Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Don't ask (beg) for an informational interview!

Making voice contact with the hiring manager before applying for a job is a recommendation I make to all job seekers because it is the most effective way to get an interview and job.

But think before you call to request an informational interview. Imagine you are the hiring manager and you get an unsolicited call from someone who tells you he is looking for a job and would like to set up an informational interview. What would your immediate reaction be? Most managers will keep the caller at arm's length and say something to disengage from the call. Introducing yourself by asking for an "informational interview" or saying "I'm job searching" is a big turn-off. It puts the recipient into a negative posture. Only directly asking for a job is worse.

If you have been referred to the hiring manager, making a call is quite easy: "Hello Ms. X, my name is Y and I was referred to you by Z." Then ask your questions about the position you have been referred to and the problems to be resolved. Knowing these enables you to relate some of your accomplishments that would help.

But if you have not been referred, a far better approach is to establish rapport and finesse the discussion without mentioning turn-off words like interview, job searching or job. I suggest starting by asking a question about something of interest to the hiring manager. That takes some research and preparation. You could Google the manager as well as the company for information and check the manager's profile on LinkedIn. You will almost always find something the manager is interested in or something new about the company to ask questions about.  Do this before there is any discussion about an open position or your search.

With rapport established, keep the focus on the manager by mentioning something about the company and his position in it. You want to learn about problems he or she faces so you can mention that you have resolved those kinds of problems, again without indicating you are job searching. You want to get the hiring manager to start asking questions about you. Ultimately you'd like him or her to suggest an interview because that gives you the opportunity to casually indicate you'd be happy to do so. If the manager does not suggest an interview, then it is time for you to indicate you would be interested in talking to him or her about opportunities (even though you may already know there are some). So the only time you should suggest an interview is if the manager doesn't initiate it.

The takeaway is this: Making voice contact with hiring managers is a very effective job search tactic. Being referred to the hiring manager is hands-down the best situation. Avoid mentioning anything about job searching. Finesse the conversation; get the hiring manager interested in you without mentioning your situation. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your ability to help resolve the hiring manager's problems. Strive to get the manager to suggest an interview. And remember that people are busy. Your call is probably interrupting the manager, so be well prepared, brief and to the point.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

How to make Job Searching and ATS a Modern Day Love Affair

Many people tell me about aggressively submitting resumes and getting little or no response or interviews. In one example, Ralph (not his real name) came to me saying he had lost his job many months before and was totally frustrated with his job search. He was sending out many resumes and either being rejected or hearing nothing back. And he had revised his resume numerous times trying to fix the problem. Sounds familiar, right?

Unemployment was causing financial problems and strife within Ralph's family. His savings was dwindling, he was worried he might lose his home and he had children who were approaching college age.

Like so many other situations I have seen it was obvious he would have been much better off had he reached out to me right after he was first laid off, or even better, when he first began to see the handwriting on the wall, rather than trying to "go it alone". And it made me think about how job searching is similar in a way to dating. It often leads nowhere.

In courtship we are focused on compatibility and impressing each other. The same is true with seeking a job. As job seekers we try to create a resume that will impress the hiring manager by demonstrating how compatible we are with the job requirements. Then after submitting the resume, if ATS intercedes, usually nothing positive happens. The problem is ATS is either love at first sight or it's not going to happen! You get one chance, that's it. So we talked about his resume, how he was conducting his job search and how we could turn things around for him together.

40 Plus Pitfalls

First we talked about word processing pitfalls that cause ATS parsing issues. ATS text parsers extract information from resumes and provide a compatibility score. Only the top scorers are forwarded to HR for review. So if, for instance, there are 200 applications and only the top 10 are forwarded there is only a 5% chance HR will review your resume and 0.5% chance you will be hired. There has to be a better way to improve the odds. We'll discuss this later but let's get the resume right first.

The over 40 pitfalls to be concerned about include word processing shortcuts that can build parsing issues into your resume. You might not even realize it is happening. Among the most critical shortcuts are those that allow you to write text inside graphic boxes such as borders, tables, headers, text boxes, and borders. Unfortunately parsers cannot read information located inside graphics. So for example, if you put your name and contact information inside a header, the parser can't read it and will not know who you are or how to reach you. Therefore ATS can't respond to your application. This is a certain way to become anonymous. 

In the many changes he made to his resume over time, sometimes Ralph used headers, usually he used tables and occasionally he spiffed it up with an outside border. All were sure to cause ATS issues.


