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


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: 1830

Comment by Sean Gaudun on March 5, 2010 at 3:26pm
I liked this post Steve. 300 jobs...yikes.

It speaks to the old adage of quality over quantity. I find myself using the "laserbeam focus" analogy over the shotgun blast. A forum like this is great because it allows you to get some of this off your chest as a recruiter while educating the masses with proven methods and technique. I get the sense that writing this may have been a therapeutic stress reliever. I know some of the posts I've written or have responded to have been just that. This is a great How-to Guide.

Comment by Steven Coyne on March 5, 2010 at 3:34pm
Thank you for your comments. I'm glad to read that you've broken out the laserbeam! Yes, this article was written during a short period of frustration on my part. I'm certain I know how the job seeker feels as well, as I've been through a session of joblessness too. I've just found a few good ways to avoid wasting my time and will be sharing more soon.
Comment by Ron Rafelli on March 9, 2010 at 11:41am
Great article, Steve. Spot on! I would also like to add that when applying for a job, follow the instructions in the posting. For example, if a resume formatted in MS Word is requested, send a Word document; if it asks for salary history or salary requirement, give one, don't put "open" or "negotiable". This information is requested for a reason and you aren't helping yourself by trying to skirt around it. From my point of view, if a candidate cannot follow simple instructions during the application process I will call one of the dozens of others who applied that day who can follow directions.
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 9, 2010 at 12:30pm
Thank you for the kind words. Although this is certainly NOT "pick on job seekers day" I do agree with your points. When a job seeker complains about how a recruiter's process works, the very least they should do is make sure they follow the process. Just like every job description is different, recruiter's are different too!
Comment by Martin H.Snyder on March 9, 2010 at 12:38pm
Pretty good advice generally but if you are not interested in people whose contributions are “transferable”, you may not be doing the best job you can for your clients. Giving them what they ask for is just fine, but sometimes you can do better because a) many times clients don't know what they are missing and are seeking to fight the last war and b) the higher the level of the role, the more often abstract powers can overwhelm hard skills in actual economic battles.

Job descriptions can be cages that harm everyone involved, some of the time.....
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 9, 2010 at 1:24pm
Thank you for your comments. As for the "transferable" skills issue, my hopes in writting this article are to show the job seeker that "transferable" skills are just a bunch of flowery words that clutter up a resume, when a job seekers focus SHOULD be to show that they DO meet the requirements of the job description, and then they can have all of the transferable skills they want. All to often, I've seen where the transferable skills were the main focus of the resume.
Comment by G. Robert Bishop on March 10, 2010 at 3:41pm
This advice is simple, straightforward and right on target. Thanks Steven for posting it. I have a blog in which I try to "make heads or tails out of the hiring process". One of the goals of that blog is to "give back" to both candidates and clients with insights gained from my years as a retained marketing recruiter. I hope you won't mind if I pubish your article on my own blog . . . with attribution of course. I couldn't have said it better myself! I'll look forward to following your blog in the future. Thanks again!
Comment by Robin Stanton on March 10, 2010 at 3:56pm
Very helpful post Steven, thank you. I think your point on the transferable skills comment was that job seekers need to be indicating how those "transferable" skills directly match up with the requirements of the job. It is the job seekers responsibility to show how they qualify for the position not the recruiters to read between the lines.
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 10, 2010 at 5:15pm
G. Robert...Thank you so much for furthering my desire to make it easier for job seekers to have a better chance by just improving their resume. In the great scheme of things, I find that the resume is just a small part of the job search, but that's for another article! I am humbled by your offer to post my article and say YES please feel free to publish it to your blog.
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 10, 2010 at 5:22pm
Robin: It's wonderful to see others are more right on target than me with their thoughts! Thank you for your comments. My goal, in anything I write, is to get the reader to think, and to get them to consider being as efficeint as possible with their precious time during a search.


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