Once again, it’s time to get a job. The homework is done, the positions are limitless and the recruiters are actively seeking their next meal ticket. A world of opportunity awaits and so the search begins. Narrowing down the choices to the fields of interest, posting a resume ready for action to every job board available and letting employers and recruiters know you’re ready to work, but is it really that simple?
The numbers of job opportunities posted online lead you to believe that positions you are seeking are truly available and need someone with your skills and background. However, the problem seems to be that more than one recruiter posts the same positions. Most companies have determined that using more than one recruiting agency is the best way to go when searching for the “right” candidate for their positions, which then limits the availability of the opportunity that perfectly suits you. This is when things are not so simple. You are now forced to compete with the other 20,000 people that have your same skills and background.
Things just aren’t as they were twenty years ago, when you had an interview and landed the job the same day. Employers have become cautious about whom they hire and with good reason. They now employ the assistance of recruiters to weed out the less than qualified to find the perfect match as well as set the job to be a “Temp to Hire” position, meaning a probationary period that has no obligation to the employer. If they like you at the end of the allotted time they keep you, if not, they find someone else. Based on my own research over the last several years I have concluded that the employers pick the best 8-10 candidates and the rest of the resumes get “filed” into the plastic basket next to their desk. So how do you avoid the “filing” system?
A resume is a terrific sales tool if done right. Employers are looking for specific things before they will even consider speaking to a potential candidate. It is the recruiters’ job to find the “qualifying” information to pass along to the employer. The idea behind the resume is to highlight the experience you have but also to qualify your skills and background with buzzwords of their liking. How do you know what buzzwords to use?
It took me years to figure this out, but in most case’s something very specific pertaining to the position is usually a foot in the door. When the employer is looking for someone with advanced skills in technology for instance, the words “project, team, management, and detail” positioned in a short description are considerably strong and will typically help to enhance a resume for a phone call. The key to finding the buzzword is going to be within the ad itself, you just have to figure out what the employers needs are and include it in the resume and the cover letter as well. The downfall of using the buzzword method, however, is the amounts of junk mail that will flood your inbox from companies that want you to work as a “Transfer Manager,” which I have decided is a scam operation for these so-called overseas “businesses,” to acquire personal bank information from you, so beware. The upside is a possible phone call from an interested recruiter and the first step to a temporary job that may or may not become permanent based on the employers needs.