Ralph asked me about using columns because he had seen many resumes that were attractively laid out using them. I explained that this is another pitfall. Parsers scan information in raster fashion, across the entire page, one line at a time. So if columns are used to format information, the text in one column will be intermixed with text in the next column, one line at a time. The result reads as gibberish. So we agreed not to do that.


Ralph is a CPA and listed the certification after his name for emphasis. That's another pitfall. ATS wants to see your name, by itself, on the top line of your resume. So by putting his certification after his name ATS may have thought CPA was his last name. We moved his certification to a personal profile located right under his contact information where it would be immediately visible. People often place a certification, a degree, or a title after their name. They become Joe CPA, Sally PHD or Ruth CEO to ATS.


Ralph had been promoted twice in one company so his resume showed 3 jobs under the name of the company, a fourth pitfall. Listing multiple positions under one company is called 'nesting'. ATS wants you to repeat the company name before each position held even if they are successive jobs in the same company. I can only assume the reason for this is that ATS may not understand what company you were working for after the first one listed. That sounds pretty dumb but it is what it is so I don't nest jobs in any resume that will be used to apply electronically. The good news is parsers do not view a repeated company name as job-hopping. We fixed Ralph's resume by showing the same company name before each of the three positions.


Second we talked about keywords. It is important to make sure the right skill keywords are used in a resume exactly as they are found in the job description requirements. It is equally important to use them in context. ATS will determine if you understand the keywords by how you use the them in context, particularly as you describe the results of your work in the experience section. This helps to achieve a high ATS score and win interviews.


Another reason to get the key words right is to get discovered. Specific key words are used by recruiters when they search for candidates in LinkedIn or on job boards. They simply type in the right key words and see who pops up. Making your LinkedIn profile complete and using the right key words will get you discovered. We worked on Ralph's LinkedIn profile to take full advantage of this free inbound marketing tool LinkedIn provides.

Talk to the Hiring Manager Before Applying

The third thing we discussed was search tactics. The way to increase the odds of getting hired is to talk to the hiring manager before applying for a job. Doing this has a profound effect upon winning interviews and jobs. Ralph had never tried the approach and had no idea how to do it. He felt intimidated by the thought of reaching out directly to the hiring manager. After all, doesn't everyone just go through HR? The answer is no, not everyone. The most successful job seekers differentiate themselves from their competition by calling and speaking directly to hiring managers before applying. This is the most effective way to get hired. 

The skills required can be learned through coaching and lots of practice. It is very effective because it enables one to learn what is most important to the hiring manager, to provide examples of how one can help meet the hiring manager's critical needs and it provides critical information for 'tuning' a resume before applying.

Ralph and I spent considerable time discussing the many ways of finding the hiring manager's name. We discussed how to write, practice and internalize scripts for getting past the company gatekeepers and how to approach the hiring manger when he finally gets through. Ralph practiced the new skills by role playing with me. Then he tried it live. It took a lot of guts and it worked. Ralph got a great job using this approach.


Ralph has been in his new job for six months and feels like his whole world has changed. I wish all outcomes were the same. I am convinced getting competent help early and being willing to learn and practice new skills prevents an extended job search.

If you like this post, please share it in your feed and follow me on LinkedIn. It helps for the article to be seen by more people in need of this kind of career help. Also visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93. Thanks! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

5 Reasons ATS will reject your resume

Do you ever ask yourself why your job application got rejected? Are you frustrated by not even receiving a response? You may have thought you were the "perfect" candidate.

There is a lot of information about the causes of ATS rejection and non-response. Some of it is correct and some of it is conjecture passed on to you with good intentions but without a real understanding how ATS extracts information from your resume. The following are the key reasons for either rejection or non-response to your application.

Qualification. Many times applicants are simply not qualified. And sometimes qualified candidates get rejected for the wrong reasons. The written content may be right-on, but the document may contain attributes that ATS cannot handle.

Key words. Sometimes people ignore using key words "exactly as written" in job descriptions. Or they fail to use them in context in other parts of their resume. ATS checks to see if you have have the right keywords and that you demonstrate you understand them by using them in context.

ATS parsers. ATS parsers extract information from your resume. If you pass scrutiny it presents the information to HR for review in one common format for all candidates.  But ATS cannot extract text located inside graphics. This is important because we all use shortcut tools provided by word processing software to make document creation easier to do.

However, shortcut tools typically introduce graphic boxes into the document for us to type information into. And we don't even realize what's happening. All we know is it looks good and is easy to do.  Borders, headers, footers, tables, charts and text boxes are typical examples. 

