The Chicago Sun Times reported last week that the unemployment rate in the Chicago metropolitan area slipped to 11.3 percent in February from 11.6 percent in January which was the highest in 27 years. Yet Careerbuilder shows over 10,000 jobs posted in the last month. It is hard to cross the street without a self proclaimed career experts pilfering advice. Google, CNN, and Yahoo! constantly feature articles regarding the job search and yet many candidates find that they are sending out countless resumes and not getting interviewed. With so much great information out there it seems the real reasons for not getting have more to do with your personal brand marketing than the economy.
10. Sending a resume to the wrong person. A recent CNN Money.com column suggested that sending a resume to a person in a firm at a higher level would yield better results. Right or wrong I don’t know but would save it for cases when you are eminently qualified for the position.
9. 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 to spam, the resume black hole, you name it. If you are serious about a position follow up its pretty simple.
8. 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.
7. 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. 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.
3. 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.
2. 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.
1. 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.
Let’s be real, is it the Chicago economy or is it you?