Part II of III
To read Part I, visit http://callmejen.com/2011/02/08/how-to-get-a-job-in-this-economy-part-1/
Too Many Resumes, Not Enough Time for Interviews
So you sent off your resume, great! (You DO have a resume right? One that you had someone read over, spellchecked by computer AND a human – or two or three.) Maybe I should back up a step. You MUST have a resume ready to go because you never know when you are going to run into a job opportunity. I was on the phone the other day with someone who said, can you send me your resume before I leave today at 5? (It was 4:30) I said, “Yes, of course.”
So go update your resume! Microsoft Office has some pretty decent ones you can use for the correct format, but I suggest doing a search in your career field. For example, “great journalism resumes” or “construction resumes” etc. I could give you a few hundred tips on great resumes but that’s a whole new blog.
So you sent off that resume, or six resumes I hope to different companies, and no one has called you. Don’t take it personally. Well, it could be your resume so have someone check it over and see what’s wrong with it.
It could be that you have a phone number they can’t call. For example, my area code is 435 and Salt Lake City area code is 801. I had a Park City area code (435) but it was still long distance to Southern Utah. However, when people saw the 435, they assumed it was a St. George number and didn’t dial the area code, so then my number would say, “That is not a working number.” Instead of dialing 1-435, they figured my phone was shut off and threw out the resume. I changed the number on my resume to 1-435-xxx-xxxx and that STILL didn’t work. You have to remember that these people are calling from office phones not cell phones, and they have hundreds of resumes to look at so they aren’t going to waste their time tracking down one person. I finally changed my number, after a lot of arguing with the phone company, to a St. George number.
OK so I have this great resume with no grammatical errors, I have a local number and STILL not getting phone calls for an interview! I did some research and here’s what it comes down to: One company was hiring for a PT position in St. George. Within a couple days, they received hundreds of resumes. The company looks at a handful, finds a few candidates to call and interview, and throws the rest away. Sigh, great news huh?
The majority of people getting hired right now seem to be in two categories: the “this position requires such a highly skilled person that few applied” and the “I knew someone.”
I see a lot of jobs right now where they want a particular degree and five years of experience and they are VERY detailed with their experience qualifications. That leaves very few applicants able to apply. The rest seem to be getting hired by referral. So if you want to get your resume into the right hands, you have to know someone. Start asking people who trust you, believe in you and would give you a great referral. Attend local networking meetings and bring your resume. You can tell people you are looking for a job without looking desperate. And you have a much higher chance of getting an interview if you were referred by a trusting source.
Be Confident, Be Humble
Have you ever walked out of an interview and knew you just nailed it, and then didn’t get the job? You may have though you were the perfect candidate or maybe even the job was beneath you (nothing is beneath you if you are unemployed and looking for work), but you still didn’t get the position. There are a lot of factors here.
When employers are looking to hire someone (I know I’m not a headhunter but I have interviewed hundreds of people for my companies and have hired few), they want someone they can work with, someone easy to train, and trainable (won’t argue or assume they already know all aspects of the job). They want someone who won’t bring drama into the office place, will have a friendly attitude, and will be on time.
And there are a few of the naïve, unconfident people who are hiring that want someone who isn’t better than they are. They think that is job security. I think job security is having all personnel trained to help each other out when someone is sick or on vacation so the company can continue to function. But some don’t want to hire you if they think you are going to eventually take their job.
When you go into the interview, you need to know the job you are applying for. Check out the qualifications ahead of time, research the company, but don’t tell them you have this no problem. Tell them you have a good handle on the job, you are qualified (and be prepared with examples), and that you are willing to learn anything needed, and that you catch on quickly.