7 Tips for Job Search Success

Posted by Amy Cody-Quinn

How do you beat the odds so you’re one of the resumes selected for follow up?

—1. Clean up your spelling and grammar. 50% of all applicants are rejected for typos, grammatical errors, misspellings and incomplete applications or applications returned after the deadline. This is the number one irritation for most recruiters and managers. If the candidate doesn’t have the attention to detail needed to run spell check on their own resume, how accurate will their work be?

2. Apply for the jobs you’re qualified for and apply for the job that’s posted. Don’t assume your reader knows that as a Systems Administrator you were responsible for disaster recovery. If disaster recovery is listed in the job description, it should be in your resume. If you can honestly claim it, spell it out.

—3. Provide direct reference to the skills you possess, tools you’ve used and responsibilities you’ve held that are relevant to the job in the summary and the body of your resume. 98% of resumes without direct mention of the required skills within the top 1/3 of the page are rejected. I assume the remaining 2% are either previously known employees or relatives of the boss. Use exact phrasing wherever you honestly can and use it early and often. Why? Because the manager who wrote that job description will recognize and those words will resonate, cementing your fit for the job.

4. —If you cannot honestly claim experience in similar duties, titles and responsibilities, then don’t apply for the job. At best it makes you look desperate and desperation is never on the requirements list. The recruiter isn’t going to remember you for the next job, but they may remember you’d applied for jobs you didn’t fit and not bother to open your next email. At worst, they’ll flag you as junk and never open another email from you.

—5. Remove information that isn’t pertinent for the job or information that can hurt you. If it’s a job for a java developer with 5-7 years experience, stating you have 30 years experience and listing Fortran and Cobol under your tech skills isn’t going to be a plus. In fact starting any resume with the words “20 years” or “30 years” experience is not going to help you win many jobs. When was the last time you saw a requirement asking for 20+ years experience? Including that language gets you thrown into the “overqualified” pile – aka the trash.

6. Use an appropriate email address. This is on three of my managers top reasons they reject candidates. Although your friends may think “sluttymomma” or “reallydrunkdude”  are funny email addresses, they are likely to cost you opportunities if you use them on your resume. And yes, those were actual examples of emails.

—7. Check your social network pages to insure you look professional on all publicly visible pages. Employers no longer wait until after the interview to check references. If they have any interest in you they’ll run your name through Google before even scheduling an interview to see what turns up. I suggest you do that for yourself and see what they’ll see and remove anything controversial.

Final word

Getting through the gauntlet of screens can be daunting, but one thing that has not changed across all my years of recruiting is this: A resume is never hired, the person is. The trick is in getting past the first screen so that you have a chance to be that person.

My goal is always to get my candidates in front of the manager –  if you’ll take the time to follow these simple steps, you will improve your odds of getting an interview and an offer.

Polish your resume then check out GeoLogics open positions.

Amy Cody-Quinn is a Senior Recruiter with GeoLogics. Through the wonders of modern technology she’s lucky enough to be based on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Sources: Dr. John Sullivan, 12 Worst Resume Mistakes and survey of GeoLogics hiring managers.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 7:00 am

2 thoughts on “7 Tips for Job Search Success”

  1. Ms. Cody-Quinn:

    I hope you won’t mind me asking an unusual resume questions.

    At one time I worked for a company that was a joint venture. The work was for Xerox Financial Services but I was actually an employee of GE Financial Services.

    My question is how to list the entry on my resume. Up until now, I’ve only listed the company as Xerox. Should I change it to a DBA: GE Financial Services (d/b/a Xerox Financial Services)?

    Thank you for your time and assistance.


    William Vogt

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