Top 10 Reasons For Not Getting An Interview

April 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Resume evangelists hard at work. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Lately the media is suggesting an improved economy and that companies are hiring.  It is hard to cross the street without a self proclaimed career expert giving advice.  Google, CNN, and Yahoo! constantly feature articles regarding job searching and yet many candidates find that they are sending out countless resumes and not getting interviews.  With so much great information out there here are some of the real reasons that candidates don’t get interviews.

  1. Resume sent to wrong person. A recent CNN Money.com column suggested that sending a resume to a person in a firm at a higher level would yields better results.  Right or wrong I don’t know, but I would save it for cases only when you are eminently qualified for the position.
  2. Lack of Follow Up. As also mentioned in CNNMoney.com, most HR departments have been trimmed and recruiters are busy people with resumes often getting missed because  spam filters, the resume black hole…you name it.  If you are serious about a position–follow up. It’s pretty simple.
  3. Resumes in a bizarre format. Many firms utilize applicant tracking systems that can really only read word documents or pdfs.  Zip files, Notepad documents, and embedded emails will likely not make it through.   Follow the instructions on how to apply to a position.
  4. TMI people, TMI. Keep the pictures and personal anecdotes to yourself.  Cover letters should be concise and focus on your skills.  For more tips check out this WSJ article.
  5. You aren’t LinkedIn. Many companies only post jobs on LinkedIn and use this as a resource to find what are considered to be “star employees”.   Who doesn’t want to be a star?
  6. Off key. If the right key words aren’t included on a resume it will easily get lost into the resume black hole.  I hate to be a broken record but it is true.  Look at the requirements in the job description and make sure as many as possible if not all are on a resume.
  7. Socially Unacceptable. Don’t think employers won’t bat an eye at Facebook profile, tweets, or comments.   Wink is a background check reality for many firms and an employer’s social media BFF.
  8. Disorganized. I can’t tell you how often I encounter a candidate that doesn’t know what job they applied for or where they have submitted a resume.  What this says is that the candidate is neither organized nor detail oriented.  Reason enough to take a pass for many employers.
  9. Not qualified. Applying for jobs without meeting the minimum requirements- stop already! You won’t get an interview and you are wasting everyone’s time.
  10. Cyber job stalker. You know who you are.  The person that applies to every job on a company website – How could you possibly be qualified for so many jobs?  If you were, I doubt you would still be unemployed.

Is it the economy or is it you?

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The Five Day Digital Detox

January 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Happy 2010!  With the turn of a new year and decade, many people set resolutions which commonly revolve around fitness and health.  I, like everyone else, have a few of those, but have also been thinking about my career goals and what I would like to accomplish professionally in 2010.

In the last year the business world continued its exposure on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well as a bevy of new competitors. The terminology associated with these mediums has become a part of our vernacular.  Last year I joined so many groups, networking sites, and read so many blogs about personal branding that it has me feeling so over saturated. I can’t even keep track of all my usernames and passwords.

Am I alone?  It is time for a social networking cleanse – a five day digital detox. Unlike a health detox, this one can be done any five days you want with as much of a time commitment as you like.   Whether you are planning on a major career overhaul, changing jobs or just refocusing your objectives—you may be in need of this cleanse.

Care to join me in a digital detox?  This might not make you feel less bloated, but it will help to refocus your career.

Day One – Objectives
As with any resolution, it is important to set reasonable goals.   This involves determining your career focus and creating a game plan.  Are you looking to grow within your own firm or is it time to look elsewhere?  Look at how and where you want to focus your personal branding efforts.  Select 3-5 sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and a few niche sites relative to your industry.  Set realistic goals on how often you should update your status, make comments etc.

Day Two – Cleanse
This is the time to get rid of your digital toxins- whether it be annoying toxic Facebook frenemies, the LinkedIn connection that continuously sends you unrelated emails, or the sports blog that you spend hours reading at work.  Go ahead just do it and do it immediately– unfriend – disconnect- unfollow or whatever you need to do.  These connections are a waste of your time and keep you from reaching your goals.  In a world where people are getting fired for fantasy football leagues at work, it is important to make sure you toxic-free.  Refrain from fads that promise you more followers and work on building relationships in your niche network. It is like ripping off a band aid –you will feel bad for a moment but better in the long run.  Evaluate your subscriptions and connections and get rid of your technical toxins!

Day Three –  Diet
The word diet has many meanings, one of which is to feed.  Choose what resources you will use in 2010.  In 2009 I spent a ridiculous amount of time on webinars and reading information during the workday that had no impact on my career.  We all do it- you get sucked in.  It is time to take control and be a cognitive miser.   Subscribe to industry related sites and spam those that are not.  Spend your work time reading something meaningful and change your online obsession.

Day Four – Supplement
Make sure your online profiles are completed and reflective of your current credentials.  All of your profiles should have accurate information be complete with a picture.   Link all of your sites together.  I am trying Ping.fm–  I can update Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and WordPress all in one location.  Not everyone is the same so follow what recommendations that work best for you.

Day Five – Rejuvenate
This is my favorite part.  Keep track of your goals and reward yourself for attaining them.  Celebrate your successes with whatever your vice may be a glass of wine or a delicious meal, the new iTablet or better yet –your reward may just be an improved career!

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