If you’ve been submitting about two dozen resumes for each interview invitation you receive, you may feel a little frustrated—but this response rate is perfectly normal. For most positions in most industries at the entry to mid-career level, the average full time job search lasts about eight months and involves a resume-to-interview ratio of about 25 to 1. The current slow economic recovery means an average job search is a little easier than it was five years ago, but it’s still not a picnic.
On the other hand, if you’ve been searching for more than a year, and you’ve received an average of one interview invitation for every 50 submissions—or more—then something’s wrong. At this point, there are a couple of options that it may be time to consider.
1. Reassess Your Core Skill Sets
You’re applying for jobs as a mid-level consumer electronics marketing manager, but are you pursuing this position because it’s what you want? Or are you just pursuing this position because that was the title of your last job?
Take a closer and more thoughtful look at the skills you have to offer. What three skills are your strongest? Use these three skills to market yourself to employers who need this combination the most.
2. Start Over
Maybe your reassessment is suggesting that electronics marketing just isn’t right for you, and if so, it may be time for a change. Do some quick research and find out what you’ll need to know and where you’ll need to go to obtain the certification and training you need for the next chapter of your life.
3. Strike Out On Your Own
Think starting your own business is an impossible, momentous challenge? Think again. The risks and upfront investments involved in starting a small business may be much smaller than you realize. Thousands of people are starting their own successful enterprises and freelance operations every day, and if they can, then so can you.
4. Schedule Informational Interviews
If you aren’t sure where to go next or how to get there, gather some more data and fill in the blank spaces on your map. Learn more about alternative branches of your current industry (maybe you’d like to try product development instead of marketing?).
And explore the kinds of opportunities available in other industries altogether. You don’t have to commit to medical school just yet. First, meet with someone in the healthcare industry over coffee and ask them how they feel about their job and how they got where are today.
5. Keep On Trying
Don’t give up. Keep tackling that wall. But from this point forward, change your approach. And start by getting some serious professional help with your resume. The document you’re submitting right now just isn’t getting the attention it deserves, but it’s not too late to make some adjustments.