Greensboro, N.C. - If you're applying for jobs and wondering why you're not getting any responses, the answer is right in front of you. If you don't realize it, you'll fail the first test employers give you.
Computers now help companies weed out job applicants. If you don't adapt your resume and cover letter for every job, you probably won't get an interview. The more keywords you include, the higher your application will rank.
"It's like a test where you're giving the answers to the test. It's right there in front of you. You just transfer those keywords onto your resume and onto your cover letter," Greensboro Public Library Staff Member and Human Resources Professional Kim Hailey said.
For example, right now, Greensboro is hiring a Heavy Equipment Operator. According to the job description, the city wants someone who can operate heavy and light equipment, assist mechanics and maintain equipment, lift 50 pounds and maintain a commercial drivers' license.
If you're applying for this job, include a section at the top of your resume that says, "Demonstrated success record in..." Copy those keywords onto your resume. Then, consider adding a "Core Competencies" section. This is another place you can include more keywords. Of course, if you do not have the particular skill listed in the job description, do not put that particular skill on your resume.
"You need to pretty much pinpoint what's important and what the employer is looking for," job seeker Lee Gaskins said.
Hailey says, if you get a call from a potential employer, don't answer it. Let the call go to voicemail. Then check the message right away.
"They may want to have an instant phone interview with you at that moment. You don't want to do that. You want to be in a quiet place. You want to be calm and relaxed. You want to be focused on that particular job. You want to have the job ad in front of you and your resume in front of you," Hailey said.
Hailey also recommends searching for a similar job in another state or area using a website such as Indeed.com. You can often find examples of language that might helpful or beneficial to include on your own resume.
The Greensboro Public Library has multiple examples of resumes posted on its website. However, Hailey strongly recommends using this particular format. It's what she uses for her own resume.
The library's Job and Career Center page also includes lots of helpful information for your job search.
You can also schedule a free appointment to meet with Hailey to critique your resume. Hailey will offer feedback and suggestions that just might land you the job you've always wanted. To schedule an appointment, call 336.335.5430.
Finally, be sure to check out the Rockport Institute's "How to Write A Masterpiece of a Resume" for more helpful advice about your job search process.