For instance, if you put your name and contact information in a header, ATS cannot read it and will not know who you are or how to contact you. If skills or other information is listed in a table, ATS will not know it is there. If you put an outside border around your resume, nothing will be read. These are common things that cause rejection or non-response.

Columns. Some people use text columns or tables to format a resume. ATS parsing software reads data across the full page, one line at a time. This jumbles columnar information into sentences that make no sense.

For instance if I were to write this:
Some people use text columns or tables to format a resume.
ATS parsing software reads data across the full page, one line at a time.

ATS would read this:
Some people use text ATS parsing software reads columns or tables to format a data across the full page, resume. one line at a time.

PDF files. Although some providers claim they can read ATS files, most cannot. What they fail to say is "converted PDF file" variants. There are two basic types of PDF files, Native and Scanned. And there are many variants. How are you to know if your file is a converted PDF file? And how are you to know if your resume will be scrutinized by an ATS that is capable of reading "converted" PDF files? The only safe thing to do is not to submit your resume as a PDF file. Submit only Word *.doc or plain text *.txt files.

The takeaway is this. Maximize your job application success by making sure you are qualified before you apply. Use keywords exactly as written in job descriptions. Do not use word processing creation tools. And use txt or doc files to apply online.

If you like this post, please share it in your feed. It helps the article to be seen by more people in need of this kind of career help.  And follow me on LinkedIn or visit bit.ly/1TEqj93 to get a free review of your resume. Thanks! 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

6 things you can do to avoid being rejected when you apply for a job

Do you fit the job like a cat in a box? Are a lot of your job applications being rejected? Maybe there are some things you can do to fix the problem.

People tell me it happens a lot even though they rewrite their resume many times. Very often they don't even get a response. Many times they have paid a professional resume writer and still get rejected. There are many reasons applicants get rejected or don't get any feedback.

Sometimes the job has been filled or cancelled and the posting has not been updated.

Some companies simply are rude. While it is a fact that companies are overwhelmed by the volume of applicants, that should not be a reason for failing to respond to you. Some companies seem not to care. Some recruiters are overworked or apathetic regarding responding to you. It makes you wonder if you'd want to work there.

Or your resume may not be compatible with the Applicant Tracking System software the company uses. You may not even realize you are introducing problems for the ATS extraction process as you create your resume.

And you may not be qualified despite feeling you are great fit. Most people don't fit every one of the "requirements" stated in a job description. It could be that the one thing you don't fit is key. It's also possible there is a requirement that has not been documented in the job posting or the requirements have changed but the job description has not.

Here are some suggestions of things you can do to improve your chances of getting an interview.

  • Above all else, don’t camp on job boards and don't apply to everything that looks remotely warm. Yes, it is the easiest way to job search. It is also the least effective way. It leads to frustration and extends your search. There are far more productive ways of spending your valuable time.
  • Target companies and jobs you know you are qualified for. If it's a stretch you are probably wasting your time. There are probably others for which it is not a stretch.  
  • Tune your resume to each job you apply for. One resume does not fit all. Don't broadcast yours to everyone hoping it will "stick to the wall".
  • When you identify an opportunity, make voice contact directly with the hiring manager in an informal manner. Establish rapport and learn what problems need to be solved. The real needs may not be described in the job posting. Once you understand the key problems and have had a chance to talk about how you can fix them, then it's time to edit your resume and cover letter to be responsive to those needs. Do this before you apply.
  • Spend some time learning how to identify who the hiring managers are. There are many ways of doing this. One good one is to get introduced by current employees of your target company. Learn how to find them. Alternatively, cold call if necessary. And there are more ways. Get help if you need it. Learn how to use the many resources available to you.
  • Learn how to write scripts for your calls if you don't already know how. You need one for getting past the gatekeepers and one for engaging the hiring manager. Get help with what to say and not to say. Spend plenty of role playing time practicing your scripts. Make your mistakes during role playing when it doesn't count and learn from your mistakes before you start calling.
  • Make sure your resume is compatible with ATS. If you need to, get competent professional resume writing help from people who understand what causes ATS parsing software to abort some resumes. A simple test to see if a resume writer can help you is to ask for examples of what specific things they will do to make your resume ATS-compatible. Having the right keywords is critical, but only part of the solution. Ask for specific examples that go beyond just  keywords. The real test is to ask if they will guarantee your resume will not be rejected by ATS because of documentation incompatibility issues. If they hesitate on any answers or don't understand what you are asking, pass. 

