I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…
“Do unto others…” I know most know of the Golden Rule. Well, you can bet the farm on this; if you don’t tell them what they want to hear, they won’t tell you what you want to hear.
The entire Get-A-Job process is tailored to accommodate employer needs. They who’ve decided that cover letters and resumes should adhere to specific rules and guides had rather one-sided reasons for the requirements that have evolved to date. Their reasons have more to do with developing a writing system and constructing cover letters and resumes that discriminate rather than analyze applicant qualifications and suitability for respective job postings. To paraphrase; A pipefitter whose skills and qualifications are an exceptional match for a specific job posting shall not have a chance to interview because, not having appropriate literary and writing skills, he or she chose to write their own cover letter and resume. It doesn’t seem quite fair! The reality: everybody loses – the applicant, the employer, and the hiring authority who missed out on earning kudos for a great selection.
The entire resume evaluation system has deteriorated into an elimination process. Moreover, it has is tailored to ignore the core qualifications of those most adept and qualified. For the most part, it recognizes only those documents that meet pre-determined and programmed criteria – search words, formatting, etc.
The lesson here: “If you are that perfect pipe fitter, hire an experienced and reputable cover letter and resume writer.”
Contrary to logic and common sense, the system is designed to diminish by non-selection those resumes that do not conform – by format, keywords, and content. It certainly is not in-place to seek out positive attributes and qualifications regardless of how they are introduced.
Abe Lincoln said, “If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.”
In their defense, it is essential to understand the root cause of the above – human resource departments are inundated with cover letters and resumes during this challenging economic time. They are so challenged that scripting the process is out of necessity rather than of desire.
If interviews are not forthcoming, then cover letters and resumes must be re-evaluated. Most times, it is because they are not telling them what they want to hear and in the manner in which they want to hear it.
The volume of incoming resumes is so overwhelming that most companies engage databases to manage the deluge of resumes received. Before a human being reads resumes, they must get past such databases. The function of such databases is to recognize “keywords.” The system is not arbitrary; it is programmed to seek specific keywords corresponding to respective postings.
A particular resume has been database selected and assigned to a hiring manager for appraisal. Human Resource personnel are, by the same inherent pressures, quick to eliminate documents in which they find inequities and non-complicity. Remember, their database only identified keywords. Since time is still a factor, resumes falling short are immediately discarded. One major ingredient is “relevance.” They have no interest in extraneous matters like hobbies, unrelated volunteerism, personal or professional historical information with little bearing on present goals. However, relevant information must be accurate, powerful, describe experience, illustrate, and build value. Deciding that which is and is not relevant is challenging because most are not objective about their own careers, another area for professional resume writers to attend.
Here are a few absolutes…
Always consider: What does the hiring authority want and need to know from your cover letter and resume? How and by whom are applicants best presented so that they meet those needs and outshine others’ resumes applying for the same postings? Most applicants, embracing little resume writing experience, know what they seek in terms of a job; few understand what recruiters and hiring managers seek in resumes.
The following quote is parity…
He or she who is their own lawyer has a fool for a client. – Proverb