I received an email recently from a very capable and bright job seeker I know. This gentleman was convinced that the reason that he was not getting any responses in his job search was the format of his resume. Now, in all fairness, let me say that I wrote his resume, so I might be a little biased...but I know it's not his resume. And you know what-it's probably not yours either. Let's talk about that a bit.
Remember that the Average recruity type (Art) spends about 5-10 seconds glancing at your resume (10 seconds is probably too generous actually) to determine if he/she wants to review it more. From there, if Art likes the experience he first sees, then he will probably dig in a little deeper-maybe 30 seconds before deciding to call/email/smokesignal you for a further conversation. Alas, the amount of time you spend in writing a resume is NOT directly proportional to the amount of time that Art spends reading it.
So, while it's important to have a nice resume, the reality is that Art doesn't care if your font is Times New Roman or Arial, whether you use bullets or asterisks, or whether you use 11 or 12 point font-Art just wants it to be clean, easy to read, and full of information about what job you did AND how well you did it-ie performance metrics. Now, resume writing services are going to tell you the exact opposite, but the reality is that changing up little formatting details on a well written, clean, easy to read resume is probably not going to do anything for you but delay the inevitable realization of...
the market sucks.
Yep, I know. It's a shocker, no? The market is terrible and even a resume written on a sheet of $100 bills may not get noticed. Remember that for most of you who are relying solely on online applications, there is a good chance that your resume isn't even being seen by human eyes. And I promise, the computer reviewing your resume doesn't give a rat's behind how it looks. In fact, it probably would like you to have even more data/less formatting (hence the ASCII version of the resume-but that's a rant for another day.)
What to do then?
I think for any job seeker who is putting applications out there and getting no response, you have to ask yourself what you want. Are you doing these things to A) satisfy the requirements for your unemployment, or B) are you ready to get back in the saddle of the working world? If the answer is B, then let's talk about this circle...
As you can see from my 5th grade graphics, nowhere in the circle of a diversified search do I recommend leaning on one method above others. The truth is that a good search (one that is going to uncover the best jobs, not just the low hanging fruit), they are all interdependent and feed into one another.
Ok, I'm sold..how do I start? Well, I think the trick is to start adding in additional strategies. I highly HIGHLY recommend finding a local job search group/club and joining their ranks. While I don't think that all of your networking should come from the ranks of the unemployed, let's face it-we all need someone who understands how we are feeling from time to time. Check out sites like www.job-hunt.org, www.workministry.org, etc to find local groups for you. Beyond there, I would say add in more areas as you can until you have your job search running as a strategy and not a function. There is no magic bullet in job searching, but the closest we can come is having a diversified strategy.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Michelle currently serves as a recruiting and job search consultant helping professionals make the leap from looking to landed. In addition to her time spent recruiting and coaching individuals, she delivers a variety of training sessions from Social Networking, Working with Recruiters, Online Resume Posting, and Interview Prep.
Michelle possesses over 15 years of diverse experience in functional areas such as recruiting, human resources, coaching, training, organizational development, staffing, sales, sales management, retail, and banking/finance.
Prior to her work as a consultant, Michelle made her career in the Placement industry working most recently for the 2nd largest Staffing Company in the World. For this multi-national organization, Michelle served as an Agency Recruiter, Corporate Recruiter, Senior HR Manager, and Area Vice President. During her tenure with this organization, Michelle was also tasked with various Organizational Development programs including the creation of a company wide Career Progression Program. Michelle also served on the three person team that introduced a new “Gen Y” based hiring model that included a greater emphasis on college recruiting/branding and internships. As a result of this experience, Michelle considers her greatest strengths to be talent identification/retention, talent development, and coaching for performance improvement.
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Send her an invitation on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michellemorettini.
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