Do you have any comments or questions?  

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why I Love Cold-Calling Hiring Managers

Successful job hunters find out what problems a hiring manager need to fix and sell their experience and skills at solving those problems. Cold-calling hiring managers is a good way of making voice contact to find out what his or her specific problems are. Cold-calling is not the only way, but it is a proven, effective way.

It's a given some people have greater ability to engage in cold-calling than others. But many people who were never trained in the skills, such as myself, have learned through good coaching and lots of practice. Cold-calling requires preparation, skills development, the right mental attitude, and the commitment to try. Many job candidates have gained employment simply by learning cold-calling skills.

What I like about cold-calling is this:

It Works – It establishes rapport with the hiring manager. It enables identification of the hiring manager's specific needs and an opportunity to showcase how you can help. It generates interest in you.

It Enables You to Revise Your Resume and Cover Letter – Armed with the reasons why the job is open enables editing your resume to be responsive to the hiring managers' hot buttons. It also makes writing your cover letter a walk in the park.

It Differentiates You – Cold-calling demonstrates you are willing to do what others won’t. You are different from the others. Differentiation is what creates competitive advantage.

It Trains You for Interviewing – Skills learned in cold-calling have huge benefits for interviewing. You learn to be quick on your feet and maintain composure under stress. Nothing sharpens communication skills like cold calling!

It Builds Confidence – Rejection to cold-calling is not uncommon and should not be taken personally. What you learn from rejection is how to become better at cold-calling and interviewing.

It Builds Your Network – Networking is critically important. We’ve all heard the cliché “It’s who you know”. I prefer "It's who needs to know you". You won't find out without networking.

It Identifies Hidden Jobs – Cold-calling is useful for identifying unadvertised opportunities. Some people identify a company they would like to work for without even knowing if a good job exists. They use cold-calling to identify needs and generate a hiring manager’s interest. Sometimes that exposes hidden jobs.

It Enables Follow-Up Opportunities – Cold calling creates follow-up opportunities. Sometimes now is not the right time, but sometime in the future may be.

It Trains You for Warm Calling. - The same skills are also valuable when calling a hiring manager you were referred to.

If your job search is not getting you anywhere and you are looking for alternatives ways of searching, seriously consider cold-calling. Be willing to learn and practice alternatives to camping on job boards. Don't think of cold-calling as a hard sell technique. Hard selling is likely to create a negative reaction. Making calls in an informal, informative manner breeds success. Handled correctly even the most adamantly opposed managers can be won over. Learning and practicing develops confidence and success.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

How to get past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Most people tell me applying for a job online is beyond frustrating.

First you get asked to fill out a long list of questions. Many of the answers are already on your resume so why are you being asked?

Then there may be confusing directions about how to submit your resume. They may ask you to cut and paste your resume into a particular place. They may say they want an ASCII resume. What's that? (ASCII is a character coding standard all computers use to translate text and other characters into binary data that computers can read.)

They may simply ask you to upload your resume or attach it to an email. What about your cover letter? What do you do with that? And after you've run through this gauntlet you may not get a response.

A company's decision to use ATS software on the front end of the hiring process is the reason for most of these problems. That long list of questions is the tell-tale sign the company is using ATS software to pre-screen applicants. Companies that use ATS give you the 'privilege' of performing that task for them. It's called replacing the cost of people with automation. And if you don't answer all the questions your application might not be considered.

No amount of trickery will get you past this cumbersome process. But there are things you can do to be one of the lucky ones who gets a call from HR. Just follow these guidelines:

1. Don't submit a fancy resume. Keep it simple, no graphics, no fancy fonts, no fancy formatting. ATS systems do not have eyes. They cannot see what humans see. You can create a fancy version of your resume to hand out to humans at interviews or when networking but don't apply for a job with it.

2. Focus on your accomplishments and the results of your work, particularly those things that are relevant to what the hiring manager needs. Quantify your results as often as possible. Numbers attract attention.

3. Save your resume as a Word (doc) file. Also save it as a plain text file (txt). An ASCII file is the same as a txt file. Yes, txt files are butt-ugly, but computers are blind. Submit your resume as either a doc or txt file. All ATS systems can read these two. Computers and ATS actually prefer a text file. Saving your resume as a txt file removes all formatting which ATS likes.

Some people will tell you to submit PDF files, arguing that they can protect the file from editing, by a recruiter for instance. The fact is every PDF file can be edited, protected or not. One just needs to know how. They will tell you ATS can also read PDF files, but don't count on it. Most ATS software cannot read PDF's.

