I’ve been recently going through stacks and stacks of resumes that were received from our online recruiting application site. To my dismay it’s been a really, really, tough slog finding potential candidates to schedule the first interview and in my frustration I started a discussion on my Alumni’s discussion board on LinkedIn titled “Pet Peeve: Job Applicants who don’t read Job Descriptions”. I outlined the various resume pitfalls that I’ve seen that are easily rectified:
- Tailoring the cover letter and resume to the position being applied for. This includes mentioning the position in the cover letter and telling me why your particular background makes you an ideal candidate. Not just “my seven years if industry experience makes me an ideal candidate”.
- Making sure that the resume isn’t just explaining what you’re duties were in previous positions, but what accomplishments did you achieve in those positions. i.e. don’t tell me “responsible for x,y,z” – that just tells me your job. Tell me something like “spearheaded the launch of product x into a new region”
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but these seem pretty easy things to do in order to standout from the crowd. What I wasn’t prepared for was the pent up frustrations of job applicants about the hiring practice to the extent where some believe that the mountain of poor applications is the fault of the employer themselves! Here’s a summary of what came up:
- We do all of these things and we don’t get an interview.
- We don’t receive feedback why we didn’t get an interview.
- We don’t receive an acknowledgement that you received our application.
- Sometimes it takes months for you guys to get back to us for an interview or to tell us we didn’t get the position.
- When we’re turned down for a position we get a “wishy washy” response to why we weren’t chosen.
- Your job description doesn’t accurately reflect reality.
- You have sketchy job descriptions and don’t post salary ranges/expectations.
Basic common courtesy was the common reason cited for the lack of people putting in the effort or being disenfranchised of the hiring process. However I’m wondering if this rise in poor resumes cluttering up HR systems is making it difficult to locate the “star” candidates i.e. it’s like searching through a needle in a haystack! If this is the case, are job hunting and recruiting services like Monster and Workopolis, as well as a company’s own hiring website being rendered useless? Are we returning to the days where networking between individuals is the best source of recruiting talent?
Networking today is very different from just 15 years; instead of meeting people face to face and keeping a stack of business cards (or a Rolodex if you want to go that far back) we now have social networking websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and many others that we use to maintain our personal and professional relationship on. We can even get introduced to prospective employers and employees through mutual contacts who recommend us to others. Back in 2011, over 18 million Americans said that Facebook helped them land a job and MBAOnline created an interesting infographic depicting the social media giant’s influence ability to connect qualified job seekers with open positions
Created by: MBAOnline.com
Combine the big 3 in social networking and you have over 36 million people who have found employment through these online services! If this trend continues, your connections will become even more important for finding jobs; your ability to brand yourself on services such as About.me, and promoting your expertise via blogs, podcasts, twitter will become essential.
What’s you’re take on job hunting and recruiting online? Are you finding qualified candidates posting job descriptions and using a process that is no different from taking out an ad in a newspaper? Are you frustrated with the online hiring process and the lack of netiquette? Have we lost the online recruiting and employment war? I’d love to hear your opinions!
(Big thank you to the University of Guelph Alumni Group on LinkedIn and those who participated in this discussion for inspiring this post!)