You’ve worked for hours honing your resume to make it perfect. Your skills, accomplishments and experience are highlighted so that you look like the ideal candidate. You send it out to every job posting, job board and construction company out there and then wait patiently for your phone to start ringing. Waiting. Still waiting. Nothing. You’ve been told a million times how important your resume is so why do you get so little response to that golden document?
The first thing to understand is what the resume is and what it can and cannot do. Your resume is a brief introduction to your experience, skills and education and also provides your contact information. It gives employers, hiring managers or employment advisors a quick snapshot that either intrigues them further or disqualifies you based on their needs. Is that important? Yes. Will it get you a job on its own? No.
Let’s assume that your resume is well written, accurate and concise and it’s not being tossed simply because it’s not readable. Then ask yourself who you are sending it to. After all, if the person who makes the hiring decision never sees it, your resume won’t get you far. Before you send your resume, call the company, tell them what you are trying to do and ask them for the contact info of the most appropriate person to send your resume to. Try to call that person and tell them why you want to send them your resume and, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a minute or two to make your pitch.
Once you have sent it, there are two words that should be ringing in your ears: Follow Up! Call the person. Ask if they’ve received it, ask if they would like more information like a recent project list, see if they can tell you more about the position and try to initiate a discussion about why you think you might be a good fit. Ask them about the next step in their decision making process and offer to have them call you for more information. Don’t forget to thank them for their time.
There’s other things you can do to get your resume in the right hands. An employment advisor knows the decision makers, knows who is looking to fill a need (often not posted or advertised) and most importantly, learns what drives you and can see a potential match with an employer. They can then leverage their contacts and say, “I’ve met with this person and I really think you’d be interested in their resume.”By partnering with an employment advisor you’re also eliminating much of the competition as your resume be among the few in the hands of a potential employer rather than the many that apply for advertised positions.
You can also look up industry networking events to make connections with people who might be interested in what you have to offer. Another avenue is to see if you can volunteer with a company with the goal of showing them your stuff.