There is a big difference between great customer service and the sad alternative. Remember that scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Robert’s character is immediately judged based on her looks? This scene is a great example of a complete lack of customer service and judging a book by its cover, and what a great outcome! It might come as a surprise to you that as a recruiter, this is something I come face-to-face with every day. Customer service shouldn’t be reserved just for the retail industry. In fact, it should be an integral part of your job search strategy!
So, how is this relevant in the recruiting world? Let’s be honest, many hiring managers will dismiss a candidate on the first glance of the resume without taking the time to pick up the phone and call, simply because they are too busy. If your resume is not relevant and does not give the hiring manager a compelling reason to call, they usually do not have the time to actually dig into the resume for details. While this may be perceived as poor customer service on the hiring manager’s part, it is really poor customer service from the job seeker.
While it may be true that your field of expertise may not be professional resume writing, your resume is your only shot at a first impression, and it needs to be viewed as your first interview. If that ‘first interview’ doesn’t give the hiring manager any reason to invite you back, it failed to impress.
I recently had the experience of talking to a gentleman that based on his resume, was in no way qualified for the position he applied for. His listed roles and companies were in Manufacturing, while the position I was recruiting for was in the Healthcare industry. Lucky for me, my first rule in everything I do is to provide superior customer service, so I called him anyway. I came to find out that during his time in Manufacturing, all of his clients were Healthcare facilities, and he had more knowledge and experience than if he had worked for the hospitals directly! By not showing his value through his resume, he was doing himself and the companies he was applying for, a disservice. However, after some suggestions and resume reflection, he was able to accurately portray all of his experiences and was hired immediately.
My advice to everyone considering a career move would be this: take a look at your resume. Are you giving great customer service by providing a clear value proposition? If it is not an easy sell to the recruiter or hiring manager, you are not providing great customer service to the organization you want to work for. So, what are you waiting for?