How To Troubleshoot Your Career Search- Top Five Tips
As you can imagine, being in the resume writing and career business we are often personally targeted by every family member and friend around us that is seeking a new job. As we forward this information to our own friends and family, we wanted to share this list of the Top 5 Things we have seen go wrong with our customer and fan job searches.
- You “spray and pray” your resume all over the internet and get irritated when no one calls you back. First, take a step back and ask yourself “Do I really qualify for this position, or is it just something I would like to do?” We find most people apply for positions they are not properly qualified for, which results in no calls back. This is fine if you are looking to change careers, as you should not give up on your desire to make a change. Otherwise, focus on positions and companies that would see great value in your experience. Use free resources like Reference USA from your local library to do a deep search on companies that are competitors of those you worked for in the past. Then submit your resume to them. Companies see value in having knowledge of their competitors, and everyone loves someone that can hit the ground running.
- Attention to detail gets respect, sloppy work goes in the trash can. Every day in our Executive Recruiting office we receive resumes with cover letters addressed to another company. If you are too lazy to modify a line of text, no one is going to take you seriously, especially for retained executive searches. This happens far more often than it should, particularly for those that have several degrees and high level job titles.
- Winded resumes are out, like all the other fads that came and went with the 90’s. In the days since Twitter has forced everyone to “get to the point” with 140 characters, no one has time for a 3-5 page resume. Having a visually clean, to-the-point resume that displays what you accomplished is extremely effective. Having a short, concise resume also demonstrates you are an effective communicator. Who likes the person that never shuts up?
- If you have had 4-5 interviews with positions your experience and background is an ideal fit for and you are not making it to the final rounds getting an offer you need, have an out of body experience and think about what is going wrong. Companies are not likely to tell you why; recruiters may or may not tell you, but if you are working with a recruiter ask them. Be honest and say “I am having difficulty getting past the interview stage with companies. What did your client not like about me? I would really appreciate the feedback to help guide my career search.” If that does not work it is time to ask someone to act like a hiring manager and have them interview you aggressively as a way to troubleshoot your interviewing skills.
- With the new world and technology people have forgotten how important a hand written note or even a thank you email can be. What candidates often miss is that many hiring managers are skeptical about hiring anyone, and after each interview there is also doubt lingering even for the best candidates. Our executive recruiters have witnessed thank you letters give the hiring manager reason to bring someone back in. Taking the time to send a thank you note shows you value processes, you are detailed oriented, and also likely a nice individual that they will enjoy working with because you value etiquette in a time when many do not.