Why Can’t I Get an Interview?

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You are back in the job market, or recently out of college, and you need to get hired as quickly as possible.  There are bills, potentially including college loans, to be paid, and you are having trouble even getting an interview.  There are some things that you might consider to put you on the radar screen and these things revolve around your resume.


What Do Employers Look At?

Recruiters and hiring managers look at a variety of inputs. The most important item you have what it comes to creating interest is your resume, so we will start there.  The resume can have a positive effect, but the other items can have a deleterious effect. The group is as follows:

  • Your resume
  • Your LinkedIn Profile
  • Your Social Media
  • Google, Bing, Yahoo Search
  • Public Records

Any of these items any of these items can harm your job search if you aren’t careful. It’s your job to construct them or police them, or at least be able to explain them.


Your resume is that fact-filled item which creates the interest in you, and hopefully gets you the opportunity for a phone or face-to-face interview.

I cannot stress the importance of having a superior resume, because your competition is honing his or her own resume, and someone will get the call. Recognize that this is an area that deserves as much of your time” cheesy”.

I note the following the following articles to help you get that resume looking as good as possible:

Constructing Your Resume? I Will Give You One!

6 Ways to Sharpen Up That Sales Resume’

Should You Hide a Termination?

Race and Your Resume – Part 1

Race and Your Resume Part 2 – The 3 Ps

The resume is something that you should be proud of it after it’s completed, and remembers, always lock your resume down by only sending PDF copies of it to prospective employers if you are forwarding it electronically.  As you will read in the articles I offer, bullet point your accomplishments, and quantify your results. Also, be prepared to back-up what you have with proof sources.

LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is nearly as important as your resume. It is a way for prospective hiring managers as well as HR professionals to check you without actually making contact using this business-networking site.

With that in mind, make sure that your profile is well done and professional.  It should mimic your resume.  Remember that it is a “tease” more than a complete “platter” of you and your accomplishments. With that in mind keep it reasonable in length, and it should accentuate the important things that you have done.

Below I’m going to attach an article that might help you with your LinkedIn profile. It is incumbent on you to have a solid, well done LinkedIn profile.  People will view it, and you will potentially be contacted without doing anything else.

Keeping in mind the fact that the LinkedIn profile can potentially include a picture, recognize that a picture on the LinkedIn profile obviously erases any possibilities of racial anonymity. In other words they will know you’re race and your gender by taking a look at the profile picture.   It is just the way it is now days. It can work to your advantage, or it can work against you in cases where people are being close-minded.  I suggest a well-done shot from the shoulder up.   No web cam shots and no shots of you at the party at the club.

This article can help you with the link in profile:

Are You LinkedIn? The Best Have Been For Years!

Social Media

If you have read BSJ before coming you know my feelings about social media, and your ability to get employed.

42% of hiring managers and human resource professionals indicate that they would reconsider an applicant after a visit to the applicant’s social media sites! Think about it.  This is a window to the type of person that you are.  Your actions and your likes and dislikes can be seen there.

Take a good look at the links below, and make your decisions consciously before you lose the chance to get a job.

Employers Checking Your Social Media Profile? Bet On It!

Social Media – Friend or Foe?

I see many individual’s social media sites and they often include pictures that may be funny and novel, but might make me reconsider whether I would consider them for a position.  Note the posts above and make the necessary changes.

Search Engines and Public Records

I will put these two topics together as they are similar.  This is important, and I cannot emphasize it enough:

Be the expert on yourself!

I have included one of my favorite posts on this subject, because too many job seekers forget to “investigate themselves”.  It is the very first act you need to take in preparing to seek employment.  If you neglect this step, you could get a rude surprise in the job search.  Know what is on-line which ties you to any problem activity.  Check your name, and all variations of your name, so that you can have explanations ready.

Remember this is your first step:

Investigate Yourself! The First Activity of Your Job Search!

You cannot get a job without getting the first interview, so please recognize that now is time to make the changes. Long before start looking at the want ads, get straight your online personality and investigate yourself!

I welcome your comments. Please write me at Michael.Parker@blacksalesjournal.com.

Why Aren’t There More Blacks In Sales? I Will Give You 6 Reasons!

