It’s true; job search criteria and strategy change daily. The latest strategy is to modify resumes, including catchphrases, keywords, and word-for-wording some of the duties and responsibilities listed in job postings. My impression of these new instructions is that if a particular employer utilizes resume scan software (ATS), doing the above is more likely to get more hits than if not. Other than that, interviewers being familiar with the content of their postings will be attracted to those resumes that appear to match its content. In both cases, I support making such modifications. The only challenge I see to doing so is that some haven’t the skills to properly implement these changes into their resumes. If not proper, formatting, spelling, and grammar may sabotage the effort. Requesting the help of a friend or another whose skills meet this challenge is a good idea. What is a bad idea is ignoring these new suggestions because you can’t, won’t, or haven’t the resources to find assistance?
Let me simplify the above in one word – RELEVANCE. The more RELEVANT the resume, the better a match the candidate appears to be. This is because RELEVANCE determines whether or not resumes find their way to file thirteen or the review stack.
Congratulations; you followed these new rules and now have an upcoming interview. Wow, I guess the hard part has been successfully completed. “NOT.” Your RELEVANCE challenges have only just begun. If resume relevance got the interview, what makes you think interview relevance isn’t needed to get you hired? Factually, if you can not establish RELEVANCE, you may as well not show up. In the end, it is RELEVANCE that is hired, not you. How RELEVANT are you? How will you let them know how RELEVANT you are?
Let me give you a few hints.
Suppose you are out selling copiers to local businesses (B2B). A local company permits you to present your products. The first thing you must do is ascertain what your prospect wants to accomplish with its new copier – identify their needs. Your company leases and sells seven excellent copiers, each programmed to address different requirements. One may fold and staple, another may print 11 x 17 paper, yet another may print in color. If you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t know what copier to introduce. If you present an IRRELEVANT copier, your attempt to sell will be IRRELEVANT. You will have wasted your and your prospects’ valuable time. Ergo, if your interview presentation is not irrelevant, you will have wasted your and your interviewers’ valuable time.
It is so important to establish prospective employer needs. Unless you do, it is improbable you will appear RELEVANT. Understand something important; companies do not hire people just as they do not lease or purchase copiers; they choose that which solves challenges and satisfies needs. If you can not identify those needs, you can not address how hiring you will solve or attend to those needs. If you can not accomplish that, you appear IRRELEVANT.
Stop selling YOU and start selling your RELEVANCY. First, identify employer needs and wants; then hone in on those skills, attributes, and characteristics that best address and solve those needs. The golden rule is: “people buy what they want; they can’t be made to buy something they don’t want.” But, conversely, more times than not, they want that which addresses and solves their needs. Demonstrating how and why you can solve their wants and needs is establishing RELEVANCE.
By the way, the more RELEVANT they perceive you to be, the bigger the offer may be! Why? Simply because they who best demonstrate RELEVANCE best build value.
“Be RELEVANT, be EMPLOYED; stay RELEVANT, stay EMPLOYED,” Arnie Sherr