Testimony of a Repentant Job Seeker
by Resume Digest on 20 May 2013 permalink
I once was the darling of the recruitment agencies - then I found instead of the wanted one I became the discarded one - why?
Changes can sneak up on us and it's a hard wake up call when you realise that what used to work so well no longer does.
What had changed was that instead of a human being I had become a commodity. Prospective employers were not interested in my potential as a member of their team they wanted hard evidence that I was a direct replacement for the guy who just left and that I came all packaged up with their industry knowledge in my head.
Recruitment agencies know how to make themselves look good by parading candidates who are over qualified and then switching over to some migrant who can barely speak intelligible English but will undercut the current rates.
It became obvious that my employment scene became a crowded space as I went for interview after interview without landing a job.
At least I was getting interviews - I thought that was a positive. In sport you get to see your opponents. In the job market you don't! You can delude yourself in thinking that what once worked will work again - it's just a matter of applying to more jobs. Unfortunately trying to fit square pegs into round holes is a loosing proposition - no matter how persistent you are. Candidates profiling is now an established practise in the employment scene and it is time jobseekers learn the new rules of the game. It's all to do with keywords. Literally (excuse the pun) these words hold the key to your employment success. If you don't have the XYZ industry buzz word in the last assignment of your resume - you won't make it to the shortlist - full stop.
Mostly for cost-cutting reasons employers have long given up on running a Human Resources Department. In fact it used to be called the Personnel Department. The message is clear for us job seekers: We have to be resourceful - not personal.
Things started to change for me when I realised I could no longer afford to blast the same old resume of mine at every job advert that came in sight. Instead I had to find out the specific requirements of each job. Then I would issue a revamped copy of my CV. Slightly more work than just hitting the Send button on my email program with the same attachment each time. Those days were over. It's amazing how ingenuous you become when you are hungry. It could take up to four hours to twist things around so that the ad's pet must-have features were now in front of their nose.
Being the enterprising sort that I am I resolved to get the computer to do some of that work. That is another story in itself but that's how the website resumedigest.net came about.
Lawrence Atkinson says:
Thanks for this - an interesting read, and very true, particularly the last couple of paragraphs; people really do need to pay attention to the job specs and apply to hose specific requirements.
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