Employers seek to hire people who fit particular jobs and who are on specific career paths.
Some recent examples of job searches from my career counseling clients will illustrate the point. An unemployed but well credentialed thirtysomething year old man from New Haven, CT was surprised that he was not getting calls or interviews for entry level positions related to data entry and other administrative jobs. “I have strong credentials but I can’t even get hired as a secretary.” He had graduated Fairfield University and worked at a well known company in Stamford, CT. But, he had done so in the broad context of marketing and sales. I commended him on his willingness to look for all possible jobs, even those that he was overqualified to do but I asked: ”Would you hire you to be your secretary if you wanted your secretary to stay with you for the indefinite future?”
Another career counseling client was surprised that her efforts to “get hired anywhere” were not paying off. “I’ve handed my resume to dozens of friends/acquaintances in person. I’ve sent nearly a thousand applications for different jobs. When I reviewed her resume, I could see the problem clearly. She was in her 40s and had a hodgepodge of different jobs throughout her career. From her resume, I had no idea what type of job “fit” her and I’m sure few employers would either.
The bigger challenge is often for the recent college graduate. ”Seeking challenging [opportunity/entry level position]…” the resume will read. Too broad. You need to tailor your resume and objective to something that will fit an employer’s need.
As the head of The Learning Consultants, I receive resumes from dozens of applicants each month. Of course, many tailor their resumes to show off their teaching, tutoring, and counseling skills. But, other applicants are clearly just searching for “a job.” Since like most employers, I only want top talent that will fit my company’s needs, those applications are not reviewed seriously.
Figure out the specific job you want. How so? Figure out your intended career path. That might be your best job seeking technique.