In Fact, It’s Made It A Lot More Difficult. How? Because everyone and his mom has access to millions of job listings. Used to be, if you lived in Iowa and saw a job opening, you could be pretty sure that you were only going to be competing with other Iowans for that job. But not today – thanks to the Monster.coms of the world, millions of people from Tokyo to Texas to Timbuktu all have access to that little Iowa job listing.
And that’s not all. Your worldwide competitors don’t even have to air-mail their resumes across the pond. It’s all done in one click of the mouse.
Now, at first, you probably think that’s a great thing. From the comfort and privacy of your computer desk, you can apply for 200 jobs around the world in just a couple of hours, right? Sweet!
Well…ok, that’s pretty sweet, I’ll give you that. But the picture gets dimmer when you realize that, because it’s so easy to do, millions of other people are out there doing the same thing. They’re applying for the same jobs you’re applying for, flooding the employers with thousands and thousands of resumes… and burying yours underneath them all. Each resume that comes in is one that might be better than yours.
So thanks to the Web, every job posted today will get hundreds of applicants, if not thousands. The person in charge of reviewing the resumes – who almost always has other, more time-consuming duties than hiring new people — doesn’t review these all right as they come in. I know, I know – in your mind, they grab your envelope the minute the mail carrier drops off the mail, rip it open, and immediately read it carefully, marveling at all your accomplishments. They can’t help but smile about what a fine individual you must be.
What really happens is this: they get tossed in a pile or an email folder, and when the time comes to finally review them, there’s a stack. A fucking HUGE stack.You might be at the top — that’s good, because the first one is always remembered fairly well. You might be at the bottom — that’s good, too, because the last one is the freshest and easiest to remember. But likely, you’ll be in the middle, and that’s not good. People in the middle get forgotten much more often than those at the top or bottom – that’s a simple fact that you probably learned in Psych 101.
For this one particular life exercise — finding a job — you have to unlearn all the nice self-esteem lessons about how unique you are and how no one else is like you, blah blah blah. But there are ways to differentiate yourself.
As an employer, my time is valuable. Employer mindset is that simply by picking this up and looking at it, I’m doing you a favor. This is especially true now, in a situation where there are 100 people applying for every job and internship you post. So before I even lay eyes on it, you owe me to make the content of this resume worth my time to read it. Everything you include on it should be worth reading. Most people don’t – most people screw up in some way. Making it worth my time involves many things: