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Improve Your Job Search – 7 Simple Changes

Not happy with your job search results?  A few simple changes in your process will significantly improve your callback ratio.  Not happy with your job search results?  A few simple changes in your process will significantly improve your callback ratio.  

  1. Study your resume. Does the top half contain all the appropriate keywords the job position is listing?  At the very least, your resume should have a career or skills statement at the top that contains those keywords.  When applying for different positions, customize that statement to include their specific keywords.
  2. Do not spend more the 10% of your time browsing the big job boards.  Surveys show these have the lowest possible chance of success with the greatest competition.   Your return on efforts spend are seldom rewarded.
  3. Every day, MAIL  at least 3 resumes a day to companies you would like to work for. Address them to your boss’s boss – not HR, and write “personal/confidential” in the lower left-hand corner. The idea here is for the big boss to give your information to the person you would be working under.  In this way, it looks like his boss is recommending you.  This “direct marketing” gets your information two steps past the resume boards and directly in front of the decision maker.
  4. Improve on your Personal Network of working people at different companies.  Make at least three contacts toward this goal.  The more working people that are made aware of your job search, the better chances you have of getting that “inside” job referral.  Remember, over 60% of jobs are filled through these types of referrals.  These opportunities are never posted anywhere. Be one of the lucky ones.
  5. Keep your online profiles and status updated on all social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, where ever.  
  6. Be active in groups, blogs, and social circles – those that might have inside information to job openings and would likely refer you for the opportunity.  Again, over 60% of jobs are filled through referrals.
  7. Even if it is not your area of interest, consider working contract or temp jobs to your foot in the door.  The object is to get people to notice you. People appreciate talent only after they see it in action. 

Other helpful articles are available by simply visiting our Personal Career Portal.  Just click on the above “Job Seekers” tab, then the “Get Career Help” tab in the right menu bar.

The 90 Second Interview

Recently, I was reading an article from Undercover Recruiter. The survey results were not too surprising to us from the older generations, but many in the under 40 crowd will definitely not like the findings. Of 2000 bosses surveyed, 33% said they knew within the first 90 seconds of the interview whether they would hire the applicant or not.

What you need to know in a nutshell:


  1. 65% said clothes and the way in which they were worn was a deciding factor when comparing applicants. If they did not dress to the interviewer’s standards… forget it.  File 13.
  2. 55% said the way a person dresses, walks into the office and acts heavily influenced their opinion of the person. Dress, act, walk in like you don’t care – the company will not care either.
  3. 67% of the hiring authorities said the lack of eye contact did not reflect well
  4. Number one request: “Tell me about yourself.”   Practice your answer and get it right.
  5. Number one mistake: Not asking for the job.
  6. Having no knowledge of what the company does is one of the most common mistakes.  If you don’t care enough about the company to visit their website, then they don’t need you.


Other items that knocked applicants out of the running were: not smiling, bad posture, crossing your arms, and the lack of enthusiasm. Additional questions you should be prepared for are:


  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Tell me about how your experience relates to this job.
  • Why did you leave your last job?


Now that you know this: be prepared, look the part of a person who wants the job, and know what job you are going after. Good luck!

Applying Everywhere, but Still No Job?

Please help me!

When you reply to a job opening by sending a resume or completing an online application, how many entries do you think that company receives? How many do you think the well known resume banks like Simply Hired, Career Builder, or Monster receive? How do you get noticed?

One of Two Things Happen to Your Information

One, it gets placed in a very large pile of resumes and applications on someone’s desk, or two – it gets scanned into a resume bank. Either way it gets buried, most likely gone forever if not written correctly.

True story

One hiring authority, with two large stacks of resumes on her desk, said she did not have time to go through every resume. When queried about her method of choosing the correct fit if she did not go through each resume, she replied “I grab a stack, thumb to the middle and pick the first person who appears qualified.” 

To Get Noticed, Use Key Words

If it gets scanned into a data bank, the only way you will get noticed is if your information contains the same exact keyword or keyword phrases the hiring manager will use to search for applicants. How likely will your information be found? An over simplified example: if HR is searching for a skill they call “customer specialist” for their company, only resumes containing “customer specialist” will be returned because that will be their search phrase.  While everyone practices customer service, few people call it “customer specialist.” So, list very descriptive job duties in various ways in your general resume that include keyword or phrases hiring authorities might use in searches. Attempt to add variables where it makes sense.  When you conduct Google searches, you use keywords and phrases – so do they. Better yet, want to know what words or phrases a particular firm is using? Look at their job posting! Their ads will give you their keywords, keyword phrases and titles! Customizing your resume for each company by working their own keywords into your resume will increase visibility. Companies search by what is familiar to them, their titles, and their descriptions. Use that knowledge to your advantage. Doing otherwise dooms your resume or application to suffocation in some over-bloated databank.

Now the Secret Weapon – STOP sending in job applications and resumes just be added to some “stack,” but that’s another story on creativity.

Looking for a jobs in Waco, TX?  Visit our job board.