Being a Human Billboard, Plus Other Ways to Get a Job Interview
Need to Get That Job Interview Now?
You may feel as though you have mailed 1,000 resumes to different companies and not received a single response—You have only lost time, money, paper, and postage. Or, you may have filled in hundreds of online job applications, cut and pasted your resume electronically until you are weary, and gained no response. This is frustrating.
Modern Interview-Seeking Alternatives
These days our resumes, cover letters, and job applications can all be submitted electronically via the Internet and email, but we may wonder if our materials get through to the other side and to a set of human eyes.
It may be time for some alternatives to email and snail mail.
Could You Be a Human Billboard?
Sometimes being creative and putting yourself out there can pay off!
During Recession 2008–2010, Job Seekers Used Creative Methods
One way to ensure that you are noticed more than others in a normal resume onslaught to an employer for the same vacancy is to prepare a Targeted Resume.
This targeted document is a resume that uses the language specifically tailored to match the job description, skills, and other requirements of a specific job advertisement. Your targeted resume will match what Human Resources is ordering for the job. A general, concise, well written general resume is good, but some job postings require the pointed targeting.
For example, if you are interested in a responsible, high-paying position as a head chef, you will want to highlight your culinary skills, any food-related training, cost control skills, and related work experience so that they shine clearly into the eyes of the person reading your resume—and into the electronic reader that large firms use to scan resumes by computer for the first cut of potential interviewees. That computer will look for keywords related to the chef's position.
For the chef's job, you can leave out your summer job as a camp counselor 15 years ago and concentrate on presenting for Chef-ness in your resume. That's the concept of targeting - not to put in everything you have ever done. Further, 10–15 years' past experience is what companies expect to see in the 2010s, except for executive positions.
In summation, remember that some companies use 1) Computerized Scanners and 2) Human Resources Assistants to screen resumes. They zero in tightly on specific words that match the requirements of the job description advertised. In the case of a chef, they take mere seconds to look for culinary words, special skills, accomplishments in this line—or very similar line—of work. If you include every non-chef job you ever had, then the resume will be cluttered and your image as a chef will be harder to find, both for a human reader and the computerized scanner.
In Order to Prepare a Targeted Resume
- Learn the requirements of a particular vacant position you want
- Choose a specific company to send your Targeted Resume
- Send it in reply to a specific, advertised job opening
- Address it to a specific person, such as the hiring manager; find out their name by calling if you need to do so
- Prepare a set of resumes for each of the different major fields of work you are pursuing (you may have 2 or 3)
After submitting your resume for a vacant position, allow enough time for it to have been received by the company and then call the hiring manager or Director of Human Resources and ask for an interview. For a mailed resume and cover letter, wait 2–3 days and for online submissions, just 24 hours will do.
When you call, introduce yourself and state that you submitted your resume for _______ job and will be in the area and available for the next 3–4 days for an interview and ask what day and time will be best for them. Be prepared to state how you can benefit their company by hiring you. In order to do this better, prepare a list of ways you can be an asset to the new company, practice giving those ways before your call, and keep the list with you during your call as a reference source. In order to prepare this list, research the company inside and out and find out exactly how you can really help them with your particular skills.
You might tell the hiring manager how you can increase their company sales with some new idea or how to increase the number of customers that use their products or services. You can also talk about how to cut costs and improve efficiency, if those are relevant issues, and your company research can tell you that. If the company is number 2 or 3 in the business, perhaps you have an idea or two about how they can become Number One. They will like that information.
Sometimes, you might want to call a hiring manager before submitting a resume, because the advertised job is hot and will go fast. Have your presentation ready, call and introduce yourself, and try for an interview. You can offer to hand-deliver, email, or FAX your resume directly to them; and they will remember you for your extra effort and initiative.
Tactics For Two: Buy Lunch
Managers are busy people and you don't want to let them use a busy schedule as a way to deny you an interview. If you can afford it, and the hiring manager does not give you an interview date over the phone, offer to buy them lunch or breakfast and promise to state your case in 10–15 minutes over the meal. Then prepare yourself well and keep your promise.
Practice your speaking techniques on the day before the lunch so you can give your best clear, concise presentation. If you don't get the job, at least you will have had interview experience and a nice lunch—and will have made a new business contact.
Continue to practice your presentation until it is second nature and you can give it without notice. If an opportunity then arises, you are ready!
In any event, when talking with a hiring manager and not acquiring an interview, you can ask them if any other departments in the company could benefit from your expertise, or if they know other companies that have openings. Hiring managers of different companies DO talk to one another and share leads.
Have a Great Interview!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS