Not Getting Interviews? Apply for Only 6 Jobs in Your Executive Job Search

“Why am I not getting interviews?” you’re wondering? “I’m sending out dozens of resumes, but the calls aren’t coming in.”

Not Getting Interviews? Hint: There are only 6 executive jobs that are right for you.

When job search candidates tell me that they have applied for hundreds of positions and received no interviews, they usually sound panicked and angry. After all, with all that effort they are putting into their job searches, why aren’t they getting any interviews? They are baffled, frustrated, and worried about their chances for success. They don’t see that there are only perhaps six jobs that are right for them.

The first thing I advise these frustrated executive job search candidates is to stop applying right away. Clearly, the strategy they have chosen is not working–they’re not getting positive responses to their resumes, and they are not getting interviews that match their expertise. There is something very wrong with their approach, and doing more of it will result only in more frustration and fewer calls for interviews.Not getting interviews? Narrow your career focus, and you'll get calls for interviews for the right jobs.

Now I’m Wondering, “Why Are there only 6 Jobs in My Executive job Search?”

Then, I ask what positions they are targeting. The wide range of responses is staggering. And there is the problem. There are no “hundreds of positions” that are right for any one person–no wonder there are no calls for interviews. I would posit that there are only 6 (or thereabouts) positions that are right for any single executive. So when executives are frustrated because they are not getting interviews, I tell them it’s because they’re casting a net that is by far too wide.

By eliminating all positions and companies that are not directly in the bulls-eye of your job search, paradoxically your job search will become more fruitful. You’ll target your entire job search process to this set of positions, which you have taken time to identify, focus on, and target your messaging toward. Yes, it might feel like you’re eliminating hundreds of possibilities, but instead your message is becoming more authentic and more believable to your hiring entity. You’ll start to sound like the executive they have been looking for all along.

So how do you focus on your 6 ideal jobs? You leave out everything not in your ideal executive job search zone. If the executive job is not targeting

  • Your values
  • Your corporate culture
  • Your function
  • Your growth
  • Your aptitude
  • Your skill set

Then do not apply, and have zero regrets about leaving it off your list.

Updated January 2017.