So I finally came across a great article on Career Builder titled, “So you think you’re a great candidate, do you?” Kate Lorenz, the author, claims that it’s time for some tough love and we can’t just rely on the fact that we are in a great recession. Easy to say for someone who is probably working at Career Builder but we’ll let it slide as her advice is actually relevant.
1. The point here is that we all think we are great at what we do, so then why aren’t we getting hired? Perhaps it’s because we’re looking in the wrong industries. She suggests that everyone do their research and find out which industries and companies, specifically, are hiring and then go after the jobs posted at those companies. “Become an expert in the field you want to work. The more you know, the more you can show it in your applications and interviews. And that will show an employer what an asset you’ll be.” So, take some classes and expand your skills!
2. The next order of business is the resume. As I’ve mentioned before, I now have 8 versions of my resume…crazy, maybe, effective, I think so.
What Kate suggests is, ” Change the format. Add quantifiable results. Each time you apply, make sure you’re resume is telling each particular employer that you’re a match for that job.
Try this: Show your resume to someone you know who has actually hired someone before; ask for feedback and use it to improve your resume (if it’s negative, try not to take it personally). While that person may tell you something you don’t want to hear, it will be to your benefit.”
3. And finally, I’ve always been told that people like me and that I make a great impression. So then, why aren’t I good enough? “If you’re getting called for interviews but not invited back for a second round or receiving offers…
Try this: When you find out that you’re no longer in the running for a job, ask for feedback. Try: ‘Thank you for considering me for the position. May I ask what it was about me or my qualifications that disqualified me as a candidate? Any feedback would be appreciated.’ Hopefully, the hiring manager will tactfully respond with something constructive. Whether delivered with tact or not, (again, try not to take it personally) take that response and apply it to your next interview.”
The problem with the above advice is the following, and this is straight from an HR manager’s mouth: “Candidates ask me for feedback and where they can improve, and I don’t have that kind of information.”
So what are MY personal tips on all three of the above?
1. I agree, you should do research on industries and companies. I have a mental list of companies that I’d love to work at and every now and again I go to those specific websites to check out new job postings. Also, if I haven’t heard back about a position I applied for I do some serious sleuthing and figure out who the HR manager or recruiter may be and then contact him/her directly.
2. As for the resume, I agree 100%. Revise, tweak, rearrange, delete, add. Do whatever will make you stand out, but don’t lie.
3. And as for first impressions, all you can do is go off the feedback someone may give you and how you feel after the interview. If there was nothing else you could do and you put your best foot forward well then be happy that you got that experience and think about what else you can incorporate next time.
What did you do today?