Grabbing Those Job Interviews!

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Aceey with her "Work" gameface on.

After gaining countless interviews in the past 5 years and improving my resume skills training in several career fields, I’d thought it would be helpful to post some tips on how to get more interviews from online job postings so that my friends can get in on it too. These skills could turn your $8.00/hr job into a job that can get you out of debt in a year! Even if you have a job, it’s always good to stay marketable in the game. It does not matter what kind of economy we’re in, you can still get job interviews! (If you want a federal job, I will post tips on that too, in the future).

Step 1 – Search for positions in your area.
If you’re not the best at networking, go to http://www.indeed.com and click “Advanced Search.”

  • Choose option “Show Jobs of Type – Full Time” or pick whatever type you’d like.
  • Choose the option “Show Jobs From – Employer Sites Only.”
  • Choose option – “Exclude Staffing Agencies.” Staffing Agencies are great! However, you want to skip the middleman because eventually you WILL be hired and you WILL ask to negotiate salary. (I have faith in you).
  • Choose your location. For me, location is everything because I don’t like long commutes or sitting in traffic. Example: I would choose a radius within 5 miles from a zip code. The zip code doesn’t have to be your own. If I wanted to work in the financial district I would search for the area on a zip code map and search only in that specific zip code. And yes, I have had job interviews in my own zip code before!
  • AGE: Choose “Jobs Published Since Yesterday.” You want to get the most recent jobs posted in your face. If not enough jobs pop up in this option, choose “Within the past three days.” You don’t want to choose “Anytime” because the list would overwhelm you. Make sure you display 50 jobs at a time sorted by date. You want to grab the jobs that are the newest! Be the first person that the interviewer sees and try to make them see that you are the best candidate so they don’t have to waste time to interview more people.
  • Save the jobs you see that are relevant to your job experience and qualifications. Don’t apply for them just yet!

Step 2- Make a different resume for every job you apply for.
Sounds tedious, unnecessary, and boring right? I know, but it’s very important to tailor your resume to fit the job description and qualifications. WHY? Because 95% of resumes that are submitted online are read by a computer program that only reads keywords. After the computer program deletes the resumes that do not have the keywords needed, a human comes into play.

For instance, I saw a job posting the other day. Here’s a snippet:

Job Posting: Associate Career Services Advisor – Atlanta, GATracking Code 11611-1343

Required Skills

  • Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from students, regulatory agencies, or members of the community
  • Ability to write speeches and articles that conform to prescribed style and format
  • Knowledge of Word Processing software; Spreadsheet software, Database Software and Contact Management systems

Required Experience

  • Associate’s Degree required, Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Minimum 1 year work experience in relatable field or equivalent combination of education and experience

Wow! Basically, anyone with a degree can apply for this position. Doesn’t even matter what degree it is! And if you don’t have a degree, if you have experience doing stuff on a computer (hey, if you found my blog, you know how to use one) you can apply for this position! If you want the interview for this position, add all those keywords in your resume, provided that you meet the minimum requirements. Example:

 OBJECTIVE

Associate Career Services Advisor Tracking Code: 11611-1343

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

  • Previous Work Experience In Secondary Education Administration– Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from students, regulatory agencies, and members of the community. Familiar with job searching techniques and interviewing skills.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing– Emphasis on Business Communication, Marketing Research, and Personal Selling.
  • Proficient Computer Skills– Knowledge of Word Processing and Spreadsheet software, Database Software and Contact Management systems; average typing speed: over 65 words per minute. Detail oriented with solid data entry and analytical skills.
  • Excellent Verbal and Written Communication and Grammatical Skills– Ability to write speeches and articles that conform to prescribed style and format. Experience in answering high traffic telephone lines; skilled in communicating with clients in a fast-paced environment.

*Items are bolded, italicized and colored, to emphasize I’ve taken it verbatim from the job description.

-Adding the job name and the tracking number/job ID not only proves that you read the job description and took time to make a resume for the position, but it will also automatically go in the “IN” resumes that would be eventually read by a human being. Do what you can to make it easy for the HR person to choose you so they don’t have to waste their time reading other resumes.

-Of course have your functional/chronological resume section handy and be sure to use action verbs. Add volunteer experience if it’s relevant. For instance, for the job posted, if I assisted refugees in finding a job or shadowing them on their first day at work, I would most certainly add that in my resume.

-If you are unemployed, find something to make the days go by! Volunteer at a nearby non-profit, volunteer at your kid’s school (trust me, teachers need a ton of help, and the PTA does too), gain more skills. When I was unemployed, one of the first things I did was take an online course for a software database for college campuses. I also purchased a Pharmacy Technician Trainee License (you can do this too, depending on the state) and started studying for the Pharmacy Technician License while looking for work. Adding that on my resume proved that I did not let grass grow under my feet while I needed a job. While unemployed, I began working out—it built up my confidence and gave me a better incentive to purchase more business suits!

Step 3- Start Applying… one opening at a time.

-Be honest in your job history. However, if your last job didn’t last more than 6 months, I don’t recommend you adding it to the application.

-If there is a cover letter section, fill it out! Check online for cover letter tips.

Be sure to save a resume that is specific to each job that you apply for. Don’t count the applications, MAKE THEM COUNT! It’s better for you to apply for 3 jobs in one day that you know you’re going to nail the interview for than applying for 27 jobs a day just for the heck of it. I think of the Apostle Paul when he mentioned “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air (1 Cor 9:26).” Be specific in your approach and don’t shadowbox your way in your job search. And even if you don’t get the job, getting a call for an interview is a confidence booster!

You can do this! By the way, I applied for the above job posting in my state and immediately received a call for a phone interview … then nailed the phone interview… then received a call for a face-to-face job interview and knocked the job interview out the box. You got this! God bless!

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