Tag Archives: resume

How’d You Get THAT From My Resume?

Information Security Analyst. Licensed Practical Nurse. Project Engineer. Screen Printer. Speech-Language Pathologist. Intern.

Do any of these scream Public Relations / Communications professional to you? Yeah, me neither. But for some reason, they always seem to pop up in my daily job alerts.

I subscribe to a lot of job boards that automatically send you searches each day in an effort to “weed out” the jobs that don’t match your skill set or preferred job type. I have tailored these alerts time and again to meet my specific criteria.  After a year of job hunting, I have come to the conclusion that these saved job searches are a piece of crap.

I don’t know how anything in my resume would qualify me to be an Information Security Analyst. My specialties are internal and external communications, writing, and media strategies; not cyber threats and computer technology.  C’mon CareerBuilder, get your act together!

While there might be some similarities in the words in my resume and the professions listed above (can anyone say COMMUNICATIONS?), doesn’t nearly everyone have communications in their resume these days? Don’t we all possess communications skills in one way or another? Interpersonal, oral, visual, written, etc.? In this day of technological advancement, isn’t there some tool that can separate these jobs from one another? I mean, are the nurse, screen printer and project engineer getting my PR listings?

The job hunt is a daily struggle in and of itself.  The last thing any jobless person needs is a worthless job alert.  So to all the career sites out there that send automated job alerts, please do your due diligence to the unemployed and send the right jobs to your subscribers or don’t send any at all!

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The Poorly Written “Form Letter Thank You” From Potential Employers

I am not a huge fan of form letters. Maybe it’s because I am a communications person, but I appreciate the personal touch of being thanked or recognized for something. Otherwise, I almost don’t want to be noticed at all.

I’m not talking about thank yous from friends or family. That ship has sailed. I’m talking about the form letter job seekers get from potential employers when they apply for a job or actually make it through the interview process, either through email or actual snail mail. Can you believe that, some of us actual get rejection letters and thank yous for applying via the U.S. Mail? Now I think that’s a nice touch, even if you are rejecting me.

I don’t mind the automated email informing me that Employer A has received my resume,  my background and qualifications are being evaluated and if I am suitable match or fit, that I will be contacted. What I do mind, is when Employer B sends me the thank you for interviewing with our company email, “It was pleasure meeting you and you were an outstanding candidate, but we have chosen to move in another direction. We will keep your resume on file for one year in the event your skills match another role in our organization.”

Really, you’re going to contact me when my experience matches another job in your company? Has any company ever done that for you? Similar positions open up all the time at companies you and I have applied to, maybe even interviewed at already, but no one ever gets that call saying, “Hey, Jane, this position opened up and it has your name written all over it!”

Maybe it’s some human resources law that says these companies need to send these types of correspondences to folks. And I understand, I really do, and I am not trying to sound bitter, I just think there is a less fake approach, shall we say, to go about this. Tell job seekers to keep looking, not that you’ll find a match for them; we know you’re not going to reach out to us if some keyword matches something on our resume with a job at your company; you must have a million resumes on file! Don’t sell us that short, please!

And while we’re on the topic of selling us short, take a look at the email below which I received this summer from an organization I applied to telling me I was not the chosen candidate. Not only was it not personally addressed (undisclosed recipients!), it left the “insert position here” empty and in plain sight for me to see!! So HR professionals, CEOs, hiring managers, whoever sends these emails and letters to those on the job hunt, please take note, have a bit of compassion or don’t send anything at all. Sometimes no news better than any news at all!

To: undisclosed-recipients

Thank you for the opportunity to interview you for the $(customtext1} position. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Although your credentials and work experience are most impressive, another candidate whose qualifications more closely meet our needs has been selected.

Your interest in this position is appreciated.

How Can I Apply for a Job Online When Your Site Doesn’t Work?

I have been applying for jobs for the last few months. It’s not a fun process. Sometimes I do it through a job site such as Hotjobs, Careerbuilder, Monster; the “Big Three” as we call them here in my household. Other times, there is a direct email address where I can send my resume and cover letter directly to the employer and/or their human resources department. Finally, there is the online site in which companies make you use their online employment portal to apply for job. Sometimes you cannot even get an interview even when someone wants to meet with you without going through this type of system. I hate online employment portals. Here’s why…

I’ve read what I need to apply for said job. I have the qualifications and materials needed to move forward in the application process. I go through the 25 steps it takes to sign up, sign in and register with the company in order to apply. Nine times out of 10, I have to fill out my job history and also paste or attach my resume. I think this is a waste of time because if you are going to read my resume, why am I spending all this time filling in boxes that you can read on the database anyway. I usually have to attach or paste something or I cannot move forward with the application, so why reiterate my entire job history? In addition, sometimes I am asked for samples of my work, but I am only permitted to attach one document…my resume. Make sense? Doesn’t to me either.

I can recite my resume and past job experience by heart. I have filled it out so many times on sites such as these. I understand they may be helpful to human resource professionals by weeding out those of us who don’t exactly match the job description. But does anyone even read what is written on those sites? Or what about how it says this will be helpful in matching you with other opportunities that come along? None of this ever happens. Who knows, maybe this is all true and I am just a pessimist. 

The reason I am writing this piece is not so much because I have to do double the work to apply for jobs on an online portal. I am writing it because I get frustrated when these sites don’t work. I have spent countless hours signing up on these types of sites, from the NJ Department of Labor to large and small corporations throughout the U.S. to job listing sites such as the ones I mentioned above. The problem is, you spend all this time filling in boxes and information and when you get to the end, it doesn’t take. Messages like, “Your request cannot be processed,” or “Invalid submission,” things that don’t make any sense to you because you were careful to fill out everything just as your were supposed to. All the formatting and character counting, it doesn’t stick or take and you’re back at square one by no fault of your own. You can press “back” on your computer, you can call a human resources specialist at a company (but at that point, you are hoping to just get their email and send your resume directly!) or throw your hands up in frustration and give up. I have done all three!

It’s hard enough to find a job in this economy. Even when it wasn’t so bad, it’s still not fun looking for a new job. But to add insult to injury, those of us looking for new gigs are left with wasted time and a failed chance at applying for a job that we might be the perfect fit for. I ask, employers, please make sure your online application sites work. Listen to the messages we leave on your voicemail about it. You are probably losing out on some really great, talented applicants because your systems don’t work properly. And that is a great shame for us all.