We all know it is tough to find a job right now, but what makes life particularly difficult for the job seeker is the sheer number of people applying for any given job. Depending on your skills and the position available, your resume may easily be one of hundreds. How can you make your resume stand out in this competitive climate?
This seems challenging enough, but consider the following. According to a January 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal, by Lauren Weber, many companies are relying on software to sift through the sheer mass of resumes they receive for a job opening. Large companies, in particular, are very likely to have software filtering software, because these companies usually receive a high volume of applicants.
These kinds of software use keywords and other filtering techniques to sort out the less qualified candidates. If you make this first cut, you may be invited to a phone or in-person interview. But you must pass the automated software’s requirements first.
Also, simply being qualified for a position is not enough. You must take 100% responsibility for yourself and take the time to tailor your resume for each and every position that you pursue. The days of sending the one resume to many companies are over.
It may seem tedious, but it can very effective. It is possible to customize your resume for every position you apply for. Pay attention to the job description, read the company website, and find out whatever you can about this particular company and/or position. Sprinkle these keywords and ideas in your resume. You need to speak the hiring firm’s language.
In this way, you are also preparing yourself for a future interview. You will know ahead of time what they are looking for in a candidate.
John Bradley Jackson
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship