions". What I was really doing was making a personal connection with him, and asked if I could send my resume to his attention. Then I followed up to see if he got it.

This is your life, my friend, don't be shy on grabbing it by the horns.

  • Most big companies (which I've applied for) like HP, GM, IBM, Intel, Chase etc..use resume analysis software – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 17:34
  • @joeStrazzere, no I've applied to smaller companies. It's just that these companies are the ones that sometimes come to our classes and tell us their hiring – Noah Aug 11 '16 at 18:19
  • @JoeStrazzere I was warned about resume analysis software years ago.A quick google search will show you ICIMS hiring software and tryjazz and dozens of others. – Retired Codger Aug 11 '16 at 18:23
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The real question is how to get the interview, which is all that matters. A stack of rejections won't help.

Network. Find someone you know working somewhere that is hiring. Go to meet-ups and professional events and other places where you can get face time with someone with a job. Find where your school friends are working. Ask a neighbor. Be relentless. Anyone who will say you're talented and professional is a good advocate.

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