Why You Haven’t Heard Back on a Job You’re Perfect For

By Joyce Bethoney on May 04, 2017

“Genius does what it must, talent does what it can.” Edward Bulwer-Lytton

One of the most frustrating realities of looking for a new job is applying for a role you think you are perfect for, and then never hearing back. 

While every situation is different, here are three of the most common reasons why your phone might not be ringing…

Right experience, wrong industry. I hear from many a jobseeker, “I have all of the qualifications included in the job description! Why am I not hearing back on this?” Here is one possible scenario. If you are a senior-level social media manager at a nonprofit and apply for a Director of Social Media role at a large financial institution, odds are slim that you’ll get a call back. From my experience, hiring managers want people with experience in the same, or at least a similar, industry. Does this mean you can never change industries? Absolutely not. But be prepared for your search to take longer, a lateral rather than an upward move and more scrutiny around why you are right for a role in an industry that is not represented on your resume.

The “I’m sorry…and you are?” resume/LinkedIn profile. Be concise and specific about what you do in your resume, LinkedIn profile, and any other online/offline representation of your background. If you are too vague about your experience and skillset, hiring managers and recruiters will likely skip over you. Employers seeking great talent want specificity. They want to quickly understand what you do and if you match their criteria. This isn’t to say that you should “niche” yourself right out of a host of viable roles, but if you’re not clear on the sweet spot of your capabilities and skillset, you’ll likely get lost in the shuffle of worthy candidates.  

Too much fluff. Keep it short. Keep it sweet. Keep it simple. Don’t overinflate your roles and responsibilities. Your resume should be a snapshot of your experience and critical day-to-day functions. Everyone considers themselves hardworking, efficient and, in my area of recruiting, creative. Assume those are givens. Focus on the tangible attributes and accomplishments that make you stand out.

The time it takes to look for a new job is precious. Be honest with yourself and your future employer(s) about the roles you are appropriate for, and put forth the effort it takes to develop a resume, LinkedIn profile and portfolio that clearly showcase what you can do.


Joyce Bethoney is Director of Recruiting at Communications Collaborative, a Boston-based creative and marketing staffing firm.

Do I Need a New Job?

By Eric Gendron on April 11, 2017

“I think I need a new job.” We all say this. We say it when we’re angry. We say it in jest. We say it to family, friends, random strangers on the train if we’re having a particularly rough week…

But determining when and if we actually need a new job can pose a real challenge. Discerning a bump in the road from a reason to leave is not always easy.

In working with hiring companies and jobseekers for ten years, I’ve found a good place to start is with a simple checklist (or “gut check” list) of the most basic tenets of any position. Ask yourself…

Do you…

-like your boss?

-enjoy the work you’re doing?

-like the people you work with?

-have perks/benefits/compensation commensurate with your experience and value?

If you answered yes to all of the above, clearly, you are in the right place.

But what if…

-your commute isn’t great?

-you’ve hit a plateau and are ready for a new challenge? 

These criteria are more nebulous. For the commute, many companies are now working with employees on work-from-home solutions and flex hours. Before you decide that it’s either your sanity or the commute and you have no choice but to leave, talk to your manager. If the other aspects of your job are going swimmingly, it’s worth discussing your options before embarking on a search.

Likewise, if you feel like you need a new challenge, opportunities may exist at your current company. Perhaps you can change teams or clients. Move to a new department. Depending on the size and scope of your organization, making an internal move may be the path for you. If you’re happy with your situation overall, it’s likely your company is committed to employee growth and willing to find new opportunities so valuable people stay.

And the final, arguably most telling questions to ask in any “Do I need a new job?” quandary…

Do you…

-feel underappreciated?

-have a pit in your stomach every Sunday night?

-feel your coworkers are adversarial/the environment is toxic?

-know you are grossly underpaid?

Answering “yes” to even one of these questions means it may be time to look. This isn’t about the ups and downs of any role, occasional professional conflict, or moving for a $5k raise when you otherwise love your job. If you dread going to work every week, receive little to no recognition for the work you’re doing and haven’t had a raise in ten years, there is something better for you. Know that you deserve more and will find it. It just takes the energy and confidence to look.

7 Things to Do Right Now If You're Looking for a New Job

By Mary Truslow on January 06, 2017

Is it just me or does this new year feel particularly introspective? Have you spent the last week thinking about goals and projects for the year ahead?

Should I take a trip? Is it time to renovate the kitchen? Is it time for a new job?

Sometimes “new year/new job” is a fleeting thought, but other times, January 1 is a catalyst for a career move that is a long time coming. If you’re serious about looking for a new role, here are seven things you can do right now to shift from musing to moving.

1) Know yourself and what matters to you. This may sound trite, but I cannot tell you how many jobseekers I speak with who, when asked what they want and what they’re looking for, honestly have no idea. Before you start your search, start with yourself. Determine what your strengths are, your must-haves, and your goals for your next role.

2) Research the market. Particularly if you've been off the market for a while, research the skills in demand. "Relevancy" is huge, so identify the language being used in job openings to emphasize your relevant, in-demand skills across your resume, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, etc.

