3 Things Hindering Your Job Search
I have been in the recruiting industry for quite some time now. Most recently, I have seen people frustrated with their job search. Most of the job seekers blame the current job climate, often getting no call backs and very little follow up from job posts. One of the prevailing thoughts among job seekers is the artificial intelligence is too impersonal; job sites such as Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Glassdoor and others. They tell me they have applied to 50 or more jobs, and haven’t received one offer to interview.
The job search can be somewhat frustrating for some, which is why they land in my office seeking some relief from a staffing agency. Over a period of time, I have discovered three areas of critical importance, which hinder the job seeker throughout their job search. They are:
1. A poorly written and structured resume.
Resumes seem to be the first piece of information most recruiters read to learn about you and your experience. Your resume is your opportunity to provide a lasting first impression to a recruiter. When recruiters view your resume, they will have about 10 to 15 seconds to decide whether you have the minimum experience to be placed in a queue for further review. I do this quite often, only to return later to review them in more detail. I then determine which top candidates qualify for an initial interview. From my interviews, I will usually find two to three candidates to send to my clients for their review.
When a resume is poorly written and improperly structured they are hard to read to glean the proper information for an accurate assessment. So most recruiters move on to find those candidates who have taken the time to properly write and structure their resume. Your goal is to write and structure a resume to get you in the “chair” for an interview. Using bolds for places and positions you have worked can highlight critical areas. In addition, you should have a section with “hard” skills and a section for “soft” skills. Usually, job seekers clump these together, so there’s no cohesion or flow to your resume for easy readability and review.
Research “Great Resumes” on Google.
Find the right template for you.
Write and rewrite your resume until you have the wording correct.
Add some color to your resume.
Run it by an editor or ghost writer.
Once page resumes are the best.
Go back only 10 years – summarize anything beyond 10 years in a summary.
2. Too many jobs listed with short spans of time.
Resumes with several short spans of time worked in their top four recent job listings can be quite disturbing to a recruiter. Resumes which reflect an average of let’s say 9 months worked in their past four jobs will garner the job applicant no confidence to proceed further. Most employers are looking for longevity, commitment and loyalty. So what do you think that looks like on a resume?
Here’s a sample of what I mean:
|Coinage, Inc.||Executive Assistant||
April 2019 to Present
|Farmacy||Office Administrator||June 2018 to March 2019|
|Fitter||Executive Administrator||Feb 2017 to March 2018|
|Ufit-It||Retail Sales||Sept 2016 to January 2017|
As you can see from this example, it presents four short “time spans” worked at these four jobs. The average in my example equals around 8.75 months at each job. This short span of time tells the current recruiter or employer you have some explaining to do as to why you left. You will need to have good reasons for leaving your job. A Google search revealed the median tenure for workers age 25 to 34 is 3.2 years. Conventional wisdom notes that two years should be the average stay at a job in this current climate.
Have good explanations as to why you left your job; moved, took on a new opportunity, the position was terminated, etc.
Try to list jobs with longer periods of time; not temp jobs nor jobs you list of 6 months or less.
You can summarize your short stays in a paragraph in your cover letter.
3. Not enough accrued experience with a specific skill set
An employer is seeking someone with a minimum of three years work experience in Quickbooks. So let’s say you are now applying for a Bookkeeper position, but for some reason you lack the experience in Quickbooks. How did that happen? Well, you may have used another bookkeeping software or program other than Quickbooks in your previous jobs, which limits you for consideration in the current job you are applying for. You think all software systems are the same. So you apply for this job believing you are qualified for it, but then you lack the “one thing” an employer is seeking – someone with a minimum of three years of Quickbooks experience.
You think it is unfair you are being overlooked for this job. Most of those I have encountered in this scenario believe Quickbooks can be easily learned within a day or two. After all, you have done payroll, receivables and payables with other software programs, so it should not be that difficult to function in Quickbooks. So what can be different with this current position? I understand your argument. However, when a client is looking for a specific skill set, there are reasons for it. For one, they do not have time to train or teach someone to get up to par with their specified accounting software. So when you apply for a job, read through the job description to ensure you have the accrued experience to be considered for the job you are applying for.
Invest in taking a Quickbooks course and get certified in Quickbooks.
Go to YouTube to refresh yourself with Quickbooks tutorials.
Research the top three programs used in an office setting.
Broaden your experience with the top softwares used.