“TWO YEARS! I’ve been looking for two years and I only got four interviews.”
That’s what he said with a sense of deep frustration mixed with despair but you could tell it was absolutely true. We had lightened up at the end of our interview this week and just began chatting.
“I’ve had four jobs my whole life! I can’t even get an interview!”
I really liked him. You could tell he probably was one of those supervisors workers would really enjoy working around. He had a kind face. He was comfortable in his shoes. He had a sense of confidence about him that wasn’t pompous but carried off a sense of a job well done which accumulated from his life experiences. From the way he dressed you could tell he took pride in himself and invariably – his work. What he did, he did to the best of his ability, more than likely.
So what was he doing wrong to have only had four interviews in two years claiming all the while actively seeking employment? I thought.
I lifted up his three page resume, laid it down in front of me page by page, leaned forward and said,
“Let me tell you how it is…..
Employers, more specifically their human resource people, don’t read resumes anymore. They “glance” over them. They haven’t the time. Plus because they receive so many of them it’s just not possible to read them all. Instead they skim.
What they look for is what they need at the moment. They don’t want to see the possibilities in people. They don’t want to see how much you can grow with them. They don’t care what additional skills and talents you may bring to the table. They just want to know what you can do for them, right now!
If an employer is looking for a skilled CNC/set-up person with manual lathe experience…those are the buzz words they’re going to be scanning when viewing a resume. If they don’t see those words, they move on very quickly to the next resume.
So putting your life history down on paper showing every type of responsibility and skill you’ve acquired may seem like a great idea but in all reality, it’s shutting the door before you get a chance to say hello. To them it’s clutter fluff.
Resumes need to be catered to each job opportunity these days. There is no such thing as one resume fits all. That’s why you haven’t gotten interviews. This resume has far too much information for them.
I know you’ve managed a large manufacturing plant. I know you’ve balanced labor within revenue. You were a trainer. You were a hiring manager. You did scheduling and inspection. You developed and maintained quality control procedures for anodizing, phosphate, dry film lubricant and painting. You know federal regulations. You’ve written and established operating procedures including safety.
But the only words they really need to see are “plant supervisor”. The rest is fluff.
Instead of this chronological resume you might want to consider a functional resume where you have more flexibility to highlight the particular skills that the job is seeking.
It’s a better resume to customize according to the individualized job. This way, based on your experiences you can use “their” buzz words, what they are looking for that makes you a perfect match. This way you will be noticed.
And do try to keep it down to one page. Never ever would they go beyond the first page.
You’ve got a lot of wonderful skills, let’s just fix this resume and see what happens.”
It’s a whole different hiring world out there today than it was even four years ago. We should write a book about the differences in hiring from then to now. It would help a lot of people – especially one as talented as this candidate. A whole different world indeed!
We’re looking at a long weekend coming up. Now is the time to rethink that resume. How much clutter fluff do you have in it? Is it speaking directly to the job sites needs?
Send it to me and tell me what job you’re going after if you want a second set of eyes.