Your goals are to survive the screening process, LOOK like you might be the best person for the job, and get the interview. Screening takes multiple steps. You have to survive each one to get on the “short list.” Here are 7 tips to help you survive the screening process.
- To get that interview when the people who need you are drowning in resumes, you have to make the sale in the first third of the first page and keep making it, no matter how many pages you send. Continue to show value throughout the resume. The screener and the hiring manager will keep reading as long as they see value.
- A screener looks for any reason to shorten the list. For example, if you’re into extreme sports, the resume is not the place to mention it unless you’re applying for a job as a Sports Illustrated photographer or a crash dummy! On the other hand, if you have a penchant for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, that could be a good thing if the job is quality assurance for a parachute manufacturer. Don’t volunteer irrelevant, harmful information. Weigh the value of anything you include.
- If your resume looks like a meal slapped on a mess tray, you’re on your way to the reject pile. A fellow asked how to screen resumes. I told him that my first pass was on nothing but appearance. He responded that my answer was silly. He said that, if he needed an expert to design an expensive computer board, he didn’t care what the resume looked like. I told him that an expensive computer board with a coffee ring on it is not an expensive computer board. It’s a coaster. Neatness counts!
- Does your cover letter match the position? Does your resume have an objective? Does your objective match their objective? Are you showing relevant experience or easily understood transferable skills? Are the keywords on the screener’s checklist present in your resume? They told you what they want to know about you and gave you the keywords in their posting. Show how well you match their requirements!
- You have the required skills. Have you shown how you’ve used those skills to contribute to the success of previous employers? Talk about desirable results. Use the most powerful verbs you can to describe the results you got from your efforts. Talk about increased positive factors like increased sales and decreased negative factors like less returned merchandise.
- Are there gaps in your employment history? Gaps concern screeners and hiring managers. They wonder what you were doing in that gap. Don’t make them nervous. You can’t always avoid gaps that already happened but you can explain them in your cover letter. You can avoid gaps for the rest of your life by giving yourself a second income stream, an ongoing business. If you have a gap, explain it as well as you can in the cover letter and hope for the best.
- Have you covered all the requirements in your documents? Be sure you address every one in either the cover letter or the resume. Everything that fits belongs in your resume. A summary of that belongs in your cover letter. If you’re changing career, cover your transferable skills in the cover letter. If they want a college degree or certification that you don’t have yet, show that you’re working on it in the resume or state your intention to complete the necessary work in your cover letter.
Now that you’ve got their attention, remember to smile when they call. They’ll hear a liveliness in your voice.
All about getting your foot inÂ the door…
Got drama in your workplace? Drama comes from confusion and resulting dissatisfaction. Put a solid, structured business system in place and end the drama.
Joy Montgomery converts business problems to system specifications for small companies and early stage startups. She builds your business system so you can build your business and she does it fast. More than 80% of new companies fail in the first five years. The lack of structural integrity in their systems is often the cause of failure. Put yourself in that 20% that succeed with a solid system and consistently satisfied customers and employees.
From Hyo – Hey, got an article getting past the gatekeeper published at www.ezinearticle.comÂ titled,Â Want a Job? – Get Past HR, The Gatekeeper.Â Take a look, it’s not half bad (or good according to some, but sticks and stones…)