Why does it feel like my responses to job postings fall into a big black hole? The answer is that 90% of the responses fail to meet the critical criteria and unfortunately your response is likely one of them. “Well, I meet a number of the criteria, how do I know which ones are critical?
Imagine you are seeking a house and you have three teenagers and you can afford a home with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. You’d also like to have a large backyard with a swimming pool. 90% of the applicants have a large backyard and a swimming pool, but only three bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. No one who can afford a larger home is going to sacrifice the bedroom and bathroom count in favor of the backyard when they know they can have it all. In, fact if they’re establishing search criteria on a homes-for-sale website, they’re using the bedroom and bath count as their criteria, not the backyard.
The critical criteria on a job posting are three: Number one is industry experience; the more senior you are as an executive, the more critical industry experience. Number two is there is a universal requirement for a certain level of academic accomplishment and/or certifications. Regardless of your own opinions about graduate-level education, most large companies see formal education and certifications as an important foundation for possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job. Third, is the alphabet soup of best practices, areas of regulatory compliance, software applications and the like. There are two reasons for this: one is that if you are a company who has recently implemented Six Sigma as your quality methodology but your current employee population as few people experienced in Six Sigma, you want to be sure that every new hire has experience with Six Sigma. The same is true for things such as FDA, OSHA, Sarbanes-Oxley, salesforce.com, Oracle ERP, etc. The other reason is these terms are important is a keyword search which should differentiate those that have this experience from those that don’t. Team leadership skills, ability to mentor, an excellent customer facing skills are also important, but they are like the big backyard… secondary requirements and difficult to search for.
The answer then is to apply a very selectively to only those postings where were you are a match to the industry, the level of education that is not only required but preferred, and fully knowledgeable when it comes to the acronyms. If the acronyms are foreign to you, you are not an appropriate candidate.
Modifying your resume for each posting is unnecessary. Once you have highly polished your resume using every square inch to its maximum, it is best to leave it as is; rather prepare a cover letter that matches your background to the requirements.
Fortunately, there are professional career management and marketing firms that can assist you in preparing cover letters to postings that will get you an interview. So, consult a professional. ExecuJobs has helped thousands of job seekers achieve their goals – not simply a job but a great match. Give them an opportunity to help you. To start on the path to the solution to your career questions, contact us @ PR@execujobs.net or go to www.execujobs.net today!