When it comes to submitting job applications, it’s about quality, not quantity. If you’re not hearing back at all, you may want to think about whether you’re applying to the right jobs. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but if you don’t have the direct experience needed for the job you want, you may want to start thinking about applying to stepping-stone positions.

It’s probably not what you want to hear, but the answer is, “It depends.” If a company doesn’t have the budget to accommodate relocation costs, or there are already plenty of qualified locals, they probably won’t be as open to interviewing out-of-province candidates. However, if you have a unique or hard-to-find set of skills and the company has a track record of hiring out-of-state applicants, your location may be no deterrent at all. Just make it clear that you’re willing to move.

It may be a bit of extra work, but you can definitely gain experience without being employed full-time in a particular field.

“Consider volunteering with nonprofits… sometime volunteer gigs turn into paid jobs, and they are a good way to build your CV. You can also bulk up your resume through freelance work.

The skills recruiters are impressed by will largely vary based on the job you’re applying to. To identify the most in-demand skills in your field, look at a wide cross-section of job postings that you’re interested in and take notes on which ones appear most frequently.

There are a handful of skills, though, that are applicable to many different careers, and are worth including no matter what. A few examples: fluency in more than one language, data analysis (especially in common platforms like Excel, Driver’s license and leadership skills (with concrete examples to back it up).


One of the easiest ways to get your application out of the running? Typos.

There are so many people applying for the same job, a recruiter needs to be diligent, that means they’ll throw away any resume that’s not correctly proofread without even looking at the content. So check, double check and even triple check your resume to make sure it’s free of errors.

You’ll also want to be careful about including long gaps on your resume with no explanation.

“Some companies have stringent hiring practices that would clearly frown on gaps, If there is a gap, recruiters/hiring managers tend to become a little suspicious and so they must be explained.”

Finally, many inconsistencies, exaggerations or straight-up lies on your resume can easily be found by cross-checking with former employers, so don’t even think about it. If a recruiter can’t  trust your CV, how are they supposed to trust you as an employee?

There’s no limit to questions you can ask in interview, but as a rule of thumb, you should make sure that the questions you ask either demonstrate that you’re thoughtful and well-researched, help you understand the company/role on a deeper level or both.

A few examples to look at:

  • What type of people tend to excel here?
  • I read about the XYZ initiative online. Can you tell me more about it and how it relates to the work your team is doing?
  • How would you describe your culture?

Try to avoid questions that demonstrate a lack of research on your part (e.g. “Who’s the CEO?”) or hint that you may be in it for the wrong reasons (“Can I expect a six-figure salary?”).

Besides the obvious — showing up late, using unprofessional language, appearing sloppy or unhygienic — one of the biggest mistakes you can make is being poorly prepared. Don’t forget to arrive with all of the necessary materials, like your resume, portfolio and a notepad; research basic facts about the company such as their industry, competitors and CEO; or practice your responses beforehand. While you probably won’t be able to anticipate every question that comes your way, you can use Glassdoor’s interview reviewsto find out which questions the company you’re interviewing with asks candidates.

This question is notoriously one of the trickiest ones out there — you don’t want to answer with an eye-roll-worthy cliché, but you don’t want to make yourself look bad, either. The trick, experts say, is being honest without being honest to a fault.

“Dig deep and be honest, but of course don’t share something which will lead them to question your ability to do the job,” says Nicole Wood of Ama la Vida. Then, “make sure you immediately follow-up with the action steps you have taken to overcome these weaknesses… The interviewer just wants to know that these aren’t blind spots, that you are well aware of them and that you are working to overcome them.”