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How many resumes should I have to send out before I hear back about an interview?

Now that it's abnormal to walk into a business and ask if they are hiring, I'm sending out resumes all the time and I have no idea if they are even being reviewed. I heard a stat once that you should get one interview for every 100 resumes you send out. Is this true? It's so time consuming to write all those intro emails and everything! #resume #careerbuilding #interviews

I am curious because it's starting to weigh on me that I'm not hearing back. Is it appropriate for me to email the company directly? What are some ways that I can make sure my resume is getting reviewed?

Anyone have any ideas about some more guerilla ways to get a job?


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Jonathan’s Answer

Hi Lauren-
Don't think about the stat. Whether it's true or not, it will feel true.
Here's another comment I wrote to a similar question regarding the anxiety of the job search but I think it can apply to your question as well.
Know that the job search process can cause a bit of anxiety but it's ok, it shouldn't overwhelm you. Let the energy motivate you instead. A job search is a job in itself so take pride in it. When you land the job, it will be worth it. It's exhausting but worth it.
Your RESUME/CV is an evolving document that you will be updating throughout your career. It tells your story. Sometimes you will tweak it per job application to highlight a specific aspect of your knowledge and/or experience. But always look for ways to improve and add to it. Make it clean, easy to read and spellcheck constantly. Don't rely on a computer program to do that for you. It's usually one of the first items a recruiter sees so you want it to be a positive impression.
A TELEPHONE CALL/INTERVIEW. Be calm. Breathe. Take your time answering questions about your resume that tells who you are and your story. Take it seriously. Practice this conversation with a few people and get yourself prepared.
An IN-PERSON INTERVIEW. Be early. Have some printed copies of your resume with you. Have a pad, a pen. Turn off your phone. Practice this conversation. There are some basic questions about your strengths and weaknesses that they may ask you. There might be a curveball in there. Prepare as best you can. Practice. Do research on the company. Check out their website or news about them in trades, Linkedin, Facebook. See who works there. And have questions ready for the recruiter. Remember that while they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them. Ask what impact you could make on your first day. Be positive. Be polite. Follow up with a thank you email. Even if you don't get the job or don't want it, you never know where it may lead so appreciate the person and their time.
Each time you do each of these things, you learn more, you get better but still keep looking for ways to improve. Your anxiety will diminish and your confidence will grow.
You may never know why they didn't call or if they reviewed your resume. Until you've landed the job, keep plugging away.
Hoping this helps. All the best.
Jonathan

Thanks, Jonathan! This is helpful. I am constantly tweaking my resume and constantly honing my interview skills. I get interviews and I feel confident in my ability to answer questions effectively, but honestly my main issue is that I don't think these companies are even looking at resumes. I want to know about OTHER ways other than just sendin resumes through job boards. Can I reach out to the company specifically? Can I reach out to someone who works there? Should I try using social media? Lauren K.

Lauren- Recruiters look at resumes. It's their job and they want the best candidates, so don't fret about that part. Yes, you can reach out to the company directly but they'll usually direct you to their job board. Reaching out to someone at the company is fine as long as you are professional about it. I've found the best way is through Linkedin. Not a fan of using Facebook or Twitter for that. -Jonathan Jonathan Manitsky

Definitely. I'll try to focus more on LinkedIn. It's difficult to reach out to people on LinkedIn without paying for a special account - although, right now, I do pay for it. I will try to be a little mroe aggressive with following up about the jobs. Thanks! Lauren K.

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Gary’s Answer

There really is no right answer for this but I would say for every 10 resumes you send, you may get 1-2 interviews. If not, then something is not right and you should consider re-focusing either your goals or your resumes.

Thanks, Gary. I have revamped my resume 3-4 times in the last month and I am getting interviews, but nowhere near 1-2 per 10 resumes. I have even tried adding a photo to see if that would help but so far I can't see anything working better. Lauren K.

Hi...it depends on a lot of other factors too. Its not just your resume, it could have something to do with the jobs you are applying for, your experience/education, etc. I always advise people to have a separate resume for at least each type of position or industry you are applying for and make them match the job description as best you can. Having 1 resume for every job you apply for reduces your chances of standing out and getting an interview. Hope this helps...good luck! :) Gary Petito

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Karen’s Answer

Hi Lauren...there's really no right or wrong answer here. Statistics mean nothing, because what you should be asking is "am I getting responses to my resume?" If you're not getting calls to interview for the positions you've applied for, then the issue isn't how many resumes to send out, it's about whether your resume needs work and whether you are adopting a comprehensive job searching strategy. Looking for a job is about much more than sending out resumes.


First, when you do send out a resume, do you make sure that it's tailored to the job and contains relevant information that a hiring manager is looking for, such as skills, experience, accomplishments?


Second, do you include a cover letter? Contrary to popular belief, cover letters do get read, and hiring managers often evaluate a candidate's interest and sincerity by reading the letter. If you skip writing one, or worse, use the same generic canned letter for every job posting, be prepared for rejection.


Third, are you on LinkedIn? If you're just starting out, you might think LinkedIn is pointless. However, 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates and verify their information. It's also a great way to join professional associations and groups where you can build your network. You can also contact recruiters and put a flag on your profile that you are looking for opportunities.


A job search is a job in and of itself. You need a strategy and plan of action. If you're not seeing results, it's the resume and job search process that needs to change - not the number of resumes it takes to land an interview.

Karen recommends the following next steps:

Bypass the traditional "cold" job application and try to find the hiring manager's name. Then send your materials directly to that person. Follow up after a couple of weeks if you have not heard back. Continue to follow up one or two more times after that before dismissing the application as a "no."
Strengthen your network and online presence by joining groups, participating in discussions, and following companies you'd like to work for.
Make sure you're tailoring the resume to the job and including a targeted cover letter with each application.
Make an appointment with your school's career services office to have your resume reviewed, or have a reputable resume service review it for you and provide a critique - most do that for free.

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Fiona’s Answer

As many as possible! The stats don’t mean much – each industry/role will be different and obviously it will depend on each person’s credentials

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