Resume Help/Resume follow up


Hi Dr. Converse,

I recently graduated with my bachelors degree and sent out several applications for work.  I haven't heard back from any of them and am getting discouraged.  I thought that since the economy has started to pick up, my chances at a job would be better.  Do you have any idea what the problem might be?  Thank you for your help.

Hi Alice,

The short answer to your question is that without seeing what you have sent out, I don't know what the issues might be.  I suggest you send me your resume and letter and whatever other documents you have to the email address below as attachments.  After I look at what you are sending out, I may be able to give you some help if I think the problems originate with something in your application package.

You're right, there is more hiring going on now so your chances should be better.  But the truth is that, even at the height of the recession, there were people being hired every day.  So what was the difference between those who got hired and those who didn't?  The same difference there always is: some applicants did a better job than others at presenting their story to employers.

Again, I'll know more after I see what you're sending out, but there is an overwhelming dynamic at work with job applicants throughout the world.  That dynamic is that the vast majority of them believe their resume, letter, etc. are much better than they actually are.  I have been doing this kind of consulting work for years, and over that time, I can tell you that more than 92% of all the job applications that I reviewed (tens of thousands of them) had some kind of problem.  Sometimes the problems were relatively minor, but sometimes these problems were so egregious that I questioned if the person had ever even been to school, let alone graduated.

This is the weak link in the job search process.  First, you find jobs that interest you and for which you are qualified.  Next, you apply for those jobs.  Finally, you either get a job offer, or the applications you send out are universally rejected.  The weak link is the application process.  The thinking by many applicants is "What's the big deal?  Just send out my stuff, right?"  Wrong.  That thinking is what gets the overwhelming number of job applications rejected.

Right now, you find yourself in the rejected category.  My experience tells me that this broad lack of response means you are doing something wrong with the application packages you are sending out.  So, send me what you have and let me take a look at them.  After that, I'm sure I can be of more specific help to you.

I look forward to getting your documents; best wishes.

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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