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Lost your job search mojo? Here’s how to get it back


Week after week, your phone doesn't ring. And your email doesn't ding. Not exactly the response you'd hoped to get from prospective employers when you began your job search, right?

The good news is that, thanks to renewed vigor in the job market, skilled professionals are in high demand. Still, landing the right job requires diligence and patience. Assuming you have most of the skills the jobs you're applying for require, there could be a number of reasons you haven't been called in for an interview yet.

Here are four tips for getting your job search mojo back and seeing the results you want.

1. Target the real decision makers
It's not always possible to press further, but if you're really interested in a position, don't settle for sending your resume to the black hole of a general email inbox. If not already listed in the job posting, sometimes some simple online research will reveal the name and email of the hiring manager or the person the role reports to. Sending your materials directly to these people can be the extra step that sets you apart.

2. Customize your resume and cover letter
In the world of the resume, one size definitely does not fit all. Boilerplate resumes (or even worse, boilerplate cover letters) don't sufficiently dovetail your skills and background with the job.

Look carefully at the details outlined in the employment ad and use some of the same words in your materials. For example, if the employer is looking for a certified payroll professional who has worked in the retail industry for more than five years — and that describes you — present that information prominently in both your resume and cover letter. Also be sure to highlight any soft skills that would make you a good fit for the position.

3. Follow up
Some job hunters are concerned they'll seem aggressive (or a nuisance) if they contact a hiring manager to check whether their application materials were received. This isn't usually the case, though. A Robert Half survey found that employers actually encourage candidates to follow up by phone or email within two weeks of applying for a job.

4. Make sure you look good online
Before you continue your job search, conduct an online audit to determine whether there's information about you that might be turning employers off. Remember that it's easy for a prospective employer to find all of your social media profiles and view your activities. Most hiring managers will conduct at least a cursory Internet search to see what more they can learn about you, your work history, your interests and what the people you know are saying about you. For tips on making sure the "digital you" leaves potential employers with a positive impression, check out our business etiquette guide.

A final word: Don't take the lack of response too personally. Yes, that's easier said than done; an extended job search can easily deflate anyone's ego. But hiring managers just want to find a good match for their opening. Sometimes, other candidates simply have more experience or specific expertise that give them an edge in a particular job. That hardly speaks poorly of you.

If you know you're taking all the right steps in your search and have a solid work history and skill set, chances are it's only a matter of time before you find the right fit.

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