By Mindy Wolfle
March 15, 2018
I have had many conversations with job seekers – those looking for a new place to hang their hat; those recently out of a job; those who have been seeking employment for far too long; and those who are looking for a career change. One commonality among them is being left to wonder, “What happened?” Specifically, why haven’t they heard back from potential employers? There are times when I place fault with the employer, but I’ll get to that later.
It’s easy to understand that employers may be inundated with resumes. Here are a few tips for job seekers to bring their resume to the top of the pile, rather than in the proverbial ‘circular file.’
1. Only apply for jobs for which you are qualified. While this may sound ridiculously obvious, all too often hiring managers have to wade through too many unsuitable applicants to find just a few who fit the bill.
2. Write a targeted cover letter to immediately grab the hiring manager’s attention. Think of your cover letter as a news article or press release. The first paragraph will make or break whether the rest will be read.
3. Research the company to learn anything that will make your resume and cover letter more relevant. Forget about using just one resume and one cover letter for all jobs.
4. Consider the job title of the position that catches your eye on job recruitment sites. Will you be undervalued if you accept a position that is far below your actual level of experience? A substantial increase in salary is unlikely once you’re working for a company.
5. Similarly, never accept a position based on a high salary. Job satisfaction and your personal happiness can never be reduced to just the money.
And now a few words for employers:
1. You or your representative has conducted a preliminary phone interview with a potential candidate, who is told that an in-person interview will be scheduled. And then, nothing. No email, no call, no follow-up. How difficult is it to send an email stating that the job has been filled; put on hold; or simply that a decision has been made to look for other candidates?
2. Don’t make a verbal offer and then screech the process to a halt. I know of an instance where this very situation occurred. Emails from the candidate remained unanswered. One has to wonder what kind of game the employer was playing.
3. Know exactly what you’re looking for prior to posting a position. All too often, job descriptions are fuzzy; duties are stated in such a general way that candidates can’t assess their suitability for the job; and salary ranges are based on the 1990s, rather than 2018.
4. Know the law when asking questions of potential employees.
5. In the words of Anne M. Mulcahy, former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation, “Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”