by Jez Martinez
Applying for jobs online can often times feel as if you’re sending your resume off into a black hole. Was your resume received? Will you be called in for an interview? Did anyone even look at your resume? The waiting game can become frustrating. And with employers looking at hundreds of resumes a day and spending about 20 seconds, or less, reviewing each resume, the job search process can feel challenging, even disheartening. But don’t lose hope. There are a few simple things you can do to improve your odds.
Apply For Jobs You Are Qualified For. Prove to a prospective employer that you are right for the job, by actually being right for the job! Requirements are not placed on a job posting to merely make them look lengthy. They are there for a reason. So before submitting your resume, make sure that you meet at least 80% of the requirements. No employer expects to find a candidate that meets 100% of the required skill sets, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t get any response if you’re not remotely qualified for the job. Applying for jobs shouldn’t be like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks. It isn’t about luck or chance, it’s about skill.
Follow “How to Apply” Instructions. Employers will always provide job seekers with the steps they need to follow in order to be considered for a position. Some will ask for cover letters, some will ask for references, some will ask you to contact a specific person. It might feel a little like running a gauntlet, but whatever they ask you to do – do it! Consider it a test. If you do what is asked, you’re more likely to move on to the next level. If you don’t, it’s GAME OVER. After all, if you’re unable, or unwilling, to follow instructions before even having an interview, how is an employer expected to feel confident that you are going to follow instructions while on the job? They can’t. Instead, they will consider the other hundred candidates that did as they were directed.
Use Key Words. If an employer is going to spend at most 20 seconds reviewing your resume, you need to make those 20 seconds count. The best way to do that is to utilize key words in the body of your resume. Depending on the type of job you are looking for, the key words may vary, but these are words that you see appear frequently on job postings. For example, if you are interested in Front Office jobs, you might want to use words and phrases like multi-line phone, transfer and direct calls, MS Office, and customer service in your resume. If you are looking for Warehouse jobs, you want to make sure that you use words such as shipping and receiving, loading and unloading, heavy lifting, picking and packing in your resume. Not sure which words to include? Look at the job posting and use the words the employer uses. Just be sure that everything you are saying is true.
Finding employment can be trying, especially when you’re responding to online job postings, but following these three simple tips should improve your odds and optimize your chances for success.
At TERRA, we can help you get out of the online resume submission game by helping introduce you to opportunities that are the right fit for your skills, experience and career goals. Contact us today to learn how we can help optimize your job search.
TERRA Staffing Group is a Pacific Northwest based staffing firm that has been recognized as one of the “Best of Staffing”, a designation awarded to less than one percent of staffing firms nationally based on exceptionally high client and talent satisfaction scores.