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Landing Job Interviews Quickly

Helpful Career Advice To Land Interviews


One of the most frustrating aspects of looking for a new job is how long it can take. You might spend multiple months on your search, putting in hours of effort daily to fine-tune your resume and customize your cover letters, only to deal with rejection after rejection. Even for the most patient of people, it’s a frustrating process. But there are steps you can take to speed it up.

Naturally, having a good resume – possibly crafted with the assistance of a resume writing service for high income earners – is a good way to start. But that’s not all. There are lots more ways to streamline your job search, from using the right job boards to selecting the right file format for your resume. Read on for all the details, along with in-depth answers to common job search questions.


Picking the Right File Format – DOC vs. PDF

We’ll start with a simple tip, but an important one, all the same. When it comes to creating, saving, and submitting your resume, a lot of people aren’t quite sure which format to pick, between PDF and DOC. While both of these formats have their advantages, DOC files (Microsoft Word files) tend to be best, because of one simple reason: ATS, or applicant tracking software.

ATS programs are used to scan resumes and cover letters automatically, saving hiring managers and recruiters lots of time. They can spot keywords and instantly approve, reject, or sort candidates based on how relevant their applications appear to be. Around 70% of large companies and 99% of Fortune 500s use ATS these days, and ATS is generally better at scanning DOCs than PDFs.

So, if you want to avoid any potential issues with ATS, which could lead to unfair rejections, it’s best to stick with DOC files. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. Naturally, if the recruiter or job description specifically asks for a PDF, send a PDF. Similarly, if you’re submitting your application via email, rather than a job board, PDF also works best.


Choosing the Right Job Boards

Indeed. LinkedIn. Monster. There are a lot of job boards out there nowadays, and the internet has made it quick and easy to find job listings and submit applications in seconds, all in the digital space. However, a lot of job seekers still make mistakes when browsing and using these job board platforms.

A common mistake, for instance, is limiting yourself to a single board. If you only ever use Indeed, for example, you might miss out on hundreds of amazing opportunities posted on other boards. Using multiple boards is therefore the right move to make, and here are some of the top ones to focus on:

There are also several other sites to consider if you’re looking for specific sectors or niche jobs. Here are some examples and when to use them:

  • USA Jobs: This is the place to find and apply for federal jobs. Note that you’ll need a federal resume to do so, which is notably different from a standard or civilian resume.

  • North Carolina Government Jobs(state jobs): This site is for public sector jobs.

  • Glassdoor: Glassdoor is less of a job board and more of a research resource, helping people find out more about companies they might like to work for. You can read reviews and testimonials of current and former employees, view average salaries, etc.

  • Dice: This site is best if you’re seeking work in IT.


Do Prospective Employers Use LinkedIn to Research Applicants?

Just as applicants use LinkedIn to find jobs, employers may also harness the same platform to learn more about those applying to join them. LinkedIn is the biggest pro networking platform on the planet, after all, so it’s an invaluable resource for both workers and employers. Many will look you up on LinkedIn to learn more about your background and experience.

That’s why you have to be careful about what you post and share via your LinkedIn page. They could be put off altogether if they spot any so-called “red flags” on your profile, like angry, emotional posts or inconsistencies in your experiences. That’s why, as well as seeking help with your resume and cover letters, you may want to contact professional LinkedIn profile writers to optimize your account.


The Right Number of References

No matter what job you’re applying for, it’s never a bad idea to include at least a couple of references. They help to essentially validate your resume, adding authority to your application and proving that your listed skills, experiences, and achievements are genuine and accurate. However, it’s important to get the number of references right.

In general, the right range is between three and five references to support your application. Most, if not all, of your references should be people you’ve worked with or for in the past, ideally your former supervisors or managers. However, if you don’t have a lot of experience, you can use friends or other acquaintances to support your application.

Remember, references aren’t just for show – 87% of employers carry out reference checks on all candidates. So you need to ensure you pick people who will say the best possible things about you. However, do note that some companies have policies preventing managers from serving as references, so you should always contact your references and seek permission before listing them.


Simple Steps to Secure More Interviews

Before attending interviews, it’s customary to receive a call or message, letting you know that the company in question would like to take your application further. If you happen to miss the call or message, you could miss out on the interview entirely. So, here are simple but smart steps to avoid common pitfalls.

Step 1 – Check Your Voicemail Greeting

You might not always be able to answer a callback, so you need to have your voicemail set up to receive and respond to messages. Double-check your voicemail to ensure it’s functioning, and record a professional greeting, like “Hello, you’ve reached [Name]. I’m not around right now, but please leave your name and number, and I’ll call you back at the earliest opportunity.”

Step 2 – Always Have Your Phone Nearby

If you’re in the job-seeking phase, you’re most likely going to be expecting and potentially receiving calls on a daily basis from prospective employers. Therefore, it makes sense to have your phone on your person at all times. Remember, some employers are impatient and may instantly move on to someone else if you don’t answer their call the first time around.

Step 3 – Check Your Inbox Often

Along with calls, you should be on the lookout for any incoming emails from companies you’ve contacted in recent days. Many recruiters prefer to send out quick emails these days, rather than making calls that may go unanswered. So, scan your inbox often – ideally every few hours – and respond to any requests as soon as you can. Don’t forget to check your “Spam” or “Junk” folders, as messages from recruiters sometimes end up there.

Step 4 – Add a Signature to Your Emails

Last but not least, another email tip: consider adding a professional signature to your emails. This is basically a small message that appears automatically at the end of every email you send. It’s customary to include your name and contact info in your signature, along with possibly your current job title or a professional quote. It’s only a little thing but adds a lot of professionalism.


How Many Applications Should I Submit Each Day?

On average, studies show it can take between 100 and 200 applications to get a single job offer, and around 10 to 20 for an interview. Of course, for some people, the process might be much faster, while for others, it might require many more applications to secure the role they want. It depends on a lot of different factors.

However, one thing is clear – the more quality applications you send out, the better your odds of getting calls back and interviews. So, if you want to speed up your job search, aim for around 10 to 15 job applications daily. That might seem like a lot, but if you can’t quite reach that range, still try to submit as many as you can per day, and use multiple job boards to find lots of opportunities.


How Often Should I Submit Applications?

As often as you can. If you want your job search to be effective and productive, you need to basically treat the search itself like a full-time job. Put as much time and effort into it as you can, ideally working solidly Monday through Friday to find opportunities, craft your cover letters, tailor your resume, and submit your applications. Then, take weekends off to recuperate before starting again.


What’s the Best Time to Submit Job Applications?

Think like an employer. Experts tend to agree that early in the morning (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) tends to be the best time to submit job applications. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, recruiters will check their inboxes upon starting work, so if you can get your message in before they start, they’re more likely to see it and review it right away. Second, most job listings get posted quite early on, between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the week. So, if you send your emails and applications early, you should be closer to the top of the list of candidates to review.

It’s also worth applying just after midday. Around that time, recruiters and hiring managers may take a lunch break, and then check their mail when they get back. So, if you apply around this time, your message may be one of the first they see.


Which Jobs Should I Focus on When Applying?

Ideally, focus on the most recent jobs. Those posted within the last 24 hours should be at the top of your list, and given that many companies will review applications in the order they were submitted, it makes sense to submit them as quickly as you can. On all good job boards, you’re able to sort listings by date and apply to the most recent ones that way.


How Do Phone Interviews Work?

A phone interview is almost like a pre-interview. It’s usually not as in-depth as a full face-to-face interview and is used to separate the best applicants from the rest, as part of a company’s screening process. If you want to secure a sit-down, face-to-face interview, you may have to pass a phone interview first, so make sure you have some answers and relevant info ready to talk about.


How Do Hiring Managers Tend to Schedule Phone Interviews?

Most of the time, they’ll use email. They’ll review your application first of all, and then send out an email to let you know they’d like to proceed to the next step. Typically, they’ll ask what dates and times work best for you, or offer a selection of dates and times for you to book your own phone interview. However, some might just call you instead to make the arrangements directly.


Do Employers Sometimes Do Spontaneous Phone Interviews?

Some do, but not many. A lot of respectable companies understand that it’s not necessarily fair to force a phone interview on someone out of the blue, without giving them notice or time to prepare. But some may still try this method as a way of catching ill-prepared candidates or seeing how you cope under pressure.

If you find yourself on the other end of one of these spontaneous calls, the best step is to simply request a callback at a later date or time. You shouldn’t feel forced into an interview you weren’t ready for, and it could be tricky to answer questions correctly and coherently if you’ve not had a chance to prepare.


What Are Employers Looking for in Phone Interviews?

In general, they use these interviews to learn more about your skills, experience, and general suitability for the role in question. By conducting an interview over the phone, they also get to see how well you communicate and cope with possibly difficult or unexpected questions. For best results, treat a phone interview like a face-to-face one. Do your research, prepare properly, and remain calm as you provide your answers.


Good Questions to Ask Interviewers

A lot of the interview process consists of interviewers asking you questions. But you can turn the tables and ask them some key questions, too. In fact, this is a smart step, as it gives you a chance to learn more about the company and job, as well as demonstrate your genuine interest in the role.


A couple of good questions are:

  • Could you tell me more about the job, beyond what was listed in the description? What are some of the specific roles and responsibilities I’d have?

  • Thinking of some of your most successful employees, what strengths do they have that have helped them succeed in this type of work?


Why It’s Smart to Ask These Questions Early On

The earlier you ask these questions, the better, as they give you info you can use for the rest of the interview. By knowing more about the role and key traits that strong employees tend to have, you can feed that info into your later answers and demonstrate how and why you’re such a good fit.


Typical Phone Interview Questions

Some of the many questions interviewers ask in phone interviews include:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Why are you leaving/did you leave your last job?

  • I see from your resume you’ve spent X amount of time out of work. Can you explain why that is?

  • How much do you know about our company?

  • How did you find out about the position?

  • What made you apply for this role?

  • What do you know about the roles and responsibilities involved in this position?

  • What are some of your biggest strengths?

  • What’s your biggest weakness?

  • What would be your salary expectation for this role?


Optimize Your Job Search for a Faster Path Back Into Work

By following these steps, fine-tuning your search, and preparing for phone interviews and calls, you should find it much easier to get back into the workforce. However, don’t underestimate the importance of your resume in this entire process – it’s the No. 1 document for selling yourself and attracting the attention of recruiters. Work hard to make it the best it can be, or consider contacting a resume service in North Carolina for high level executives to help you.


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With a job interview success rate of 93.4% and being the only resume writing company in NC with an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and a 45-day money-back guarantee, it is a no brainer. One thing is consistent, though. We know that a professionally crafted resume improves your competitive edge and demands better pay. That understanding means we have more positive customer reviews than any other professional resume writing service in the whole state of North Carolina.

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