Solid Secrets for Getting Hired in 2013

Sure, the job market is slow during the holidays, but if you haven’t heard back from prospective employers on your job application, there may be other factors to blame other than poor timing and a bad job market.

Alison Green, writer of the Ask a Manger blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search and management issues, clues us in.

1. Boring Cover Letter
We’re going on the assumption here you actually wrote and submitted a cover letter with your resume, and if you didn’t, there’s problem number one right there. Every resume must be accompanied by a cover letter that summarizes your employment history in one or two short paragraphs, in addition to explaining why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Be creative and concise and those responses will come rolling in!

2. List Achievements
Many job seekers respond to job listings they have no experience in, or aren’t qualified for. If you’re trying to break into a new career field or you have job experience that your title doesn’t explain, don’t just list what you did at your previous jobs. Green says hiring managers want to know what you accomplished at your last job, not your daily duties.

3. Bad Resume
Green hears job seekers complain all the time that their resume has been reviewed by people and everyone says it’s “fine.” But in an employers job market and a down economy, “fine” won’t cut it. It needs to stand far apart from the competition so you don’t get lost in the “maybe” folder. Which leads us to…

4. Wrong Feedback
Your mother is always going to tell you everything you do is great. Your husband may be sweetly clueless. The point is, you need someone who has experience in hiring people to give you real feedback. An HR executive, a hiring manger, or someone else with interview hiring experience. Green says a good test is to give them a sample resume where you list job duties instead of achievements. If they tell you how great it is, you’ll know they don’t have any useful feedback for you.