Do You Keep Getting Screened Out for Jobs?

Are you getting interviews but are being told that another person had skills and experience that more closely matched what the company wanted? Are you sending your resume to companies or recruiters for jobs that you know you can do but are not getting return calls?

A common mistake that many people in mid-career make is to spread the net wide and apply for anything that they think they can do. They think the recipient of their resume will read their cover letter and review their resume and see that they are qualified for the job.

In this economy with an abundance of job seekers, employers are not motivated to try to see how you might fit in. As a matter of procedure, your resume will probably be screened out by someone new who is told to eliminate anyone whose resume does not contain the specific skills and experience they want. If you enclosed a cover letter, more than likely it will not even be read. If you want to change what you hear to something more positive, like “yes”, then you need to change your approach.

First, identify what you are most experienced at doing, what you really like doing, and want to do in another job. List the top three that you are best at doing and want to do. These should be your signature strengths and what you are known for. Others who know you (your referrals) should agree that these are what you are best at doing.

Second, describe the industry in which you have most of your experience; where you can compete with the best at this level and hold your own. Describe it specifically. Don’t just say “manufacturing.” Even apparel manufacturing may be too broad. Men’s apparel, women’s fashion, children’s, or sports apparel manufacturing all might be considered different industries from the employers’ perspective.

You may think industry is not important but in the eyes of an employer who may have had all their experience in their industry, it is very important. You need to constantly remind yourself that it is not what you think but it is what the employer thinks that matters.

Third, write some achievement stories that demonstrate what you are best at doing in your industry. The stories should demonstrate the three skills you identified so a reader will accept that you really are good at what you are telling them.

You are now ready to prepare you resume. Follow the guidance on my website, in the Career Center under Resumes. Think of your resume as your brochure. Company brochures feature what they are best at doing. Your resume needs to reflect what you are best at doing and where you want to work. You will only need one resume.

You are now ready to talk to others about the position you are seeking. You will also be comfortable when you are asked for your resume because it will support what you have told others.

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