Overcoming Barriers to a Job Interview
Conducting an online job search has numerous advantages over the old-fashioned job hunt where you’d scour newspaper ads and later approach human resources clerks in person — a task that required a great deal of research, time, and travel. Today, online job listings are easy to search. Simply find a good match and submit your application with a click of a button.
If only it were truly that easy! In order to land that dream job, not only do you need to find it and apply for it, you must also overcome a few obstacles that stand in your way.
Get Past the Machines
Many human resources professionals use applicant tracking systems to help them better manage the influx of job applications. These systems are similar to customer relationship management software, but with features specific to recruitment. For example, a hiring manager might filter applications for a given job based on years of experience or some other factor to help them find the most experienced or otherwise qualified candidates. As helpful as these systems are to hiring managers, if your application doesn’t get past the filter, it won’t be seen at all!
For example, what if a filter is looking for specific keywords such as Microsoft Office, MS Word, and MS Excel and you used words like productivity software, word processors, and spreadsheets to describe your Microsoft Office skills? You may be 100 percent qualified, but your application will never be seen!
With that in mind, you need to get past the machines that hiring managers use. While it’s impossible to know which keywords have been programmed into the applicant tracking system for any given job, clues are likely in plain sight in the job listing. Using the same words and phrases that appear in the listing is a smart way to optimize your application so it has a chance of being a match. Thus, if a job opening specifically mentions Oracle Database 18c, and you have relevant skills or experience, make sure to include “Oracle Database 18c” in your application.
Make Sure You’re a Good Match
This should be obvious, but apply to jobs that you’re qualified for. It’s been said that up to 75 percent of applications come from unqualified or irrelevant individuals. In addition, your application should make it clear that you are, in fact, a good match. After making it past the filters, a hiring manager may quickly scan applications and resumes, spending mere seconds looking at your history to determine if your education, experience, and overall career path matches what they’re looking for. If your application doesn’t make a good first impression, it will be tossed aside.
Thus, you’ll want to make sure your application or resume is tightly focused on the job opening. The days of sending the same resume to different employers are long gone. You need to be prepared to customize each one.
The 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study found that one of the top barriers that recruiters encounter when identifying talent is that candidates don’t respond to phone calls and emails — 42 percent of respondents said this! Thus, assuming your application makes it past the machines and the first rounds of manual reviews, you’ll want to be sure to be available to take phone calls and respond to emails.
Identifying the potential barriers that stand between you and your next job is an important part of the online job search process and your ultimate success in getting interviewed and landing your dream job. Start your job search now!