If you’ve been interviewing for a while, and not getting anywhere – not even to the first phone screen – the problem might be that your resume isn’t making the first cut. In this week’s roundup, we look at advice on how to fix that, plus a better way to say “I’m passionate” in a job market full of passionate job seekers, and the seven critical skills you’re probably leaving off your resume.
(Photo Credit: David Blackwell/Flickr)
Suzanne Lucas, The Evil HR Lady, at Business.com: An HR Manager Reveals: Why I Threw Out Your Resume
Why would an employer toss your resume without so much as a call? Well, Lucas presents a lot of possibilities, including one mistake that’s common among job seekers who are very determined (or getting desperate): applying to jobs for which they’re not qualified.
“Sure, there are some times you should apply for a job that is a stretch, but a small stretch and not something you would never be considered for,” Lucas says. “It’s not harmless either. If you apply for jobs you’re not qualified for at a company; the recruiter won’t consider you for jobs you are qualified for.”
Find out what else might be tanking your chances at making it to that first interview, in her post.
What is it about the interview process that breeds cliches? If you go by our resumes, everyone in the world is a self-starter, hard-working, and passionate. The challenge facing the modern job seeker is to find new ways to describe their skills, abilities, and interests, without dipping into the same old well.
“…in one cover letter after the next, and one meeting after another, all interviewers hear is ‘passion, passion, passion,’ and candidates start to blend together,” McCord writes. “I know, it’s ironic — even unfair — that you’d pick a word to get to the core of who you are and what an opportunity means to you, and rather than differentiate you, it just makes you sound like everyone else. And at first, you might feel worried: What if that’s really who you are? If you don’t talk about being passionate, how will the interviewer get that you really care?”
Her advice gives you a few options to use instead, and might help you think differently about how to convey your talents and traits to an interviewer.
Modesty is the worst enemy of the job seeker. For example, maybe you’ve taught yourself a skill, but since you never took a class, you don’t think to put it on your resume. Or perhaps you’ve had a blog for 10 years, with a respectable following, but since it’s not a media empire, you leave it off. Don’t.
Babbitt lists several of these forgotten skills in his post. His description of why some leave off social media savviness, for example, will help you see what you might be missing:
“No. You aren’t a guru, ninja or an expert. But you do know your way around Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Your profiles may be the envy of all your friends and colleagues; the number of followers is respectful. Throw in your knowledge of Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twitter Chats, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook ads – and whatever else you’ve dabbled in so far – and you just might impress the social media novice whose organization needs social help, right now.”
In other words, don’t assume that the things you know how to do are easy for everyone – or without worth on the job market.
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