Get Noticed and Get a Job in 30 Minutes or Less
With 14.8 million people unemployed in the United States, many people wonder the same things after emailing their resumes into that great Internet void: Does any human ever look at my resume? Will I get a response? How can I get noticed?
Lisa Johnson Mandell, author of Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want has wondered the same things. She eventually decided to knock off the mass emailings and take a more targeted approach, tweaking every resume to the specific job she was applying for before sending it out. It worked!
She was stunned when she started receiving phone calls from employers within minutes of hitting the send button.
For example, Mandell applied for a job with a small public relations company. As a former journalist she had the functional skills and some experience in PR, but this particular position called for someone who was fluent Spanish, a unique skill she knew not all applicants would have. So she made sure her resume highlighted her bilingual abilities.
"I looked at the keywords in the ad and I liberally sprinkled them through the resume and my cover letter," she says. "That's the beauty of technology these days: You can easily adjust your resume for specific ads, and you can do it in about five minutes."
Xochitl Ybarra, the hiring manager, said that Mandell's resume stood out immediately. So much so that she called Lisa within a half hour of receiving it. "It was well written. But beyond that, it included all the requirements we were looking for," she says. "Her resume was so impressive I called her immediately because my thought was, if I don't get an interview with her someone else will."
The Difference Between "Old" and "Experienced"
Mandell was experienced; she had about two decades of work history behind, which is not necessarily a plus in the public relations industry, which likes to maintain a dynamic, fresh (and young) face. She knew she had to look looking experienced but not old on paper.
Ybarra said she passed that test by keeping her tech skills up to date. The HR manager says that when she sees someone with as much experience as Mandell, she has to ask, "Do they know about Facebook,Twitter; do they have a Gmail account? The subtle little things. You can be in public relations for years and not update your skills."
Some Interview "Do's"
A resume is supposed to get you an interview and Mandell's did. She aced it by remembering that as much as a hiring manager is interviewing the job seeker, the job seeker is also interviewing the company.
"Lisa's interview skills were extremely impressive because she didn't come off nervous," says Ybarra. "She came off very professional and she was able to develop an instant chemistry with me. We wanted someone with experience because we had very high profile clients. But we thought we might not be exciting enough for her."
Despite her concerns, Ybarra took a chance and offered Mandell the job while she was driving home!
You might say this happens once in a lifetime, but for Mandell, it happened several times. Each time, she highlighted the essential skills in the same language as the post she was replying to. She tailored on her resume to get hired–fast.