I heard it again today, “I’ve applied to 300 jobs in the last month.”

WHAT????

Why would anyone waste their time like that? Sounds to me like this person was simply doing the “Click and Go” dance with his computer. I certainly understand the desperation that comes with the economic climate we all live in today, but I’m concerned.

If a job seeker would just sit back for a few minutes and consider a plan of action, concerning the goals for the day and write it down, then the day’s efforts might be a little more fruitful! More focus would be given to the list below and less work would be done with better results.

Not all recruiters search the same way for potential candidates. They don’t post job descriptions the same way. They don’t read resumes the same way. They certainly don’t communicate the same way, which is often to the disadvantage of an excellent candidate. They all have differing levels of concern for things like ethical values, integrity and credibility. Some recruiters are educated and some are not. Some have common sense and some don’t have any sense at all.

I can’t begin to tell you how any other recruiter will process your resumé, even if I think I know them. What I will tell you is how I process resumes, and what I expect before I receive it from you. These tips should help you, by giving you the best possible chance at getting an interview…if you are honest with yourself as you prepare your resumé!

Reason #1.
You’ve given me what I want by reading the job description COMPLETELY!
If you haven’t, why would you apply? Would you only read what stands out on a medicine bottle, only to find out later that there are side effects (in the small print) that may adversely affect your health? The health of your personal economic stability depends on reading completely.

If you are just posting resumes everywhere, hoping one will stick; you’re wasting YOUR time. Give me what I want by writing a short and concise cover letter. It should include a short summary of your experiences that “MATCH” the job description. If they don’t match, DON’T APPLY! If a job description is short and vague, contact me and ask for any clarification I can offer.

Make SURE you are qualified before you apply. You’ll save yourself a lot of precious time by focusing on the importance of being qualified. I don’t currently work with clients or other recruiters that will accept a candidate that has skills that are “transferable.” You are either qualified to the specifics of the job description, or you are not. (Authors note as of 03/16/2010: Please understand that I believe in transferable skills. They should not be used as the focus of the resume. In my opinion, they should be used as a supplement to the resume, brought to the attention of the recruiter in the cover letter and then expounded upon during a phone interview).

Reason #2.
If your resumé is clean and concise!
(Have you made truthful changes based on the job description?)
*Get rid your professional looking portrait (Who cares what you look like. Many hiring managers or recruiters make stupid assumptions about your looks anyway).
*Get rid of two-tone colors.
*Get rid of the frames around your text.
*Use BOLD Company names and the dates you were employed there.
*List the Company name and show in one short sentence about what industry it’s in, what your company manufactures, sells or offers as a service.
*Do Not Ramble! Get right to the point. Recruiters get quickly tired of trying to find information that indicates your qualifications. Honestly, I do as well.

Reason #3.
When you include important phrases that stand out in the job description.
If you honestly have a requirement from the job description, make sure you put it in your resumé! If I don’t know that you are qualified with the requirements, why would I call you for a phone interview? As far as I’m concerned, this one reason alone will encourage me to call you. I’ll know you read the job description and made sure that you made changes that improve your chances to get a call from me.

Save some time that will be better spent elsewhere. Become more effective in your job search by practicing the tips above. Focus on everything you can do to MAKE a recruiter or hiring manager want to call you. Start with these 3 Reasons I’ll Read Your Resume. I wish you great success!

Steven Coyne is the Recruiter/Owner of "The Job Hunter Group." You can find his...

Views: 1774

Comment by Jacob S. Madsen on March 11, 2010 at 5:22am
It couldn't have been said better or more succinctly Steven, - excellent. Newspaper article over here in Denmark some months back stated that one would think applicants job seeking methods got better and more targeted during these times, only to be the direct opposite!. There are tons of material available on the Internet as to how an applicant better their chances, only for someone like myself looking through something like 50 or so resumes a day spending majority of my time binning more or less 80% of them due to the exact reasons that you mention. I have spent numerous occasions 'preaching' good CV writing (this only sticking to the basics) and 'how to prepare and perform best at interviews', and hope that I may have saved a few souls. What however is clear is that people most do not get it, be it junior 1st time jobbers or even people with 5-10-15+ years backgroun, - baffling! and maybe testament to the fact that we people need at times to have spoon fed or through 'being kicked in the behind' taught things. To Ron R. - absolutely right, there is thought and reason for giving instructions and rules, only for again majority not follwing them, why does it need to so difficult, -have people lost the ability to read, interpret, understand and apply?
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 11, 2010 at 4:13pm
Jacob: Thanks for the kind words! It is very obvious that along with the economic climate changing, so has the job seeker. Is it that they just don't care and are taking the FRANTIC approach, posting as much as possible? Have they stepped into the lure of the Internet, unable to get back out and fallen asleep during the resume writing and sending process? Have most just given up and started to play a dart game hoping one resume dart will actually stick in the bullseye?


What we need to do, as recruiters, is to come up with a standard expectation, worldwide, of the resume and a multitude of other things like bios, cover letters, recommendation letters, referrence lists, ect. Then we could insure that if every job seeker who followed this plan would have equal footing. Ford Myers states in his book "Get The Job You Want Even When Noone's Hiring", that "An Outstanding Resume is not difficult To Create - If You Know The Code.
Comment by Chalapathi on March 11, 2010 at 4:45pm
Thanks Steve, for the blog that you have posted and i am happy to read that cause this gives me some more experience, as well as the points that Ron has added are very HELPFUL. Looking for more tips and blogs. Chals
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 15, 2010 at 8:39am
Thank you Chalapathi. I look forward to bringing additional topics to discuss!
Comment by Louella Machado on March 16, 2010 at 2:58pm
Hi Steven, Great post - thank you. However, with regard to transferable skills I would like to add my two cents! Reading your post I assume you are advising job seekers to ensure they meet the 'hard skills' required for the position, if not, you suggest they dont apply - and I totally agree with this. But transferable skills are those that are part of your personality and are essential for a 'fit' with the position, so they do have their place in the big picture. So in my opinion, job seekers should first ensure they meet the core skills/requirements and if they do then work with transferable skills to add value.
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 16, 2010 at 3:07pm
Louella:
Bravo! Please see my response on page one to Martin Snyders question about the same concern.

I DO believe that they have their place, but not as the main focus of the resume.
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 21, 2010 at 7:35pm
Thanks Suzanne! Since I've written the article, it seems like the really bad resumes have come out of the woodwork. I could, as well as many others, share some very funny stories related to baaaaaad resumes.
Comment by Lissy on April 8, 2010 at 6:42pm
Steven- what a great article!! SPOT ON. I just forward it to all my recruiting partners, thanks for understanding my pain.
Comment by Steven Coyne on April 8, 2010 at 7:04pm
Lissy:
I'm so sorry that it has been so painful. I certainly hope things get better for you. Thank you for your support with the article!
Comment by Lissy on April 8, 2010 at 7:05pm
How i look up more articles written by you?

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