4. Watch out for spelling and grammar errors. Usually ATS will check spelling at the very least. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to resumes. You could get rejected for spelling errors.

5. And there's more to consider, specifically document attributes. A document attribute can be a feature, like a bullet, a header or footer, a table, a text box, a line, color, shading, etc. It could also be a formatting or organizing feature. Many attributes will cause major problems with ATS. Generally speaking, if your word processor provides you with a tool that makes document creation easy, don't use it because it will invariably introduce an attribute that cannot be read by ATS, or will be read correctly. Find a work-around for simplification tools, for example use tabs instead of tables. Using tabs and getting everything lined up like a nice table can be difficult, which is why word processors provide you with tools to make it easy.

6. Organize your resume the way ATS wants to see it. As mentioned above, simplicity is best. ATS will be looking for sections from which it can extract information, for instance Summary, Skills, Experience, and Education. It's advisable not to use variations of these. If you held more than one position with a company, restate the company name and dates above each position held.

If you choose to apply online, these suggestions will help you get through the ATS screen. By the way, often ATS will place the information it extracts from your resume in its own formatted document. This document is what will be submitted to HR for human review, not your actual resume. The reason is so that all candidates can be compared in a common format. Of course HR can pull up your resume as you submitted it if they choose to.   

There is an alternative approach to applying online to consider. That is making voice contact with the hiring manager before applying on line. That approach is more effective than simply applying online. I discuss the rationale and coach the 'how to' skills required for this approach in other posts I have written.

Every company has its own hiring process and company protocols. What frustrating things have you run into?

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

3 key questions the hiring manager is thinking

How can a job seeker best prepare a job search? The best answer is to focus on what the hiring manager needs are. Prepare by focusing everything you do on answering the key question on every hiring manager's mind.

Can you solve my problem?

"What can you do for me? How can you help resolve my problem?"

"What have you accomplished that is relevant to the problem I need solved"? 

"What are your key skills and competencies"? 

In reviewing a resumes these are the fundamental questions in the hiring managers mind. In many situations there are other important qualifications as well, like "What are your relevant certifications?" Often having the right current certification is more important than education. And "What is your education background?" 

The question every job applicant should be asking is

Does my resume respond to the hiring managers' specific need?

Things to remember: People do not read resumes, they skim them, they search for things they need. And they spend only a few seconds searching. To avoid rejection, the answers to the hiring managers' key questions should be in the first half of the first page of the resume.

Human nature being what it is we tend to focus on ourselves and lose sight of the purpose of a resume. Often we focus our resume only on our titles, scope of work, responsibilities, etc. And why not? 

While those things are important, they will be ignored if the hiring manger can't find answers to their fundamental questions. Too often we introduce extraneous information, space wasting fluff that has little bearing on the task described in a job description. It's important that we not get distracted from answering the hiring managers' needs by introducing fluff.

By focusing our resume on the accomplishments and results of our work that are relevant to the hiring managers' problem, preferably quantified, we will have prioritized the most important information about ourselves. These are the items that should receive the highest position under each job held. 

The takeaway is this: Focus your resume and your entire search preparation on the hiring manager's needs, not just your own. Find out what the hiring manager's needs are and feed them.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Skip the job ad, what does the hiring manager REALLY need done?

Recently I was asked how to increase the odds that a resume will result in a formal interview with the hiring manager. The answer is easy. Making it happen takes some initiative.

A resume certainly is about the candidate. It is also about telling the hiring manager how one can help resolve his or her key problems. Resumes that win interviews are focused on the hiring manager's needs, not the candidate's. Good resumes demonstrate how the candidate can help resolve specific things the hiring manager needs done by clearly stating the candidates relevant achievements.

So the key is the hiring manager, not the company recruiter. The best a recruiter can do is find a candidate, interview and recommend that the hiring manager interview a candidate. Why not turn the process around? Find and speak to the hiring manager, and then apply through the company protocols.

One can increase the probability of getting a formal interview by first having an informal conversation with the hiring manager to find out what the real issues are that need to be fixed. Then a resume can be edited to be sure it addresses why the candidate is best suited to help fix the hiring managers key needs.

