Not Getting Interviews? 20+ Tips to Get Your Foot in the Door
You've done the research. You've sent the applications.
Now there's just one question that keeps you up at night: why am I not getting interviews?
If this sounds relatable, don't worry. You're not alone.
Qualified applicants everywhere are struggling to secure interviews for the positions they want. That's why, in this post, we're going to look at:
- Why it's so hard to get an interview in 2023
- 20+ ways to increase your odds of getting your foot in the door
- The best place to get started today
The goal of this post is to analyze 20+ actionable steps you can take to get more interviews. But let’s be honest: you’re busy.
So we condensed the three biggest takeaways from this article up front.
That way, you can get what you need right now and bookmark this page for a deeper dive later (though feel free to jump straight to our tips by clicking here).
Let's get started.
The 3 big takeaways from this article
1. Tailoring your application materials to each job is crucial
One of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of getting a job interview is to tailor your application materials to each job.
Review the job description and customize your resume and cover letter to match the qualifications and skills the employer is seeking. This helps your application stand out and is more likely to catch the attention of hiring managers.
You can build your resume in many ways, but the best place to begin is Teal’s AI Resume Builder.
This tool lets you quickly and easily personalize each resume to the job you’re applying for. You can add:
- Contact information
- Work history
And you can change your change your resume format depending on what information you’d like to emphasize.
But the best part? You can try out Teal's AI Resume Builder 100% free to see if it’s the right tool for you!
2. Networking can be a game-changer
Networking helps uncover hidden job opportunities and increase your chances of being referred for an interview.
Attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with professionals in your field on social media platforms like LinkedIn. Building a strong professional network can be an invaluable asset in your job search.
3. Persistence and resilience are key
Job searching can be a long, challenging process, but staying positive and focused on your goals is important.
Don't get discouraged by rejection or setbacks, and be prepared to adjust your approach based on the feedback and results you receive. Stay active and engaged in your industry, whether it's through networking, volunteering, or freelancing.
For more information on job hunting and hiring timelines, read this: How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in 2023?
Again, these are the big takeaways from this post, but we’ll cover a lot more.
To kick things off, let’s look at a few reasons why getting your foot in the door for an interview can feel so challenging.
Why is it so hard to get an interview?
It can be hard to get an interview after applying for many reasons. Here are a few of the most common.
Ineffective job search strategies
Some job seekers may not be using the most effective methods for finding and applying for jobs. This can include relying solely on online job boards, not tailoring their application materials to each position, or not effectively leveraging networking opportunities.
This is one of the biggest problems we see here at Teal, and is a problem our team is dedicated to solving.
The ongoing economic challenges and uncertainties, partially fueled by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, have led to many businesses downsizing, limiting their hiring, or focusing on roles that require specific skills.
Only time will tell what the economy will look like this year, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce predicts a mild (though short) recession in 2023. Businesses and consumers will need to weather the storm, but there is light at the end of the tunnel when the consequences of high inflation taper off.
With many people looking for jobs, competition has intensified. As a result, employers are flooded with applications for open positions, making it harder for individual applicants to set themselves apart and secure interviews.
Feel discouraged by the amount of competition you’re facing? Check out this helpful post: Why (and How) to Stop Comparing Yourself During Your Job Hunt.
Internal candidates fill many job opportunities through referrals and personal connections rather than traditional job postings.
Hence the importance of networking.
Afraid of getting up close and personal with people? A good first step is adding an “Open to Work” icon to your LinkedIn profile.
Then, interact with people’s posts through likes and comments, and build deeper relationships on that social platform.
Remember, in 2023, having a strong digital network is just as powerful as your in-person network – if not more so.
Bonus: If your LinkedIn profile could use a makeover, check out Teal’s LinkedIn Profile Review tool. It’s completely free and is one of the best ways to grab recruiters’ attention.
Now that we’ve looked at a few reasons why it’s so hard to get an interview in 2023, let’s look at how you can become more proactive today.
What steps can you take if you’re not getting interviews?
1. Review and tailor your resume
Your resume is your first impression to potential employers, so it's important to make sure it's tailored to each job application. Start by reviewing your resume and updating it with your most recent skills and experiences.
Use bullet points and action verbs to showcase your accomplishments and be specific about your measurable contributions to former companies. If you have relevant coursework or certifications, be sure to include them.
To personalize your resume, review the job description and customize your resume to match the qualifications and skills the employer is seeking. The JD may also provide information about whether the company is looking to hire local candidates or not. This will increase your chances of getting noticed by the hiring manager.
But now, the big question: How can highly qualified candidates find the time to customize each resume that stands out to a prospective employer?
For that, the best place to start is Teal's AI Resume Builder.
This free tool allows you to:
- Craft customized resumes targeting a particular job
- Use generative AI to assist in drafting portions of your resume and cover letter
- Format your resume to emphasize key details, especially when you have unexplained gaps in your work history, or you're making a career pivot
- Monitor the status of each job application
And hey, you'd never buy a car before taking it for a test drive, right? We feel the same about working with resume builders.
