A typographical error? No.
The last time I applied for a job, or better yet, the last time I created a resume, Lehman Brothers announced their bankruptcy which triggered a global recession, yup my friends, that was 2008. That year made me realize that I needed to make some changes, I went back to the drawing board and ended up finding my passion: web design, no regrets. I was having a great career as a freelancer until I got this idea that I wanted to work for an agency. I’ve never worked for an agency or anyone for that matter, it’s always been just me. Don’t ask why, I think you know, it’s like an obsession, if you don’t have it, you want it. The decision was made.
Back in the day you could have a killer resume, not know anything about the job, have an MBA or a college degree, joke and trash talk with the interviewer, and, about 25 minutes after the interview you could expect a callback. That fast, that’s how things went. Now, in 2019, I quickly realize that things have changed. I looked at all the job postings that were available in Albuquerque, NM and I had ZERO worries about finding a job. I got denied the first three jobs. I was in disbelief, how could they? I’ve been endorsed by some of the Godfathers of web and graphic design, I have this and ….well. I do admit I went into an emotional “how dare they” tirade, and, for those that know me to know how quiet, respectful, and humble I am, but, yeah, not that day. I say to myself something just doesn’t make sense, my brain is just not pumping on all cylinders. I reach out to my partner, who at this point wants to wring my neck for quitting my day job, I asked her what her thoughts were. She tells me that my resume sucks and has sucked since I started this loss of an adventure. I get it. I start reaching out to professional resume writers on LinkedIn just to get some ideas on what to do. They all want money before they even sit down to visit with me, but, I have to admit, their streamline process is quite impressive. But, there is one resume professional that ends up talking to me and points me in the right direction, @Stephanie Lindquist , thank you, Stephanie, for helping me. Stephanie is a professional resume writer, that is just one of her talents, that can help anyone get to the next level of their careers.
I start to investigate this resume situation and find the most horrific evidence that once again lands me in a state of shock. ATS. Applicant Tracking System, for the web designers out there, it’s like a mini SEO for your resume, for those that are not web designers, it’s a resume ranking system that ranks your resume based on the job description. Breaking it down, even more, it’s like this:
A SIMPLE WAY OF ANALYZING ATS
- Go print out your resume and the job description
- Have a pen or pencil handy
- Put your resume in your left hand and the job description in your right hand
- Start circling keywords (hard skills) that appear in both your resume and job the description
- Keywords or hard skills that are relevant to your industry
- In my world, some keywords are design, social media, web designer, adobe creative cloud, etc. You get the picture.
Do you see any keywords or hard skills that are on the job description and on your resume? If so, you rock, if not, don’t worry, either way, you’re going to have to move to the next section.
BEST WAY OF ANALYZING ATS
Go to Jobscan to have your resume optimized based on the job description you want to apply for. You go to their homepage, scroll down to the bottom, input the requested documentation, and see what your score is. Anything under 80% and you’re probably not going to get a call for an interview. What did I get? The first score I got was a 41%, even though I could do that job blindfolded, the ATS score said I couldn’t. Disclaimer: Jobscan will not put your resume together for you or give you advice or anything like that, this is just a tool if you need help with everything else contact @Stephanie Lindquist.
I’m sure many of you knew this, especially the millennial’s out there, but, well, I didn’t. So, I then go into a mental tirade on how can they do this? How can a system be this cut and dry? Do you realize how many talented and qualified individuals didn’t know this process and simply gave up and went to another industry because a computer system told them that they weren’t qualified? 30%. That’s a staggering number. Almost 3 out of every 10 candidates will give up if they cannot find a job in the industry that they love, are good in, or want to be in. Furthermore, only 2% get passed this phase of the interview process, so, 98% get the book thrown at them. There are crazy numbers out there, like maybe scoring an 80% is better than a 100%, or measuring your results in numbers versus words ( I increased profits by 46%) or even what action verbs you started your sentence out with, science-based data has exploded this industry of getting a job.
DID IT WORK? WHAT’S NEXT?
I ended up getting Jobscan’s Premium plan for free, you sign up for a 3-month plan and you get the first month free. Excellent deal. Then I went to work. It took me a weekend to finally get the results I was looking for; 91%. I applied for my first job with the new plan on Monday ( 5 days ago) and got a call back for an interview yesterday for next week. It’s working, slowly, as is this blog post.
This is Part 1 of a three-part series of how to get hired in today’s technological climate. The resume comes first, even if you were going to make up a completely fake profile, you got it, resume comes first. I’m simply going through my experiences and what I’ve learned so far. What I have learned disturbed me more than you can imagine. One of the jobs that I applied for actually or accidentally had a link on their application page that was questionable on whether or not it should have been there. I clicked on said link and it took me to this page: visibility software. Ah, the webs we weave. This is real my friends, this is happening. Check this out.
My recommendations are simple for this first topic:
- Revisit your resume. Please.
- Go talk with @Stephanie Lindquist she will help you.
- Go to JobScan to get your ATS score and a free ATS template
For now, if you only do those three things I guarantee you results, I promise things will get better. So, I’m off to learn more and see what Part 2 of this series will bring, I have a feeling I already know what.