They say just getting in the door is half the battle. Getting a resume through the human resources department can feel like a herculean effort. Once that first seemingly insurmountable hurdle is cleared, the interview looms ready to block entry.
With about four applicants duking it out over every one job opening, the odds stack up against you pretty quickly. How do you navigate through HR’s gauntlet of easily forgettable and forgotten piles of papers, and stand above a crowded waiting room packed with people dressed in the same Brooks Brothers suit you’re wearing?
Now more than ever, it’s important to make an impression, interview with presence and stand out from the rest.
Louis Montgomery of Serco Inc., gave job hunters a few tips on getting resumes noticed.
Personalization seems to be the key to a successful job search. He suggested tailoring resumes to reflect the specific job requirements. If they’re looking for a specific skill and you have it, make sure to include that on the resume.
This is definitely a time to toot your own horn. What are your skills? What are your accomplishments? How are you an asset to this company? Sing your own praises.
And network. Network, network, network. The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but whom you know” still rings true. Keep your bridges in good condition and your LinkedIn page updated. According to Montgomery, Serco recruiters often use social media to find potential employees and post job openings.
“It’s not enough to send your resume and hope for the best,” Montgomery said. “If a trusted colleague sends along your resume and a recommendation to a recruiter, it makes it that much easier.”
Once you get through the HR minefield and land an interview, keep personalizing. Companies don’t want to hire someone who just wants a job. They want employees who show genuine interest in the company and its mission, and take the time to get to know them.