That's why we've made it so you can get started with Teal's AI Resume Builder 100% free!
2. Optimize for an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Many companies use an ATS to screen resumes and cover letters before they even reach a human reviewer. However, it doesn’t work the way most people think.
Many job seekers assume that ATS software will filter out candidates who don’t have all the requested information or the right keywords in their application.
Instead, ATS software tends to filter the best candidates to the top, rather than excluding any applications altogether. One way to help yourself get to the top of the stack is to include the right keywords throughout your resume.
To learn more about how this works, read this helpful post: How to Optimize Your Resume for ATS.
3. Craft compelling cover letters
A cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your personality and explain why you're the best candidate for the job. Start by addressing the hiring manager by name (when you can) and introduce yourself briefly.
Use specific and measurable examples to show how your skills and experience match the job requirements. Show your interest in the company by doing research and mentioning a specific project or initiative that you find interesting.
Remember, crucial to personalize each of your cover letters to the specific job requirements of the position you’re after.
But honestly, with Season 3 of Ted Lasso newly released, who has time for that?
This is where Teal comes in.
One of the biggest benefits of working with Teal is that you can use our generative AI technology to draft and personalize cover letters based on the resume you're working on.
Select the job you’re applying from and click Generate with AI:
Then watch as Teal automatically creates a personalized first draft of your cover letter:
This drastically speeds up the process and helps you break through writer's block, so you can get through the hiring process more quickly.
4. Network strategically
Networking can help you uncover hidden job opportunities and increase your chances of being referred for an interview.
Attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with professionals in your field on social media platforms like LinkedIn. When reaching out to someone for the first time, be specific about why you're interested in connecting and what you hope to learn.
When in doubt, you can always offer to meet for coffee or a phone call to learn more about another person’s career path and experience.
But remember, networking is a two-way street.
You shouldn’t build relationships simply to get as much from another person as possible. Build mutually beneficial relationships where you’re able to give something back in some small way.
Note: Before you start networking, be sure to give your LinkedIn profile a polish. To get started, try Teal’s free LinkedIn Profile Review tool.
5. Seek feedback
Getting feedback on your job search strategy can help you identify areas for improvement and increase your chances of success. Reach out to trusted friends, mentors, or colleagues and ask for their feedback on your application materials (resume, cover letter, interview responses, etc.).
Be open to constructive criticism and use their insights to make improvements. Keep in mind that job searching can be a long and challenging process, so it's important to stay positive and persistent.
6. Enhance your skills
To stand out in today's competitive job market, it's important to continuously develop new skills. Pursue additional training, certifications, or education to develop in-demand skills in your industry.
Plus, with Teal’s AI Resume Builder, you can quickly add this additional context to personalize resumes or cover letters to increase your chances of getting an interview.
Not sure how to improve your professional skills? Start by identifying skills gaps in your current experience. To do so, simply look at what skills you have now and which ones are needed for the type of role you want.
Then, consider attending workshops or conferences, taking online courses, or enrolling in a degree program to fills those gaps accordingly.
7. Track your job search
Keep track of each position you've applied to and follow up with every application. This will increase your odds of connecting with the hiring manager, potentially breaking the ice.
This is something that Teal makes easy with our Job Application Tracker.
Add a new job to your dashboard:
And watch as you progress through the following phases:
Doing so not only helps you stay organized, but it helps you prioritize the order in which you should follow up with a potential employer.
Try Teal's Job Application Tracker 100% free today!
8. Research target companies
Before applying to a job, research the company and industry to tailor your application and improve your chances of securing an interview. Identify companies and industries that align with your skills, interests, and values.
Then, research their current needs, culture, and recent developments to better tailor your applications to the hiring manager. This demonstrates higher motivation and a deeper interest in the role, which can set you apart from “just another applicant” in the stack.
9. Develop a strong online presence
In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is essential.
Update and optimize your LinkedIn profile, ensuring it showcases your skills, experiences, and accomplishments. Engage in relevant online communities and publish content related to your field, demonstrating your expertise and passion for your industry.
Be mindful of what you post online, too, as potential employers may search for you on social media.
10. Consider informational interviews
Informational interviews are informal conversations between an individual (i.e. you) seeking career advice and a professional who is knowledgeable about a specific field.
These meetings aren’t job interviews, but opportunities to gather information, expand your professional network, and gain a deeper understanding of a particular career path or industry.
Informational interviews can be a valuable tool in your job search, but you should be proactive in securing them.
Reach out to professionals in your desired industry for informational interviews to learn more about their career paths, company culture, and potential opportunities.
Remember to be respectful of their time and come prepared with thoughtful questions. If possible, give your interviewee the questions in advance so they can create responses that are just as thoughtful.
Another benefit of information interviews, however, is that they’re perfect for sharpening your interviewing skills, which leads us to our next point.
11. Set realistic goals
Establishing achievable short-term and long-term goals for your job search can help keep you motivated and focused.
For example, set a goal to apply to a specific number of jobs per week or attend a certain number of networking events. Track your progress and adjust your approach as needed to ensure you're making steady progress towards your goals.
12. Stay persistent and resilient
Job searching can be a long and challenging process, but it's important to stay positive and focused on your goals. Don't get discouraged by rejection or setbacks, and be prepared to adjust your approach based on the feedback and results you receive.
Stay active and engaged in your industry, whether it's through networking, volunteering, or freelancing.
13. Consider temporary or freelance work
If you're struggling to secure a full-time position, consider temporary or freelance work to gain experience and maintain an income while continuing your job search.
This can also help you build your network and fill potential gaps in your resume. Be open to different opportunities and explore different industries and fields.
14. Seek professional assistance
If you're still struggling to secure interviews, consider working with a career coach, resume writer, or job search consultant who can provide expert advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
They can help you identify potential roadblocks and develop a customized job search strategy. While it can be scary to spend money on job hunting tools and services, investing in your career is a direct investment in your future.
15. Stay informed about industry trends
Keeping up-to-date with the latest industry trends is important for demonstrating your knowledge and staying competitive.
Regularly read industry news, subscribe to relevant newsletters, and follow influential professionals on social media. This will help you identify emerging opportunities and better position yourself for success.
16. Volunteer or intern
Pursuing volunteer or internship opportunities can be a great way to gain experience, enhance your skills, and expand your professional network. This can also demonstrate your passion for your industry and commitment to personal growth, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
Consider contacting non-profit organizations or companies in your desired industry to inquire about volunteer or internship opportunities.
17. Attend job fairs and career events
Participating in job fairs, career expos, and industry-specific events can help you directly engage with potential employers, submit your resume, and learn about job openings.
Job fairs can help you bypass online application systems and connect more personally with hiring managers. Be prepared with a polished elevator pitch and plenty of copies of your resume.
18. Build a personal brand
Developing a personal brand can help you showcase your unique value proposition, expertise, and passion for your industry. This can involve creating a professional website, blog, or portfolio to share your work, achievements, and thought leadership.
And don’t overlook the importance of your social media presence, either.
Building a strong social media presence, particularly on LinkedIn, is crucial for enhancing your personal brand and achieving your professional goals. Here are some key strategies to help you stand out and showcase your expertise:
- Engage with posts and contribute to conversations: Actively comment on and share content that resonates with you. This can lead to valuable conversations with like-minded professionals and help expand your network.
- Share relevant and insightful content: Post articles, blog posts, or thought pieces that showcase your expertise and industry insights, positioning yourself as a knowledgeable resource within your field.
- Foster connections with industry professionals: Connect with colleagues, mentors, and thought leaders in your industry, and participate in LinkedIn groups to establish yourself as an active participant. Maintain relationships by engaging with their content and staying in touch.
This advice will work for most social media platforms, but as you’re trying to get interviews, LinkedIn will likely be your most valuable channel.
19. Use job search tools and resources
Many job search tools and resources are available to help you refine your job search strategy and increase your chances of success. This can include job search engines, job matching platforms, and career development webinars or workshops.
The goal is to find resources with the type of job posting you're looking for.
Consider reaching out to your university's career center or local workforce development agency for additional support and guidance.
Let’s close this post by getting straight to the point: what can you do right now to start improving your chances of landing your dream job?
Follow up with Hiring Managers
Building strong connections and maintaining open lines of communication are essential in today's competitive job market. One of the key ways to demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for a position is by following up with hiring managers.
Here are a few tips for sending successful follow up message:
- Timing is key: Wait for a reasonable amount of time, typically 1-2 weeks after the interview, before following up with the hiring manager.
- Keep it brief and professional: Your message should be concise and respectful of the hiring manager's time. Thank them for the opportunity, reiterate your interest, and briefly mention your key qualifications.
- Personalize your message: Tailor your follow-up to reflect your conversation during the interview process. This can help create a more meaningful connection with the hiring manager.
Even if you're not offered the job, following up with the hiring manager can be an excellent way to expand your professional network. A thoughtful follow-up message can lay the foundation for a lasting professional relationship, opening doors to new opportunities down the road.
Who knows? They might think of you for another role within their organization or refer you to a colleague in the industry.
How to level up your job search and land more interviews
You have the skills, but most hiring managers are busy, and you need to show them quickly.
As we mentioned, this includes personalizing your resume and cover letter to the position you want (something other applicants may not be doing).
The best place to start is Teal's AI Resume Builder.
This is a free resource that you can start using to:
- Create personalized resumes tailored to a specific job
- Leverage generative AI to help write sections of your resume (and your entire cover letter)
- Format your resume according to what information you want to highlight (this is particularly important for starting a new career path with limited experience)
- Track the progress of each application
But again, don't take our word for it. Sign up for Teal 100% free and see firsthand how our software can help you land more interviews today!