It’s Not Your Resume…It’s You
Okay…let me correct that title a bit. It very well MIGHT be your resume. Here’s how I know:
In consults with prospective clients, I ask them if they are currently in a job search or just at the starting blocks. If they tell me they have been job searching, I ask them for these metrics:
# of applications:
# of interviews:
# of job offers:
This information is invaluable because it gives me tremendous insight into where their problems might lie.
As a general rule of thumb, here are the conversion metrics I want to see:
100 applications yield 10 interviews with 10 different companies
10 interviews with 10 different companies yields 1 job offer
Candidate #1 – Let’s call her Sally
# of applications: 200
# of interviews: 2
Here’s what I now know: It is either Sally’s resume, the positions Sally is applying for, or a combination of both.
Remember, 200 interviews should convert to about 20 interviews with 20 different companies, so it’s likely that Sally’s resume doesn’t properly market her for these positions.
Also, unless Sally has been searching for ages, it’s tough to find 200 positions she is really interested in and fully qualified for, so I suspect our candidate is throwing an application at most everything that moves.
Candidate #2 – Let’s call him Jim
# of applications: 50
# of interviews: 20
# of job offers: 0
In this scenario, Jim is getting a great return on the applications, but not converting the interviews into job offers.
I’m going to take a look at Jim’s resume, but I’m more concerned with his interview skills and how he is executing his follow-up.
My conversion metrics here are that 20 interviews should generate 2 job offers – maybe not the jobs Jim wants to take, but offers nonetheless.
I’m going to ask how many 2nd or 3rd interviews Jim has had. I’m going to ask for specifics about who Jim interviewed with, how the interview process went, and any feedback he got from anyone he interviewed with.
Jim likely needs coaching on interviewing and interview follow-up.
Candidate #3 – Let’s call her Beth
# of applications: 6
# of interviews: 1
# of job offers: 1 (was for a job she had absolutely no interest in from the start, but interviewed for anyway for “practice”)
Let’s say Beth has been job searching for 6 months. Here’s the problem with Beth: She isn’t actually job searching at all. She’s playing at it.
In this scenario, I want to look at Beth’s resume…I have no way of knowing if it’s a good one because there are virtually no metrics.
I’m pretty sure Beth needs heavy-duty job search coaching. And we need to begin with what she believes about herself as a job candidate and what she believes about the job market (especially in 2020).
Beth is probably stymied by her belief that there are no jobs out there and/or that she won’t be a viable candidate for any positions she really wants. Too much competition; she doesn’t have [fill in the blank] that all the other candidates will surely have, or that she is too [fill in the blank] to be a viable candidate.
Whenever I have a client whose job search has stalled, I know we must begin with their mindset. If we try to start with action steps without cleaning up the underlying beliefs, there will be an inevitable collision that won’t yield the results the clients wants.
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