We’ve all heard the media report that policy makers believe job seekers refuse to go to work because they make more staying at home while on unemployment. Is it because job seekers are lazy and make more money staying at home as some politicians claim? Or is it because small businesses are forced to close or can no longer accommodate a full staff due to social distancing requirements? The automation of the hiring practice by the employers has certainly exacerbated the problem for the unemployed.
My goal is to prevent this tragedy from destroying American families. In my opinion, our government needs to increase infrastructure spending increasing employment opportunities and ensure hardworking Americans have the job training programs necessary to pivot and ensure a successful career transition when necessary. There are things you can do to improve your chances of landing a great job in this fiercely competitive job market.
The first step is understanding the hiring process. Not only is today’s job market far more competitive than ever before but the hiring process has also been automated. The first screening of your resume is not always done with human eyes but rather a computer.
I don’t care who you are or how qualified you may be. When your resume is screened by Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software you have no more of an advantage than anyone else if you are using the old-school, one-size-fits-all resume template.
Why? Because the simple failure to design your resume for compatibility with this technology is often enough to eliminate you from consideration. Combine this with weak marketing skills, the inability to deal with employment gaps or age discrimination, or a limited understanding of social networking you have the recipe for financial disaster!
How are today’s 21st Century resumes different from the 20th Century templates of the past? Today’s resumes are targeted to the specific industry / job you seek. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software scans your resume for industry related keywords. The more hits the software finds the higher you will rank above your competition.
In addition, the old-school resumes of the past used to be very task-focused. Why waste the readers’ time telling them what they already know? Instead, focus on quantifying your accomplishments whenever possible. Describing your previous career successes proves to the hiring manager that you are not only qualified to do the job but that you excel over your competition making you worth the additional salary that you may request.
Consider that if you were making $50,000 per year before being laid off, you are losing $962.00 per week each week you are unemployed. Creating a high-impact resume that ensures you stand out from your competition might feel like an unnecessary expense but you will be reminded every time you cash your paycheck that it was worth it.