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Job Search is not for the Lazy or Faint of Heart
Alright, I know I am putting myself out there. You won’t admit to being a lazy job seeker. Or will you? I spoke to a man in my office the other day who told me it was just too much trouble to customize his resume for every job he applies to. So I have to ask you, which jobs do you customize it for? The ones you really want?
I am currently hiring for a position within my organization. I posted a job with two specific instructions; e-mail me your resume and cover letter and include salary requirements. Can you guess how many people sent me what I asked for? Would you believe out of 50 + inquiries for the job I had only 3 follow the instructions?
It gets better. Because you know the hiring manager does not mean you are guaranteed the job. Because your friend knows the hiring manager does not mean the job is all wrapped up for you. Yes, networking is the number one way to get a job, and yes you should network, but don’t think you can just send a text asking for the job.
I received two texts, a few Facebook messages, and a phone call asking for the job. My response was to please send me a resume and cover letter with your salary requirements.
You hear about keywords and optimizing your resume all the time. This is important not only for the cyber readers, but for the real life flesh and blood readers as well. I received resumes with titles such as medical office assistant, office manager, and billing clerk.
Since I am not hiring for any of those positions, the resumes could get overlooked. I also want to know how your skills are transferable to the job I am hiring for. Being a sandwich artist at subway is a great job, but how will it help you to plan my events?
You have a really great chance to stand out if you take the time to do it right. My advice for job search is simple:
- Tailor each resume to the job description including job title- it will help with scanner and human eyes alike
- Follow instructions
- Be professional in your search. Even if you know the hiring manager, treat the application process as if you don’t.
- Research the company and direct your inquiries to real people. To whom it may concern is too generic when you can get great information from sources like Linkedin.
- Follow up through e-mail and with thank you notes after an interview
- Take the time to make each contact count from the resume to the offer
Don’t waste your time with a lazy approach to job search. There is too much competition out there. You need to be the best candidate for the job and it has to show from the beginning to the end of your search.
Sandi Vidal is the Executive Director of Christian HELP Foundation, a non-profit devoted to equipping and empowering job seekers in their search. She has over 15 years of recruiting and HR experience including recruiting for Fortune 500 companies.