Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I started job hunting about eight months ago and in that time I have sent out about 60 resumes. I’ve received little to no interest. I’ve looked at part-time jobs, because I have free time, as well as full-time jobs. I have multiple degrees and a solid work history. Can you explain?
A: You might have felt you matched perfectly with each job description, but some might have been from recruiters or companies fishing to fill their database. I’ve even heard of a job that was filled but listed for three years without being removed.
Even if you were well-matched, some of the job descriptions might have been written by employees who weren’t very familiar with the jobs; so they couldn’t represent the needs of their companies well.
Let’s look at it from your side. Unless you’re in high tech, your industry likely hires through people rather than postings. Use some of your free time judiciously by identifying departments that would use your skills and contacting presidents, senior vice presidents or vice presidents, depending upon your experience and the size of a company. Scour your network or build one.
Q: Dear Dr. Culp, Please take a look at my resume and let me know if there’s something very wrong about it. I’m open to suggestions. Thank you.
A: Your resume jolted me by opening with your title and your current company. If I’m not in your industry, and I don’t see the connection between yours and mine, you’ve lost me right there. You also refer to “advancing my career,” a real space filler, and equate the department that houses your work with an industry.
Get the reader to read as you want him to. Develop a targeted objective including the type of position, its environment and the key benefit you’ll bring. Alternatively, draw two parallel lines and put three departments in it, with asterisks or bullets separating them.
Unlike many resumes, this one has some benefits, but they’re lacking teeth – numbers, percentages and dollar signs. You mention increasing sales without including the amount. You mention managing employees without saying how many. You worked in a high-volume area but don’t disclose the scope. You also don’t state what particular results led to awards in several jobs you held. Remember numbers there, too, including the number of co-workers.
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2014 Passage Media.)