Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lessons From My Job Search

What is the #1 lesson that I learned during my job search?  Do not make the Recruiter dig.

I could end this post here because what I mean is probably self-explanatory but let me continue for the few that aren’t quite sure what I am talking about.

Two years ago I left my career to pursue a passion.  After two years, I realized that passion doesn’t always pay the bills so I made the decision to return to my career.  I was confident that I would have no problem landing a job.  After all, I had 17 years of experience and a good reputation in the community.  Why wouldn’t someone want to hire me?  Why indeed.

After submitting resumes to several local firms without so much as a request for an interview I began to wonder … what in the world is going on?  Have I lost it? 

Finally, I received an email from a Recruiter who wanted to schedule a phone interview.  We scheduled the interview and during the conversation she said the following:

At first I didn’t think you were qualified because I saw all this fitness stuff … then after some digging I saw that you were extremely qualified

Ding! Ding! Ding!

That conversation changed how I approached my job search significantly.  I realized that Recruiters are reviewing dozens and dozens of resumes and do not have the time nor the inclination to dig through a person’s resume.  I’m guessing that they spend less than two minutes reviewing a resume to determine if someone is qualified or not before they move on.

My chronological resume listed all my experience over my two-year hiatus and at first glance it would appear that I was not remotely qualified for the career that I had spent 17 years building. 

After the phone interview with the Recruiter (which did not result in a face-to-face interview, by the way) I revised the format of my resume to reflect Relevant Experience first so that would be the first thing that a Recruiter or Hiring Manager would see.  The current experience came afterward under the heading Other Experience.  That one small change made all the difference and soon I received requests for interviews and I had my choice of positions to choose from.  I start my new job at the end of the month.

Remember, if you want the job – don’t make the Recruiter dig.

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