Dear Jen,

I am having a difficult time getting an interview scheduled and I’m feeling discouraged. I’ve applied to countless jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed and haven’t heard back from any of them. I hold a good 10 years of experience in the digital marketing field. What can I do to get my resume read by hiring managers? 


Endlessly Applying


Hi Endlessly Applying, 

I’m sorry to hear that your job search has you feeling so discouraged. Searching for a new job is full of ups and downs and it takes time to find the right role. 

First I’d like to say, for all of those employers that haven’t responded, it’s their loss. But let’s not jump too far ahead of ourselves because we have something to learn from each opportunity. Unfortunately, there is a reason you didn’t get a call back. Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager has of you. That being said, let’s focus on your original question and get your resume in front of hiring managers!

Recruiters and HR teams use something called an ATS or in layman’s terms, an Applicant Tracking System. It operates similarly to a CRM but it is customized to how recruiting teams need the system to operate. When applying to jobs online, these systems review your resume, parse the information and add it to their system. If it is unreadable and/or not customized, recruiters and HR may never see your resume. We have a great blog post that we recently shared on ATS and how they work. Here are a few brief take-aways: 

  • Don’t use tables (or use sparingly if you must)
  • Use a basic font like Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria or Calibri. If it is a font that isn’t widely used, the systems may not be able to read your resume. 
  • Customize your resume to match the job. Use the same keywords in the job description (i.e. email marketing, SEO, PPC, Hubspot, WordPress, client management, etc.). 
  • Include contact information at the top of the resume (don’t let it get lost in columns or at the bottom of the document)

Based on the way a resume is parsed (and how many people applied for the role) it may not get read if it doesn’t play nicely with the ATS. Hiring managers and recruiters may only focus on the ones that were parsed successfully and those that the system thinks would be a better fit. This should never be confused with needing to be able to meet all the job qualifications, but rather making sure your resume demonstrates why you would be a fit for what they are looking for. 

For more detail on how to write a resume, check out 6 Ways to Make Your Resume Shine and Top 10 Common Resume Mistakes

Lastly, never underestimate the value of networking. Reach out to job posters— LinkedIn and other platforms often tell you who posted the job and/or who the hiring manager is. Show them how you’re eager to learn more about the position by sending a quick email or giving them a call. 

Keep a spreadsheet of where you applied, when you applied, where in the interview process you are. Be sure to include the version or title of the resume you used and the full job description. Make note of important contact information, who you have interviewed with or what connections you may have into the company. This will allow you to access a full history of your job search so you know who you need to follow up with and when. Job searching is a full-time job!

Don’t forget to include a cover letter. We always like to say a cover letter isn’t required (unless otherwise noted in the job description) but it just might get you that interview. This process takes time but in the end, it is worth it to find the right job that is the best fit for you. 

We hope this helps! We would love to help you if needed. Feel free to schedule a time at our open office hours to inquire about our robust outplacement and resume services that can be customized to your needs.