Does your resume fetch you interviews? The biggest problem I always see with resumes is that they're written from the perspective of the candidate, rather than for the interviewer.
Resumes & Cover Letters

I'm Sending out Resumes and Not Getting Any Response, What Am I Doing Wrong?

Does your resume fetch you interviews? The biggest problem I always see with resumes is that they're written from the perspective of the candidate, rather than for the interviewer.

Have you noticed... there's a TON of career advice out there and it can be confusing as all get out to figure out the right thing to do?

The first thing jobseekers need to remember is that recruiters, HR Directors and hiring managers aren't from some unique planet where they adhere to strange customs and rituals as their primary criteria to determine who should get hired.

In fact, I'm sure that all of you have "hired" people at one time. Whether it's finding a good mechanic, appliance repair person, or someone to do major renovation on your home. It's essentially the same thought process. A company is just looking for someone and wants to pay them upwards of $20K-so yea, you'd be pretty picky too.

Follow the rules: In this case, the "rules' are the ones that they request in the job description. If they want your cover letter to include your salary history, then provide it. If they specify that they must have someone with 10 years of experience deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics...then don't apply unless you have it. Their requests may seem odd, but that's how they want it.

When I was reviewing resumes for positions I was hiring for, I always asked that the applicant copy and paste their cover letter and resume into the body of the email. Some applicants may have found that annoying, but it made it infinitely easier for me to select a bunch of emails, send them to the printer, and then review them on the train ride home that night without having to individually open each email and then open the attachment, then click print and move onto the next one. Those that didn't follow my direction? If I had time, I would go back and open their emails, but it did stick in my mind that they didn't either read carefully enough in the first place, or just decided to do it their own way-either option doesn't indicate an employee who would be a good fit for me. It wasn't a deal breaker for me, but it slowed me down.

How would you like to be treated: This is the Golden Rule, but amazingly people can forget that hiring managers are people too. Wondering when to call or how often to follow up? Think about the last time you had a contractor or salesperson trying to win your business. What were the challenges on your side that made you delay getting back to them? Was it because you were genuinely dodging them, or did you have other stuff on your plate and needed to reevaluate your plan? What was it that made you choose one contractor over the other? How did they appropriately follow up with you? Why did you choose the one that you did? It's the same situation.

Be respectful of their time-and the fact that not only are there more qualified applicants in the job market-there are people who are applying for ANYTHING under the sun-and their applications and emails look like everyone else's and take the customary 10 seconds to review before moving on to someone else.

Customize your resume to address their pain points: Everyone likes getting things that look like they were made for them. There is no easier way for an employer to see how you'd fit into their organization than clearly translating your experience to what they're looking for.

Your resume isn't as much a reflection of who you are-as it is of what you bring to the table for an employer relative to everyone else. You need to make sure that your experience translates to what they want in their ideal candidate. Of course recruiters and companies are looking for resumes by key words. Wouldn't you to cull down the pile of people who are qualified vs. unqualified? But the bonus is that the keywords they're looking for are in the job description. Customize your resume by including them relative to your experience. DO NOT just throw in key words for the sake of having them if you don't have the experience. They'll find out soon enough that you're not qualified. But if they are using specific terms that mean essentially the same as what you currently have on your resume-change the wording on your resume to match theirs.

Those postings that break out the job description and qualifications by bulletpoints? SCORE! How about reorganizing your resume and cover letter to group your experience exactly the way that they want it? They gave you the map, just follow their clues.

The other big problem I see is that candidates tend to just list their past job descriptions on the resume, and don’t point out their accomplishments. Your accomplishments are the most compelling reason for an employer to pick you out of the pile.

I recommend that under each position, you provide a description of your responsibilities in a way that’s relevant to the reader, and then make a separate list of bullet points, titled Accomplishments, and under that heading, outline what your contribution was to that job. Did you improve a process, save the company money, make the company money or eliminate a problem? That’s what will get an employer excited about calling you back.

Sometimes they'll be huge jerks: Always remember that jerks exist. I got into a big fight on Twitter about women wearing wear panty hose to interviews. Really? I, and several other coaches, said that it was optional, and wouldn't be a deal-breaker if we saw a great candidate who wasn't wearing hose. I got slammed by another guy on Twitter (never determined if he had ever been a hiring manager) who was flabbergasted that I wouldn't demand that women wear hose.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion. But his comments made me think that if he was using that as one of his primary criteria, what would he be like to work with?

But don't judge every hiring manager by the jerk-criteria. Consider them the outliers and use your common sense when dealing with the rest. Many of my good friends are hiring managers, HR Directors and recruiters-so I can vouch for the fact that they're people too.


Content sourced from Talent Inc.
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