My most successful clients call the hiring manager before editing their resume and applying for the job. Does it always work? No. But it beats applying first and hoping. There are several reasons why it works.
·         It establishes a rapport with the hiring manager and demonstrates admirable qualities like taking initiative and action rather than passively waiting and wondering.
·         It eliminates doubt. When reading an advertised job description one has to wonder "Is this a real job? Is it a description for an old job that is being reused for this one? Does it reflect what  the hiring manager REALLY needs done?"
·         It enables one to edit the resume and prioritize keywords and accomplishments that are relevant to the need.
·         And it makes writing a cover letter a much easier task by allowing one to reiterate key points the hiring manager liked from the conversation.

And there is not a better way to achieve competitive advantage then to speak to the hiring manager before applying!

What about editing the resume? Here are some thoughts.

·         Don't think only about your own needs. Think about accomplishments you have achieved that will help the manager of this job.

·         Focus on your achievements and the results of your work. How did the things you have done keep business going smoothly or improve something?

·         Keep in mind a resume is an advertisement, not a biography. Avoid excessive description of your responsibilities and history. Responsibilities, positions and even job titles may not be as important as you think if you have not described the results of your work.

·         Format for skimming, not reading. People skim through resumes, quickly glancing for key words, numbers, and phrases that interest them. Make it easy for them to find them without bolding, italicizing, or adding color. Position them where they will almost jump out at the reader.

·         Keep your resume relevant to the described job. Avoid writing paragraphs. Paragraphs are not as easily skimmed by eye as crisp bullet statements. Remove words and sentences that are not relevant to the position you are applying for.

·         Spelling and grammar are important. So is neat, orderly formatting. Avoid appearing ignorant or careless.

The takeaway is this: The best odds for getting an interview is talking to the hiring manager informally before applying for the job. Then the resume and cover letter can be edited to make them most attractive to the hiring manager. A significant bonus is the competitive advantage this approach achieves.

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Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Why you should not apply for jobs online

Many people tell me they can't seem to get traction in their job search. They just can't seem to win interviews. When I ask them to describe how they search, most tell me they spend a lot of time searching job boards. When they ask me for help, I always start by reviewing their resume so I can get an understanding of their background and see if the resume itself may be causing problems. Then we talk about search tactics, mostly about the "who you know" principle and a lot about how to meet the right "who you don't know" people.

The most successful job seekers today realize that getting a new job today is far different than years ago. There are many people seeking fewer openings. The web makes it simple to apply online so everyone is doing it, sometimes without considering the requirements for the positions they are applying for. That floods the job market causing the supply of applicants to be far more than the demand for them. If you fit this behavior model perhaps it's time to try a new approach.

* Applying Online is Rarely Effective – For most professionals, I find that applying for jobs online is only slightly more effective than applying for jobs advertised in newspapers! Far less than 2% of jobs are found on job boards. The most successful job seekers I know practice a more productive search method.

They speak to hiring managers for jobs they are interested in, before they apply, to determine what problem needs to be resolved and to find out what critical skills the successful candidate must have.

In the conversation they are able to generate the hiring manager's interest by describing how they have resolved similar problems. Once they understand the hiring manager's pain they are able to edit their resume and cover letter to focus on needs that may not be adequately described in the job description.

The most successful people reach out and expand their network by seeking every opportunity to schmooze with anyone who may know hiring managers. For instance, they find that connecting with employees in their target companies is a very effective way of getting an interview. Companies often have an employee referral program that can earn the employee a cash award if the candidate is hired.

There are other reasons why applying online is not effective:

* Applying online doesn’t Differentiate a person from their competition. Differentiation is essential for successful marketing and is impossible if job seekers cast their resumes in concrete by posting it online job boards.

To differentiate, use Job Boards and Company Websites for identifying opportunities and vetting companies, not for applying online.

Differentiation is achieved by doing things others are not doing. Those who feel like they are making forward progress by camping on job boards are not marketing themselves well. They are simply becoming just another "one of the herd".

* Posting a resume online doesn’t allow you edit it for the requirements of specific jobs.
People who may be looking for you have specific needs and requirements. Resumes that attempt to be "one size fits all" don't work in today's job market.

Editing a resume for the needs of each opportunity is essential for success.

There are many more useful ways to spend your time than posting a resume on job boards. People become good at job seeking by practicing their interviewing skills, learning effective salary negotiation skills, and getting their base resume and cover letter into shape so that it is easy to edit them once they learn about a specific manager's 'pain'.

The takeaway is this: Use job boards judiciously. Avoid 'camping out'. Don't immediately apply to jobs you see. Learn about alternatives. Plan and budget your time on all activities you decide to employ in your search. 

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.