Weddle’s Research Factoid

Weddle’s Research Factoid

Weddle’s Research Factoid

Since 1996, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both job seekers and recruiters on the Web. We’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of data elements probing:

  • what they do and what they don’t do,
  • what they like and what they don’t like,
  • and most importantly,

  • what they think works best.
  • We are pleased to share this research with you.

    WEDDLE’s Findings

    Most large companies and a growing number of small ones now store candidate resumes in a computerized database. That’s certainly the case with resumes submitted online, but it’s also increasingly true of paper resumes. More often than not, those documents are converted into digital information and also stored in the databases.

    What the Findings Mean

    To identify candidates for a particular opening, recruiters search the resume database to locate applicable records. To search the resume database, they use keywords that describe the qualifications necessary for successful job performance. Your resume must contain those exact keywords or the computer will not identify it as an applicable record. In other words, you may be qualified for an opening, but the recruiter won’t know it because you used words on your resume that are different from the words used by the recruiter to describe qualified candidates.

    How can you ensure that you use the right words?

    Carefully read the job posting or recruitment ad for the opening to which you’re applying. Look at the nouns and phrases that the company uses to describe the required qualifications and make sure that you use those exact words to describe your capabilities. Please remember, however, that we’re talking about word choice here; not wishful thinking. To use a particular keyword in your resume, you must actually have that qualification.

    Section Two: From WEDDLE’s Archive

    Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the Interactive Edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column is drawn from that work. You can also find many of Peter’s tips and techniques in our book WEDDLE’s WizNotes: Finding a Job on the Web.

    The Application Two-Step

    It’s happened to all of us. You go online to look for a new or better job and do everything you’re supposed to. You:

  • search through the job postings on an employer’s Web-site,
  • find an opening that fits your skills and experience perfectly,
  • follow directions exactly and submit your resume, and …
  • nothing happens.
  • Nada. Just the great, unbroken silence of the Internet. You’re in the Resume Twilight Zone. The big black hole in cyberspace.

    So, what can you do? First, I think it’s important that we understand what’s happening at the other end. As you probably know, employers are now receiving thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of resumes a week. Their systems are all but overwhelmed by the torrent of e-documents rushing into their e-mailboxes and resume management systems.

    Some have the technology and staff resources to handle it-they’re the ones that send you a reply by e-mail indicating that your resume has been received and describing what happens next. Others don’t; their recruiting departments have been downsized to almost nothing or their budgets have been slashed so much they can’t even afford a computer or both-they’re the ones that operate like big, black holes. And, unfortunately, the second group is much larger than the first.

    Does not mean you shouldn’t even bother with the Web? Of course not. There are two million new jobs advertised on the Internet every month. To be successful in applying for them, however, you will have to practice the old “application two-step.” Here’s how it works:

    Step 1: Move your right foot forward: submit your resume

  • Make sure you are, in fact, fully qualified for a position. Don’t be a “graffiti applicant” and apply for jobs where you don’t meet the specified requirements.
  • Thanks to words processors, the days of submitting generic resumes are over. Tailor your resume to the opening, highlighting those aspects that make you the strongest candidate you can be.
  • Follow the submission instructions exactly. Don’t attach a resume, if the employer asks you to embed it in the body of an e-mail, and vice versa.
  • Step 2: Move your left foot forward: network your way into the company

  • Get in touch with friends and colleagues to see if any of them (a) work for the company or (b) have friends who do.
  • Check your professional and trade associations and your college/school alumni group to if any of your fellow members/alums work for the company.
  • Once you’ve networked to someone in the company, contact them and (a) tell them about your desire to work there and (b) ask if they will take a copy of your resume to the Staffing Department and give it to the recruiter who is filling the opening you seek. In most cases, they’ll be flattered that you asked and happy to do so.
  • In today’s tough business environment, no one can just waltz right into a company. To make sure you don’t get lost in the tsunami of applications now flooding into companies, use the “application two-step.” It takes a bit more work, but it beats getting lost in the crowd.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    Section 3: News You Can Use

    Business 2.0 published a story about today’s favorable conditions for starting your own business. According to the magazine, seed-level venture capital funding nearly doubled in 2005 and could double again this year. Despite such glad tidings, however, launching a business is a very tough road to take. Only about a third of all new businesses ever turn a profit; another third limp along at break-even, and the final third fail. How can you protect yourself? Do your homework up front. For example:

  • Visit the site of the Small Business Administration or Bplans.com to determine how best to put your business plan together. The discipline of writing a good business plan will help make sure you’ve thought through all of the details required to launch a business successfully.
  • Visit U.S. Government’s Patent and Trademark Office to make sure no one else has already claimed the name you’ve selected for your business. You can waste a lot of money and entangle yourself in unpleasant litigation by using some other organization’s trade name.
  • Visit NameBoy.com to develop interesting alternatives for the URL of your company’s Web-site. Yes, in today’s world, you absolutely must have a Web-site, and the more memorable its name, the better. For example, instead of using Jones.com, try JonesBestShirts.com.
  • CareerJournal.com recently offered some useful interviewing tips for job seekers. With my refinements, they are:

  • Study hard. Learn as much as you can about the job, the employer and its executives before the interview. Then, use this information to formulate questions that you ask the interviewer to determine whether the opportunity is right for you (which is no less important than the interviewer determining whether you’re right for the opportunity).
  • Have anecdotes ready. Many interviewers ask questions that require you to provide examples of how you handled a difficult problem or dealt with a specific work challenge. Don’t be long-winded in recounting your story and remember your objective: it’s not to tell a good tale, but rather to describe how good you were in dealing with the situation.
  • Be positive about the negative. You are also likely to be asked to describe a past misstep in your work. Should that happen, don’t dodge the issue-we’ve all made mistakes. Present the situation briefly but accurately and, most importantly, show how you learned from the experience.
  • PsyMax Solutions published the results of a study of the importance of “sociability” in 12 different industries. It wanted to know if a “highly engaging, expressive and lively style” was essential to career success. Interestingly, the study found that sociability is more important in climbing the ladder-division heads and vice presidents had an above average median sociability score of 72.2-than in making it at the top-CEOs had median sociability scores of just 57.9. What’s that mean for those interested in competing for the corner office? Your golf game may get you into the competition for a top executive position, but the winners will be selected for their creativity and ability to deliver results.

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