Saturday, March 17 , 2018, 3:05 pm | A Few Clouds 58º


Job Seekers’ Lament: In My Heart I Know ...

Simple steps you can take to fix the dreaded career disconnect.

Unemployment is rising. New job creation is falling. What are my prospects now? Without being unrealistic, I’d say prospects are still what you make of them. Let me explain.

Eric Canton
You go to the Web site of an organization that interests you. Click on the Careers or Jobs icon and scroll through the descriptions that you believe fit your skills, abilities and experience. Then you attach your resume and submit.

For the vast majority of us, that experience is like sending your resume into a black hole. Unfortunately, two things often happen:

1. Your resume is screened by a computer looking for key words and connections with the posted position before an actual human being sees it.

2. You have submitted so many resumes without recording details of the company, position, date and other pertinent information that an actual callback from somebody gets your deer-in-the-headlights response, “Who is this?”

Sound far-fetched? We have received countless resumes from people interested in getting some advice about shortening the process, only to hear them say they don’t remember where they had sent their principal marketing piece!

I can’t tell you how many times we also hear the words, “In my heart I know I can do this job. How can I get somebody to listen?” Young or old, this is the central question. Books have been written about what to do.

A senior recruiter for a $16 billion, multinational company told me recently that a detailed posting deserves a detailed and parallel submission. His point? Tell the prospective employer in your marketing materials how closely you fit the job description. Apply for the specific with specifics.

General resumes that are intended to get everyone’s attention most often get no attention. Many executives who hired other senior executives have very little idea about what it’s like on the other side of the desk. Think about what you did and didn’t see when you read resumes. Then put yours to the same test.

Interviewing, when you get the opportunity, is the most important place to know how to tell your story in the context of the organization’s needs. “Am I correct in my perception that you are looking for the following skills and abilities? Then let me cite some of my achievements that will demonstrate that I can make superior contributions to your organization in the same way I have done in the past,” should be your statement. Then make your case in a way that shows you recognized the challenge, analyzed options for action, took appropriate actions, and achieved results in a timely or better than timely manner.

A longtime distribution industry consultant whom I respect offers these words of advice for both job candidates and interviewers: both of you had better prepare so the time isn’t just filled with standard lists of questions and canned and rehearsed answers.

Both parties have a real obligation to get to know each other. Yet time is limited, so both of you must get ready for the tough as well as the routine questions. In the end it is vital to fit culturally every bit as much as it is critical to bring a great skill set along.

So study what’s needed, network like crazy to talk to real people and not just computers. You can make your case accurately and with enthusiasm because you know that in your heart you can do the job, and you’re prepared to say so on paper and in person.

Eric Canton is president of Career BreakThrough! Inc. Contact him at [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or toll-free at 866.429.3118.

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