Job hunting isn’t even like what it was 3 years ago.
It’s a buyer’s market out there. That means that for each position advertised, recruiters, h.r. managers and potential employers get thousands of resumes. They have their pick and they’re going to take their time and find the person that best fits the position.
It takes time to sort through them and narrow down the search to 3-5 people whom they’d like to personally interview. Many use automated software to sort the resumes and pull the ones that have 80% of the keywords matching the job description. In other words, to get noticed, you must edit your resume to match the job description including your “objective” or title. The title should be the same or close the job title that is posted.
I’ve been at this for over a year. Makes me think back at all the job interviews and what I did wrong.
Last night I attended the Employment Network Group at North Phoenix Baptist Church and the speaker Zena Contreras, a former recruiter, gave an eye-opening presentation.
What struck me the most was when she said that in this economy it’s not the time to “reinvent yourself” – that is change careers or try something new. If you don’t have experience in a particular industry, like medical or architectural/engineering/construction (A/E/C), someone with that specific industry experience will be chose over you. Even if you have lots of “transferable skills”.
The speaker last week said, “If you’re sending resumes and not getting interviews, then there’s something wrong with your resume. If you’re getting interviews and not getting job offers, then there’s something wrong with your interviewing skills.
If you get a interview, you’re halfway to getting the job.
Recruiters scan each resume in 10 seconds. If the top 2 inches of your resume doesn’t catch their attention, forget it. You’re in the reject pile.
From the time you apply for a job till they get to review the resumes, you have 1 to 2 weeks. Zena said NOT to call the recruiter. Send a note instead – by postal mail. They are more likely to see your name and then purposefully look for your resume.
Besides knowing someone who works at that company, that’s the best tactic. Use LinkedIn.com to find the name of the recruiter or hiring manager. You need to become a detective. If you don’t have your profile set up on LinkedIn, do it now! LinkedIn also has groups to join to get leads and networking advice as well as job postings.
No matter where you are, there are agencies out there that offer free services from resume building, resume reviews, interview skills, networking, online job search hints. Goodwill is one of them.
And if you’re not computer/tech/Internet savvy, take classes. The public libraries offer free computer classes. This is not time to be “behind the times”. There are a lot of younger, tech savvy people competing for the same jobs as we folks over 40.
Next week I’m taking a class on dealing with the “generation gap”. I once was interviewed by a gal who easily was only 20 years old. Gee, when she was in kindergarten, I was starting my own business.
Having a positive attitude is not easy, but essential. I know I blew an interview when I answered the classic, “where do you see yourself in 5 years” wrong. I said, “It’s hard for me to do that since 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would be in AZ.” When I first lost my job, I was angry and that anger translated into aggressiveness during the job interview.
The answer should be something like, “I hope to be still with this company in a position of greater responsibility.” And it’s not supposed to sound “canned”. You’ve got to make it your own. You may not be asked that, but it’s good to have an answer prepared.
There’s so much more – I could write a book – No, Wait! Someone already did: “What Color is Your Parachute?” It’s full of great advice.
I wrote this last week with other resources including some great bible verses.
Listen to this song, by Sidewalk Prophets and take the words of the chorus to heart:
Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope.
You’re gonna do great things
I already know.
God’s got His hand on You
So don’t live life in fear.
Forgive and forget
But don’t forget why you’re here.
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say
Soli Deo Gloria