If your resume is not winning you frequent interviews, then it is not doing its job. Here are some quick fixes to turn that around.
I recently met a woman at one of my local LinkedIn workshops who was frustrated in her job search. She had applied to many, many jobs, but had not landed any interviews.
I quickly reviewed her resume and could tell in an instant why it was not impressing employers. I suggested a few improvements that she could quickly implement and share these with you here. (Her revised resume worked! She landed an interview the next week and is now working at a job she enjoys.)
1. Address the employer’s needs
Change the focus of your resume to address the employer’s needs not yours. How can you help them achieve their goals? Position yourself as the solution to their problem and highlight your differentiators.
2. Target a specific role
These days, companies are looking for specialists, not generalists. Focus your resume on a specific role, so the reader can quickly see where you’d fit within their organization. They won’t guess – if unsure, they will move on to the next resume and you just missed out on the opportunity.
3. Make sure your resume is age-neutral
Employers are concerned that as a seasoned worker, your skills may not be as sharp as they used to be or you are too set in your ways. Show them that is not true. Don’t include any work history prior to 2000 and play up your tech skills. And please, lose the AOL email address! That screams “Dinosaur!”. Continue reading
What? They want you to be on time, prepared and respectful? That seems like an awful lot to expect in a professional business meeting – which a job interview surely is. Interviewers have clear expectations of job applicants that impact their decision on whom to hire. By the time you’ve landed the interview, the employer is pretty sure you have the skills to do the job. Now, they want to find out if you are the type of person they’d like to have on their team.
To provide the best possible help to my career coaching clients, I speak regularly with recruiters and hiring managers to stay on top of what they are looking for in a candidate and what they like to see on a resume. We also discuss what bothers them and a few common themes stand out. I’m sharing them here to help you avoid these interview mistakes that can cost you that great job.
What Really Annoys Interviewers?
Here are the biggest pet peeves that I hear from hiring managers:
- Poor manners
- Lack of preparation
- Not following up
Let’s take a look at each of these.
The most common frustrations I hear from jobseekers are related to applying for jobs online. The application process itself is time-consuming, can be confusing and most of the time you don’t hear back after you’ve submitted your application materials. First of all, if you have applied to hundreds of jobs – STOP! Either you are applying for the wrong type of jobs or your resume is not selling you as well as it could. It might not even be making it through the Applicant Tracking Systems. Read on to see how you can turn things around.
Why Is My Online Job Search Failing?
Here’s the problem with applying to jobs online: your application is only one of hundreds, if not thousands, submitted for each opening. With employers’ increased reliance on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen for the most qualified candidates, your application may not even be reviewed by a person if it does not include the right keywords or proper formatting. For more information about getting through these online filters, see my previous blog “Are Applicant Tracking Systems Rigged Against Jobseekers?”.
Making it through the ATS is step #1. Continue reading
Welcome to the third installment of my blog series on virtual job interviews. In my last blog, I shared tips on mastering Skype interviews. If you missed it, you can catch up here.
Employers are continually looking to make the hiring process more efficient. To this end, they have started using recorded job interviews as a quick way to screen candidates. In a recorded interview, also known as a one-way video interview, the company sends you pre-scripted interview questions that you answer on video and submit by a specific date. When you record your answers to the questions, you cannot see the interviewer, but they will scrutinize you when viewing and listening to your answers.
Getting Ready for Your Close-Up
Welcome to the second installment of my blog series on virtual job interviews, with some quick tips to help you prepare for a video conference interview. If you missed last month’s post on telephone interviews, you can catch up here. Next month, I’ll address the recorded video interview.
In the good old days, hiring managers relied on in-person interviews to screen and hire job candidates. As if that was not intimidating enough! Today, many companies are incorporating online video conferencing interviews using Skype, Zoom or Facetime into the hiring process. Virtual interviews are popular with employers because they quickly narrow the candidate pool, which saves the company time and money. But, they can add an entirely new layer of anxiety-provoking stress for job seekers.
Whether you are new to live video interviews or didn’t do well enough in your last one to proceed to the next round of interviews, you need to learn how to present your best self on camera. Here’s how you can prepare for, and ace, your next video interaction with a potential employer.
Cameras hate me! Do I really have to do a video interview?
Yes. If you want to land that great new job, you must be prepared for live video job interviews. If you avoid them, you may be limiting your employment options. Because more and more employers are relying on video interviews to evaluate candidates’ soft skills, it is to your advantage to become comfortable with this type of interview. Continue reading
If your resume is winning you frequent interviews, then it is doing its job. If you are going to lots of first interviews but are not making it into the next round, then you may need to work on your interviewing skills. You are not alone. Selling yourself to a potential employer is not easy. However, as with anything, the more you know, the more successful you will be.There are several types of interviews, each with their own set of challenges: face-to-face meetings, in-box assessments and virtual interviews conducted via telephone, Skype and video. The interview is one of the most important parts of a job search, yet many people fail to prepare out of fear. To help reduce jobseeker anxiety, I have created a series of blog posts on the different types of virtual interviews. In this first installment, I share tips on how to master the telephone interview. Continue reading
It’s a fact – if your resume does not make it through an employer’s Applicant Tracking System, it’s like you never even applied for the job.
