Over the past few months, I have had a lot of job openings. These positions have been for various jobs, all the way from personal assistants to inside sales representatives.
During my short experience hunting for qualified candidates, I have learned one really important thing about you… the only reason why you don’t have a job is because of you… so get out of your own way!
If your jaw didn’t drop, well maybe it will after you read this:
Create a good resume
When you’re submitting your resume, make sure it is short and to the point. You would be amazed at how many 5-page resumes I got when I posted an ad for a personal assistant on Monster.com.
Look, I understand that for some of you with a ton of work experience it’s hard to fit everything in 1 page, but ideally your goal should be to have no more than a maximum of 2. You see, when an employer has to read more than 2 pages, they think you’re trying too hard. Not only are you coming across as desperate, but it kind of brings the question as to why you’ve never been able to keep a stable job.
The other thing to keep in mind before submitting a resume is to check for grammar and spelling errors. Small mistakes like that show potential employers that you won’t be thorough with your work, which is a huge turn off.
I hate it when someone submits a job application and all they say is:
To Whom It May Concern:
Attached is my resume. I look forward to hearing from you.
Do you think I am really going to respond back to Jennifer? No way. If she couldn’t spend 1 minute trying to personalize her resume for me, how can I trust her to deal with my customers. Show some enthusiasm, talk a bit about yourself and why you would be a good candidate for the job. A simple cover letter can go a long way.
You have to sell yourself, but don’t go over board. If you’ve been blessed with good looks, don’t include sexy pictures of yourself. And yes, this has happened to me numerous times. It’s simply degrading! I am not going to hire someone based on their looks, I am looking to hire people that can make me more money.
Do your homework
If you know that I am looking for a developer, make sure you do a bit of research on my company and the requirements for my job opening. Your resume should be tailored to my opening and not all of your skill sets.
Last week I got hit by someone who said they were an excellent developer and they wanted to work for KISSmetrics. I told them to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their resume because we are always looking for talented developers to join our team.
But once the KISSmetrics team looked at the resume, we noticed that it was tailored more around how that person was a great marketer instead of a great developer.
So when you apply for jobs, make sure that you pitch yourself for the job opening and not stuff that the company is looking for. Typically, no one is looking for a jack-of-all-trades because we know it doesn’t exist.
Be on time
If you did everything else right and you get an in person interview, make sure you are on time. You would be surprised at the number of people who blew me off once they had already agreed to the time. They were either late or they just didn’t show up.
Time is money and a potential employer wont hire you if you can’t come on time.
If you happen to have an emergency and can’t make it, call and email the employer letting them know that you can’t make it and why. The chances of you not getting the job will probably increase, but at least you won’t look like a big flake.
The biggest mistake you can make is to lie during an interview. You should assume that your future boss isn’t dumb because he or she must have done something right to get to that position. So if you lie, they will catch you.
Tell the truth, even if it can hurt you. It’s human nature to try and make yourself look the best you can, so when someone asks if you can do something, be honest. Worse case, just say you can’t, but you are willing to learn.
If you get caught in a lie I’ll guarantee that you won’t be hired. If you made it this far, don’t blow it by telling a small lie.
I have had a good amount of candidates that are perfect for my job openings. They went through all of the steps correctly, but they forgot to do one really important thing… follow up.
If I tell you that you are hired, then make sure you get back to me. You’ll be amazed at how many people just left the face of the earth after I agreed to hire them. When I finally figure out why, it wasn’t because they didn’t like my company or found a better position, it’s because their personal life distracted them.
Get your priorities straight. If you can’t, the least you can do is to let the employer know that you can’t work for them, instead of leaving them hanging. It’s just common courtesy.
I know, the economy is bad and you can’t find a job, right? Stop blaming the economy because there are a ton of job openings, you just have to look for them. Most of the people I know who own companies, including me, are all hiring. The hardest thing that we are experiencing is that we can’t find people who are hungry, scrappy, and smart.
If you think you are a hungry, scrappy, and smart here is the best way you can get a job:
- Leverage your network – companies are more likely to hire people that are referred to them. We hate wasting time on bad hires, so we rather reduce our risk and go with a recommendation.
- Don’t wait for an opening – the biggest mistake you can make is to only apply to companies that have job openings. If you really feel you can help a company grow and you see how they are making mistakes, hit them up and tell them all the things they need to fix. You will be surprised at how many companies will hire you when you do that. You will probably even get paid more.
- Don’t be shy – what’s best for the company is typically what’s best for you. Don’t beat around the bush when you are in an interview, you’re more likely to get a job if you are upfront and you just tell things how they are. Don’t make that mistake by telling me what I want to hear instead of what’s best for my business.
So what do you think? Why are people struggling to find jobs?