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January 8, 2018
Why HR Shouldn't Decide If You Get Interviewed

It Doesn't Make Any Sense To Let HR Decide If You Get Interviews. For one, it’s almost certain to result in prolonging your job search.


Finding a suitable job opening is often an arduous task, but hard as that might be, getting an interview with someone that can hire you for it is not only harder, but a failure to do so puts you back to square one in your quest for a new job.


Failing to get asked to interview is disheartening and a real bummer when it’s for a job that you feel you are superbly qualified for and that you know you could handle well.


You could be forgiven for feeling especially put- out if you fully complied with all of the instructions in the job posting, but never heard a peep back.  What gives?  Why couldn’t they be at least bothered to give you the courtesy of a response of some kind?  Doesn’t exactly make you think very highly of such a company, does it?


There are two main reasons why this happens.  Both are mistakes made by job hunters all too frequently.  Fortunately, they are easy to correct.


The first mistake is using a resume for the purpose of trying to get an interview.  The use of resumes in job hunting began more than 65 years ago.  The first mention of the word

“Resume” in the New York Times was in 1960.  Back in those days, employers used resumes to identify qualified applicants.  That practice worked pretty well until fairly recently.  Over time, more and more employers began to cope with the increasingly larger number of resumes they received by using them to screen out people.  Rather than looking at resumes for reasons to contact people for interviews, resumes began being used to look for reasons to eliminate people.  


Today, the hiring process is more about elimination than selection.  Sort of like how most lenders such as banks and credit card companies look at credit reports to decide whether to extend loans/credit to someone.  You can’t control the information in your credit report and if you don’t agree to let the lending institution get access to it, you won’t be extended the credit or loan you want - at least not if you don’t want to pay an exorbitant interest rate.


The difference between applying for credit and applying for a job is that you don’t have to use a resume for the purpose of trying to get a job interview - and you don’t have to let someone that can’t hire you,  decide your fate.


Most job hunters do try to get job interviews by sending a resume to HR.  And, because they’re flooded with resumes, HR personnel copes with the flood by using resumes to screen you out.  It starts with things like whether your current or most recent job is the same or similar to the open position. Age, education, number of jobs you’ve had, size of companies where you’ve worked, industries, unemployment, underemployment, self employment etc. are all reasons why HR might well screen you out from further consideration.  


For HR and other screeners e.g. recruiters, the focus regarding you is on the past.  Hiring authorities focus on the future.  


HR’s focus is on your experience.  The hiring authority is interested as much in your capabilities to help her or him reach their business financial goals - as where you gained your capabilities.  After all, experience is where you find it.  If she/he believes that you can help them reach their goals, you stand a very good chance of being invited to meet with them in a F2F interview.


In conclusion, don’t let HR decide your fate, and don’t use a resume to try and get interviews.  Just to be clear, you do need a resume - but don’t send it until after interest has been expressed in your candidacy.  My advice, based on much personal and professional experience, is to contact the hiring authority directly via letter - sent alone.


Even though logic, common sense, and experience prove all of the above is true, some people will ignore it.  Why?  For some, especially All too often, senior leaders allow what they know to limit what they can imagine.   That’s a big problem: You can’t invent the future if you cling to out-of-date ideas, even if they’ve worked in the past.


If someone insists that you must rely on a resume, ask yourself why that person is telling you that.  Are they in the recruiting/placement business?  If so, they, and their business clients use resumes to make their own work easier, but you need to look out for what’s in your best interest as a job hunter. That’s only fair, isn’t it?


The personal marketing service I provide lets you secure interviews and job offers in a fraction of the time it takes trying to win the Resume lottery.  For a free consultation, contact me via email or telephone.  Visit my web site at www.careerkeysman.com

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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 careerkeysman@gmail.com.
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