Question Proposed on LinkedIn: This is Why You’re Not Interviewing (and How to Get Them).

Others’ Responses:

– Top Reasons Recruiters Screen Out Résumés: Grammar mistakes, Typos, Gaps in employment history, Inconsistent formatting, Missing metrics

– Top Attention-Getters on Résumés: Most recent title, Most recent company, Employment dates, Candidate’s location, Previous companies

– Reasons Recruiters More Highly Consider Résumés: Referred by someone they know, Recognizable company names, Great cover letter. Networking always wins.

– You should be proud of the sabbaticals you took and talk about how they enriched you as a professional. Avoid hiding or undermining your gap. Even if you did not do anything related to your current search, you must have learned through observation. Think about these and make sure you bring them up. Employers are much more receptive to gaps these days as compared to 5 years go. Good luck.

– Andrew, I too have taken jobs not related to my background. It shows an employer your not hanging around waiting around for the perfect job. I mention it in my cover letter even though some people feel I shouldn’t. It can show the employer your not just waiting for the perfect job. Also, it can help on an interview when your asked, “So, tell me about yourself.” Or, What have you been doing".

– My cover letter does in fact address the gap, and what I have been doing during that time,and in a positive manner. I have been out of my field for over 4 yeats now, and I’m afraid that employers see me as being irrelevant now. Once I have some face time, I know I can make an impact. The problem is getting the interviews and generating interest in the first place. It’s really quite frustrating.

– I often skip a wordy cover letter to get to the heart of the person’s skills and experience. include the gap, in the chronology of your resume. ie: 2008-2012 various part time/temporary roles as i explored new opportunities outside my previous field of work. that would show that you werent inactive during the time, but pursuing other interests.

– I agree with William, cover letters are rarely read. Resumes are scanned for key words.
What I do for the odd interviews i get is ask them how many employees they’ve managed to lay off in the time period I’ve been out of work as opposed to how many they have hired.
Really companies do not want to hire. Why would they? Profits are at the highest, employee body is at its lowest. The only reason you are even being interviewed is to show the few remaining employees, the Company is trying to fill open positions.

– When it comes to cover letters, there are three types of hiring managers: 1) doesn’t read them 2) reads before résumé 3) reads after résumé. A cover letter can show additional facts that are not in the résumé, but more importantly, it demonstrates the person’s communication skills. Assuming that you don’t know which type of hiring manager you are dealing with, it is wise to include a cover letter that is customized to the position you are applying for. If you can figure out who the manager is, address it to them. When I have been the hiring manager, I have done both before and after the résumé. The content and quality of the letter has made the difference as to which stack the application goes in, and they have gone both directions. When I submit my own applications, I am trying to reach the same type of hiring manager, so I feel that it is worth the effort to include one, ¾ths of a page is a good target. Think about it; many job descriptions include “communication skills” as one of the requirements. The cover letter is your first opportunity to demonstrate this skill. I have seen postings requiring cover letters, but I have yet to see one that says “no cover letters.”

– Main inconvenient today to get an interview with a recruiter is because the internet. Yes, today is so easy to apply to a jobs that appears on the web, just upload your CV and done. If you see how many people applied into any search of Google, for instance through linkedin, you can see numbers between 300 and 500 (see the logo “on fire”). Considering that in the other side there is only one persone dedicated to that simple search, and at an average time of 10 minutes it would takes to read any resume, reading through over these 500 CV, it will take 5000 min of net time, equivalent to 83 hours, or 3 working weeks if we consider time to take a coffee, talk with collegues, smoke a cigarette, and so on.  So, when the recruiter finds what he/she is looking for, that’s it, you are out, something that could happen within the 10th or 20th candidate that arrived in the inbox.

– Yes, Claudio, the internet has changed the landscape. the truth is however, that most CV’s are NOT seen by the hiring managers. Now, they typically go through an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to scan for keywords that match their needs. Of the 300-500 resumes received, perhaps 10% actually get a second look, and even then are reviewed for a minute or two (if even that long) by a live person. The numbers can be overwhelming. The 90% that don’t get through the ATS likely contain some solid candidates. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of that 90% do not. Too many applicants are playing the numbers game by applying to anything and everything they “MAY” have some experience with. That detracts from those of us who are targeting a particular field/role, and minimizes our chances of being seen by the recruiters or hiring managers.

– OK, so we have now learned that your resume goes into a dark hole. Key words in your summary are a must, to getting noticed. After that , what’s next ?. I am a certified Career transition coach , and I also help run an employment support group. You can find us on Linkedin under : Employment Support Group of Norton.Today we discussed how to get noticed, and how to “talk ” to someone .Sounds easy but in today’s job market it can be rough. Let’s first discover who your target companies are.. Next , lets go on Linkedin and see who works for those companies. Get their email address and write to them.. Do not do the hard sell like : Wow i am dying to get in the door at your company, so who do I email to get my resume pushed ahead ………..would you like a stranger to approach you that way ?Here is a better way to approach them. Hi “ John” I saw that you work for xxxyyy company and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about what you like about working there, do they keep their promises , and do you feel they are moving forward with hiring and expanding their products..Do you see the difference ? Personally, I never wait to see if there is a job posting. If there is a company, event, or program, I think would be a good fit for coaching, I seek out people who work for them and ask them questions about helping out or joining forces together.

My Response:

– Create a relevant, up-to-date resume that captures the audience’s eye and sets you apart from the field of competitors. The only way to get an interview WITHOUT KNOWING SOMEONE is to ensure your resume gets found and passes the 5 second test: 5 seconds to draw the hiring manager to read further into your skills. To pass the 10 second test, make sure your job title/accomplishments relate to what they’re hiring (and your targeting), and make sure you match all the qualifications (if they require a BS, make sure you have one).

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