Sales Representative Job Description– Individual needed to convince others to do something that they otherwise would not do! Job Duties - To make this happen, you need to be able to create interest, develop relationships, clarify the product/service and its uses, close the deal, and service the customer.  Not capable of being done by a machine or robot.


Why Aren’t There More Blacks in the Sales Profession? As a Black sales professional, or an aspirant one, you may have wondered the answer to this question.  As the question is intriguing, I attempted to research it on the basis of items written and published.  There is not much discussion in print. The only citation evident appears to have been a doctoral work done in the late ‘70s.  As that is somewhat stale I will pose some observations on this issue for 2011. In a profession that is “rubber meets the road” for most organizations involved in manufacturing and distributing durable goods, providing financial services, and others looking to put their products/services in the hands of business to B2B end users, a simple observance would tell you that Blacks are underrepresented. There are many reasons.  I will outline some major ones:

Many organizations don’t seek out Black Sales Professionals to hire – There are organizations that do recognize the benefit of the Black sales professional and actively hire and recruit.  More organizations need formal recruitment programs.  In some cases it is just racial discrimination.  As I advise below (Difficult Assignments) don’t fall into the trap of being “dedicated” to reaching the Black B2B market, unless your product is primarily used there.  You need every opportunity to succeed.

Lack of Confidence – Based on the fact that most buyers are white, the Black sales professional often has many concerns regarding acceptance.  This can be a serious barrier.  Mentoring, training, and general support can help here.

Difficult Assignments – Often when a Black sales professional is hired, they are more likely to get a difficult assignment.  Sometimes that assignment is related to an area or territory which has languished, or a company trying to reach Black businesses.   Black sales professionals should be very clear about the territory that they are entering and what is expected upon hire and deployment.  Give yourself a fair chance.

Lack of mentoring - It is well observed that we need more mentors, and there are many programs out there attempting to provide more mentoring.  We need to increase this activity to fill the void, as it is obvious that there are deficiencies in this regard.  Organizations need to provide more mentoring, yet mentoring from outside the organization can be effective as well.

Lack of Training and Support - Organizations who hire should attempt to provide the proper training and support. As they have made the first move, now they need to give the Black sales professional the opportunity to succeed.  Black Sales professionals should request details about training, and ongoing support prior to accepting a position.

Retention of Black Sales Professionals is Difficult – Much of this is based on what is above.  A solid Black sales professional has many talents, and if thwarted by the points shown above, they will move to other sales positions, and possibly to other occupations.  Having them move out of sales positions keeps the numbers anemic.

The Professional Sales Outlook 2012 – 2018 The importance of this issue is based on the fact that as many occupations languish, professional sales is projected to grow through 2018. Let’s quickly look at the number of sales positions available.   The source of this information is the United States Department of Labor. This link will take you to the actual report.  This report projects through 2018. A quick look at the sales profession in this jobs report will show the following information:

Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Mfg 1,973,000

Sales Whsl and Mfg (Excl Tech and Sci)     1,540,000

Sales Whsl and Mfg (Tech and Sci)               433,000

The jobs pay well in the overall also:

  • Wage estimates ex tech/sci– Median $51,920, with the 75th percentile showing $74,310 in the overall.  This is wage, and does not include commissions or bonuses.
  • Wage estimates tech/sci – Median $71,300 with the 75th percentile showing $100,910 overall.  This is wage, and does not include commissions or bonuses.

Total sales employment for 2018 is projected to rise to 2,116,400 by 2018 for a 7% projected increase. All of the numbers shown are from the May 2009 DOL Report. Almost all sales positions have some arrangement regarding bonus or commission, although some sales positions are commission only.

In Summary In a country that has a reduced focus on manufacturing products, the occupation of sales has increased  in importance.  This importance comes from selling US manufactured goods as well as goods manufactured outside the US to businesses in our country.  This is basically the essence of distribution. You will note that the positive effects of mentoring are mentioned in the major areas above.  You can access Black Sales Journal 1/27, Do You Need A Mentor, Actually You Probably Need Two! Also, as we talk about  finding that new sales job in Black Sales Journal 1/24, 5 Suggested Internet Sites For Finding That New Sales Job. If you are an accomplished sales professional, consider mentoring an upcoming Black Sales professional.  It is the type of giving back that we really need. Thanks for reading, and your comments are always welcome.  Contact me at Michael.Parker@BlackSalesJournal.com.