Too often, Applicant Tracking Systems make life difficult for jobseekers. But once you know how they work, you can use them to your advantage and they will no longer be a barrier to your job search. Not sure what this is all about? They can be confusing and continually evolve, which is why I research, take frequent training and test out the systems myself.
In 2018, the difference between advancing your executive career and spinning your wheels is leveraging the strength of technology to promote your professional brand.
You’ve embraced technology in nearly every other aspect of your daily life, why not your job search? As a group, executives have been resistant to the digital job search, but most are now finding that it cannot be ignored. Case in point: my client Ambrose, who was looking to make the jump from Sr. VP into the C-Suite. For nearly five years, he had been passed over for internal promotions and could not make any headway at his target company. After working with me for only three weeks, he was asked by his Board of Directors to consider a newly created leadership role and received a meeting invitation from the CEO he’d been pursuing at his company’s biggest competitor. We clarified his goal, mapped out a strategy to enhance his professional image and made it happen using a combination of LinkedIn and online industry resources.
Everybody and everything is online these days, including career management. From recruiters locating and screening candidates online to job seekers expanding their professional network using social media, finding your next opportunity is firmly entrenched in today’s technology. You know that exposure and reputation management are crucial to career advancement. Let me explain how you can use technology to expand your reach beyond your immediate sphere of influence through strategic planning and intentional, consistent effort. Continue reading
A new year brings new possibilities. As we turn over the calendar, we tend to look forward to the New Year as a chance to reset ourselves and we resolve to make improvements, both personally and professionally. If your New Year’s resolution is to be a happier person in 2018, a new job could be just the answer. Considering how much time we spend at work, enjoying your job can significantly impact your overall happiness. You deserve job satisfaction ― and it is achievable.
So you’ve made your New Year’s resolution to change jobs or maybe even reinvent yourself in a new career, but how do you make this happen? What do you do first? Where do you begin? How do you get from hopes and wishes to reality? It’s common to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of a job search. I have learned that the key to a successful job transition is in the planning.
‘Tis the season to celebrate with friends and family. ‘Tis also the season for year-end performance reviews, which is the perfect time for you to position yourself for success.
Performance reviews can be stressful, especially coming as they do during the holiday season. You naturally hope that your manager notices all of your hard work and recognizes the value you offer your organization. But does management really know how valuable you are? As part of the review process, many companies ask their employees to provide a self-assessment to their manager. This is your best opportunity to remind your manager of your contributions and highlight the impact of your efforts. It is also a great first step to developing a strong resume.
Not sure how to show your value to an organization? You are not alone. To make it easier for my clients, I recommend that they start with the following questions: Continue reading
Whether you are transitioning to a new career or looking to achieve your next professional milestone, a successful job search is all about selling yourself to prospective employers. Never thought you’d be in sales? When competing for a job, you are marketing yourself as both the product and the salesperson, and your most effective tool is your resume.
In my experience as a Career Coach, I’ve found that many people don’t know how to sell themselves when looking for a job. Writing about yourself is difficult, no doubt about it. That is why so many people hire professional resume help.
Here are a few key points to make it easier:
Let’s talk about your career. I don’t mean your current job that’s so unrewarding that it feels like a prison sentence, or the one that you’ve been told is being eliminated in a few months. No, I mean the career you dream about, the one that you really want, that you know you were meant to have. Let’s talk about THAT career.
Changing careers can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve already devoted a long time to your present career path. I know how it feels – I left a high burn-out job and successfully reinvented myself several years ago. I had heard (and told myself) all of the reasons why career change is impossible and bound to fail. “Competition for good jobs is fierce,” and “I’m too old to change careers now.”
Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be so scary. Continue reading
No one really likes writing cover letters – not even me, and I write clients’ career marketing documents every day. Personally, I find creating resumes, executive bios and LinkedIn profiles much more fun. But – cover letters are an important part of your job search that you cannot overlook.
Typically, your cover letter is the first writing sample reviewed by a potential employer, so make sure yours will help, not hurt, your chances of winning an interview. Continue reading
With 500 million worldwide users, LinkedIn can help you establish a wide professional network. It is also a powerful marketing tool that can boost or derail your job search. A reported 87% of recruiters source passive job candidates on the social network for busy professionals.. So, if you are a jobseeker and not on LinkedIn – you are basically invisible.
The keys to leveraging the strength of LinkedIn? SEO, KLT and TOM
Would you rather walk into a job interview with confidence or fear? Interviews can unnerve even the most experienced job seeker, and in today’s competitive job market proper preparation can be the difference between a job offer and a rejection.
You wouldn’t ever walk onto a stage for a big presentation without preparing your words and practicing your delivery, would you? A job interview requires the same sort of preparation, but the process does not need to be overwhelming. You can increase your odds for success by Continue reading
As a Career Coach, I guide people through career transitions to help them build more satisfying lives. Most of my conversations with prospective clients start with a request for a new resume. They call me because they are frustrated; their job search is stalled and they can’t win interviews. We discuss their goals, what they have tried so far and I explain how I can help accelerate their results. Many times the problem is not just a weak resume – they may also lack a focused goal or may not be using current job search strategies.
The resume development process is the foundation for a successful job search. Continue reading