It’s 10 PM on Sunday night. Instead of relaxing before bed and mentally preparing for the inevitable work week, you’re frantically scanning the job posting websites for the fifth time this weekend. You think, there has to be a position open near my home that’s better than what I have to go into tomorrow…please, oh please, let there be a better job out there.
You select several postings that look promising:
- two of the positions pay slightly less than what you currently make, but you are more than qualified for the role
- three of the positions reflect your current position exactly
- one is a long shot, but you feel that you may outshine the competition if the recruiter gives you a chance to interview in person
You scroll to the bottom of each job description and see an option to attach your resume and send it immediately to the recruiter. You think, great! I can finish this up quickly and get some sleep after all. You attach your resume to each of the seven postings, decline the option to add a cover letter or other attachments and click “SEND”. Then, it’s off to bed, with visions of offer letters dancing in your head.
Unfortunately, it is not likely that you will hear back about any of these open positions. Most likely, you will try to save face by thinking the reason is one or more of the following:
- The recruiter is still looking for applicants and just has not yet reviewed your resume yet.
- You were overqualified for the position and they are holding your resume for a higher-paying position with more responsibility…whenever that comes along.
- They are in the middle of a hiring freeze (even though the jobs are still posted).
- The recruiter/hiring manager/head honcho is on vacation, but you will be getting a call…any day now.
Wake up! You didn’t get a call back because you didn’t stand out from the other qualified applicants. This is also because you relied solely upon your resume to get your foot in the door. While your resume is important, it’s crucial to provide something else of value to recruiters that can move your resume along to the hiring managers.
This month, I’ll provide a special tip in each blog post to help increase your chances of interviewing for a job in a tough economy and answer the question, do you need a resume to get a job?
Week 1: No, you need more than one.
Are you applying for jobs with the same resume over and over? You may end up facing the same challenges over and over. Recruiters know whether or not your resume was specially tailored for the jobs to which you are applying. Recruiters are also looking for specific keywords in your resume to guarantee that you are a good match for a position. If they don’t see these keywords, you’re not likely to get a call back.
What can you do?
Create three to four versions of your main resume. If you are applying for a marketing job, play up the roles where you showed marketing savvy, leadership and critical thinking in one version of your resume. If you are applying for a sales position, outline the opportunities you’ve had to demonstrate your public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as your ability to accomplish lofty goals.
The better your experience matches with a role, the better chance you have at securing that in-person interview. It may sound like a considerable amount of work, but if you are really interested in a given position, don’t be afraid to spend extra time perfecting your first impression.