The #1 problem in job hunting is how to get interviews with someone that can hire you. To solve it, most people think you need to win the Resume Lottery, so they put a lot of effort into having what they hope will be a winning resume. Unfortunately, the result is nearly always a trip to Resume Jail. The hiring process has changed, and understanding how it’s different is the first reality we need to know about.
In the past, there were fewer applicants for a given open position, so the screening process was more geared towards selection, and an impressive-looking resume would stand a better chance in generating an interview. To handle the flood of resumes that companies have to deal with today, the screening process is mainly about elimination. So, even an impressive-looking resume from someone with the right experience might well still wind up get screened out — often for a reason unrelated to the person’s actual qualifications.Too old, wrong degree, unemployment, too many jobs, not from a similar size company, etc.
Suppose you send your resume directly to the hiring authority or maybe you know someone who works there and offers to personally hand it to the hiring authority. Would that make a difference? Maybe, but probably not. Why? Simple; at most companies, the policy is that all resumes must be handled by HR, and bang, you’re back at the mercy of people who will be looking to see if there’s anything in your resume that would justify screening it out.
This brings us to another reality: the need to THINK and act defensively right from the start in order to avoid being eliminated from consideration and thus to increase our chances for being contacted and hopefully to come in for an interview.
To deal with these realities, we must change the basis on which we get evaluated. In my next article, I’ll explain how to do that, and how it can make you the best-marketed applicant for the position — and the best-marketed person is who gets the job!
Tom Kellum is a job hunting consultant, helping people's dreams come true since 1987. He specializes in providing a personal job-landing service based on proven marketing strategies and methods. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.careerkeysman.com
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