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Goal #1: secure a job

I know I could get the job if I could just get the interview!

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This is an excerpt from Notes on Facebook 

I saw (and responded to) a question from someone stuck in the “I know I could get the job if I could just get the interview!” dilemma. Here are my thoughts and I welcome yours.


“I have been out of the workforce for the past 4 years. I have been applying for jobs in my area and not getting any responses. I have over 15 yrs experience in management. While I have been home, I went back to school and am almost finished with my BS in management. How can I make myself stand out in a crowd? With a movement to on-line recruiting, would it look bad if I were to call or try and talk to the hiring manager? Remember back in the day, when we would mail a resume and then call to follow up that the resume was received?  I know that is no longer the protocol, so how do we stand out? I know I would have no problem finding a job, if I could just get them to call me.”

This is a common refrain. “I know I could get the job if I could just get the interview!” It’s good to have this confidence, particularly when you’ve been beaten down by four years of unemployment. This person has clearly taken a very proactive approach to her job search and put her period of unemployment to good use getting her long postponed degree. Here are my suggestions to her, and to you if you find yourself in this position.

First, sending a letter is one way to stand out if you can get the snail-mail address of your target. People very rarely get actual paper resumes in the mail. The danger with this tactic is that you risk being labeled “old,” “out of the loop,” “non-technically savvy,” etc. I’d recommend applying for a position online AND following up with a cover letter and resume. Make sure you acknowledge in your cover letter that you have also applied online so they know that all your information is already in their ATS. Further, use the cover letter to demonstrate your terrific written communication skills. This is something often decried as lacking in the IM’ing, texting, tweeting newer entrants to the workforce.

Second, make sure you are targeting the right companies / organizations. Some organizations and industries are more open to offering opportunities to people such as yourself who have demonstrated work experience, the appropriate degree, and have been caught in the wringer of the current economy. Make sure that you are marketing yourself appropriately to the right targets and you increase the likelihood of success.

Good luck and feel free to be in contact with your progress.”

Using a varied and multi-facted approach to your job search is one way to get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Don’t rely on just one method, particularly if it is pounding the keyboard as you search the internet for hours and hours a day. Take every avenue you can to get to the promised land.

Only the best,

Ron

Specialized in Human Resources, Training and Management Development, Ronald Katz is President of Penguin HR Consulting LLC, which focuses on training, consulting and speaking to organizations – Tel: 914-633-3289 or visit PenguinHR.com

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