3) Use your network. This has been said many times, but it can't be said enough. Your network is the best, most underutilized resource for finding a new job. But it requires outreach. Identify contacts/advocates at the companies you want to work for and connect. Or find someone in your network who has a connection at those companies. Maybe you pursue a referral or introduction. Maybe you secure an informational interview. Is networking intimidating? Yes. Is it impossible? No.

4) Google yourself. Before you start your search, make sure your social presence is...presentable. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all of it. In the marketing and creative industry, your social accounts are a great way to showcase your point of view as well as your professional and personal values. Just be sure that your presence is consistent, appropriate and true to you. (And if you have "digital" in your job title, know that employers expect more from you online, e.g. more than ten connections on LinkedIn.)

5) Have a strategy and a game plan. A real game plan. Complete with a "hire by" date. Putting a date on the calendar for when you want to be in your next job will help keep you motivated.

6) Perfect your resume, LinkedIn profile and portfolio. These tools should be clear, consistent and an honest representation of who you are and what you've done. Read your resume aloud. At the end of each point, ask yourself the question, "So what?" This exercise will streamline your resume, illuminate the value you bring and better prepare you for inevitable interview questions like—Can you tell me about a problem you helped solve?

7) Get out of your comfort zone. Here's the truth. Looking for a new job is daunting. Particularly now that finding a job requires more networking than ever before. But, I implore you, don’t settle for online job boards. Find new connections and reconnect with old. Take a class. Connect with me! Get creative and proactive. There’s something pushing you to look. So, work a little harder, take a few risks, and find the job you deserve.

The New Normal of Job Search and How You Can Compete

By Joyce Bethoney on October 04, 2016

“There is nothing so stable as change.” --Bob Dylan

During my time working in staffing over the last 13 years, I have seen many ups and downs in our business. Largely driven by the economy. The economy is strong with the Dow over 18000.00, an unemployment rate at 5.5% and mortgage rates at 3.39%. It is undeniably a good economy. 

It’s also a candidate’s market. However, this doesn’t mean that jobseekers waltz in and secure any job their hearts desire. Landing a job has become exponentially more sophisticated than it was ten years ago. And even though there are more jobs and opportunities at the moment, the process is complex, competitive and doesn’t result in everyone getting a job just because they meet most of the requirements.

Here are a few things to do to increase your opportunities and offers in a market like this.


8 Lessons I Learned From Powerlifting That Will Help You In Your Job Search

By Mary Truslow on February 18, 2016

“There is no way I will ever lift enough weight to compete in a powerlifting completion.” 

That’s what I said last March, when my trainer asked if I’d be interested in trying powerlifting. I had no clue what a powerlifting competition was, how I would train for it, or quite frankly, why I would even want to do it.

Fast forward to October 2015 when I competed and won in my age and weight class at the Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate’s 19th Annual Power Challenge in Boston. During the seven months of training leading up to it, I learned a lot about myself, as well as, acquired insights that actually apply to the jobseekers I work with every day.

#1 Success takes time. Looking for a new job is often a lengthy, and at times, arduous process. Manage your expectations from the outset and know that overnight results are not the measure of your success. There is a motto at my gym “better every day”; it doesn’t matter how small an increment of an activity/effort/change you do each day, you will be successful.

#2 Establish a support system. Your support system can range from your network and mentors to resume readers and professional career coaches. Having people who support you is essential to maintaining motivation during your search. Without the fabulous trainers and fellow trainees I work with, I would not have been able to succeed.

#3 Set goals. My training was predicated on attainable goals over a period of time. Hoping for a job within the next three months? Create a timeline and commit to it. And even if you have to adapt, put something down on paper to help keep you on task. If you need support, ask for it from your support system.

#4 Create a healthy routine. Looking for a job can be exhausting, especially if you’re looking for a job while you’re in a job. So, eat right, get plenty of sleep, and if you’re not working, create a daily schedule for yourself that will keep you focused. Being kind to yourself goes along way.

#5 Be strategic. Along with creating goals and timelines, you need a plan. Identify companies you’re interested in and find out if they’re hiring. Reconnect with old colleagues. And know that your next job may not be your ideal job. It’s a process. I had limited time to train in and we maximized the time I did have to maximize my ability to become as strong as I could in a short period of time.

#6 There will be good days and bad days. Growth and success are not linear. You will have bad days during a search. You might have a bad interview or make a mistake, but you’ll likely learn from both. I learned the most about what was possible on the days that gravity was the cruelest.

#7 “If not now, when?” It can be daunting to change jobs or careers. Many of us will put it off and never make the change. But we are all more capable than we think and should continue to push ourselves to grow. So if you’re feeling like there’s something better for you than the job you’re currently in, then maybe your “when” is now. As the eldest in my flight in the completion, I was asked several times why and I answered, “If not now, when?”

 #8 “Never say never.” We all have reasons/excuses as to why things are the way they are in our lives. Ask yourself, are these truths or just the story that keeps you safe? I had my story and decided to change it. You can too.

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