Applying for jobs... but no response? Is it your age?

Applying for jobs... but no response? Is it your age?

If you've applied to tons of jobs, but either don't get a callback or can't seem to get a job offer… you might want to check out this video! Click the image below to watch:

This question comes from one of our subscribers - Paula! Who wrote in last week to my email (where I answer all your q's).. here's what she said…

“I've been applying to three jobs a day for the last 30 days and haven't heard anything back… I feel like I'm being discriminated against because of my age. It might also have something to do with my resume, but I'm not sure what to change… any suggestions?”

Let's unpack this…


Problem number one: she's applied to 90 jobs in 30 days.

While we assume that if we just apply for more and more jobs, that's going to increase our chances…

basing your entire strategy on applying quickly is a recipe for disaster.

It's not unusual for job seekers to apply for more and more jobs without paying attention to how they are coming across in the process.

Most people don't really sit down and think "How am I going approach this?". They simply blast their resume out into cyberspace with no filter, no unique criteria, and are simply not making themselves interesting enough through their resume and/or cover letter for employers to notice them.

And more importantly, going that fast means that you're probably not doing the one fundamental method to increase your chances of getting an interview… 

And that's being a referral.

Here's what most job seekers don't know…

is that applying as an employee referral gives you five times more chances of getting an interview than applying through a job board

When your application is viewed by the hiring manager of the company you're applying for, it should say, 

I found the job because I know an employee and here's their name.

Now, you might say “Yeah Ryan, but I don't know employees at that company…”

Good! Here's what you do:

Narrow down your search to the top 5-10 companies that fit the bill of the role/work environment/values/benefits/balance/growth/etc that you're looking for… and slowly methodically network your way into them.

If you think about it that way, if you're methodically working into the top places you want to get a job with… and ensuring that you are a referral, that's going to dramatically increase the chances of getting an interview.

Also, along those same lines… 

If you want to actually get attention after you apply as an employee referral, figure out who the HR person is or who the manager is over that job and connect with them on LinkedIn. (Make sure your LinkedIn profile looks awesome and polished)

It's a great opportunity for you to introduce yourself to them, let them know you applied, and make your sales pitch about why they should want to meet you. 

That's really fundamentally how we navigate our way around problem number one. 

So to recap… 

1: tailor your resume to each company you apply to, 

2: become an employee referral by networking, and 

3: further your network by connecting with potential employers through LinkedIn.

Now let's talk about problem number two… age discrimination

And what Paula's really saying is, 

“because I'm so overly qualified, hiring managers think I'm going to be too expensive. And therefore I'm not even getting a chance to interview with them.”

For those of you who have only been in the workforce for four or five years, your resume on one page means you're going to list everything you've ever done - all your education, all your work experience, etc

But for those of us who've been around the block… someone like me who's been in the workforce for 20+ years… I have all kinds of jobs, education, skills, and background crap that I could put on my resume. 

The normal default resume template has you listing those in chronological order, from the most recent all the way back forever. 

Instead… I would suggest switching your resume template from a chronological work history template over to one that is content-specific meaning…

if I'm applying for a marketing job, I'm going to list out each of the roles I've had based on the progression from entry-level marketing to my most recent or my highest-level marketing job. 

So you're putting less emphasis on specific dates, and more on showing your skills progression as you got better, took on more important responsibilities, and bigger roles, and ultimately showing that the value you provided for the organization grew. 

I know that Paula in this instance has a long history in the marketing world and so she should, therefore…

build a marketing resume that highlights her marketing experience as it progressively got more and more complicated, sophisticated, and more mature as she grew in her ability to do things as her role in the organization grew. 

Stop focusing on a calendar order of your past jobs because that's what creates gaps in work history. 

Test that on your resume, send it in, and see how that works. Because I can tell you that fix will at least help you to get an interview. 

Now, it's different if you're getting interviews and being rejected versus just applying…

What's happening here for Paula is that she's applying and never getting an interview. 

And that's why adjusting your resume, becoming an employee referral, networking your way in, and using LinkedIn mixed with a subject-based resume instead of a chronological resume is the right approach to dramatically increase your chances of getting that interview. 

If you have any questions, please please let me know! You're welcome to shoot me an email - reply back to any of our messages at !!

Or go to and fill out our contact form, there's a little “Ask Ryan Anything” button at the top. If you go there and submit your question, I would love to answer it in one of these videos. 

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Ryan Kay

Helping people get the career of their dreams!

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