Applying for a job: then
There is no internet. No Email. Just you, a phone, a word processor (Millennials – Google it!), and that neatly printed piece of paper, your resume. You saw the job ad in the paper, called in and were invited to interview at 11 AM the next day.
You are doing some last minute primping before heading out the door for your interview when you hear Fido making a ruckus in the living room. Upon entering – your face drains as you see Fido looking up at you with those innocent puppy-dog eyes, drool and shredded paper hanging out of his mouth… your resume. You check your watch and realize there’s no time to crank up the printer and wait the 15 minutes needed to print another copy. You are just going to have to wing it.
You make it to the interview 10 minutes early and nervously wait in the lobby. The hiring manager finally comes out to greet you. You explain why you don’t have your resume. After many laughs and Fido war stories, you talk shop and the interview is a success! There was no looking at paper or canned questions, just face to face real interaction and truly getting to know someone in a short period of time. You shake hands, laugh again about Fido, and part ways. The next day, you drop off a clean resume and receive a call shortly thereafter with a job offer. Fido is a hero and back to sleeping on the bed.
Applying for a job: now
You find a job you like on an online job board and apply. You upload your resume and fill out the standard online application. All those 1’s and 0’s float through cyber space before landing in someone’s inbox… and now you wait. After what seems like weeks, you receive a rejection email stating your experience is not in line with what they are looking for. But, best wishes! You know that you are qualified and can’t understand why you weren’t called. Sound familiar?
I am noticing more and more, that hiring managers are all about the paper. They will scan your resume and cross reference a laundry list of keywords. If those words aren’t there, you are filed away for “future opportunities” and they move on to the next resume. Before there’s even a chance for human interaction, you are judged based upon a single piece of paper.
Customizing your resume for each position you apply to is imperative. Look for the buzz words that made you believe this position would be a great fit and include them on your resume, expanding on them with your real-life experience. Those bullets will be relate-able and relevant talking points for when you successfully reach the interview stage.
This is also a great reason to put your next position in a recruiter’s hands. We have that personal relationship with the hiring managers prior to submitting your resume. We’re able to present a more comprehensive view of you and your experience. (Interested in becoming a JSG candidate? Give me a call at 630.206.3969!)
And don’t feel sorry for Fido – in the digital age homework, resumes, and newspapers may be a thing of the past, but Fido is resilient, just like today’s candidates.