When I first moved to Oregon, I was almost fined $500 for pumping my own gas. An irate gas attendant came out of the building and yelled at me to put the pump down. Startled, I did as he said. I got back in the car while my friend asked what the problem was. The attendant informed us that in the state of Oregon, it is illegal to pump your gas. I thought that was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard. Until, I found out the reason behind it. Oregon uses this everyday task to create paid jobs. Yes, our gas is more expensive, but those extra few dollars are helping someone pay their rent and feed their family.
After living in Oregon for seventeen years, I’m not sure if I remember how to pump gas. The pumps have changed, and you can now slide your debit card in the machine, and no longer have to pay inside the store. I am guessing the pump systems have evolved not only in the last seventeen years, but even in the last few! I don’t think anyone will disagree that technology is changing from day to day.
Now, what in the world does pumping or not pumping gas have anything to do with a resume or a job interview? Everything, if you don’t understand what and how to do it. You might not have a mad gas attendant yelling at you, but you won’t get positive results either. And, although I think it’s an excellent idea to create jobs at gas stations, if you’re reading this, you don’t want to have to apply at one.
Gas pumps aren’t the only things that have changed. The job market has scattered quicker than pollen this time of year. I’ve heard of layoffs from IBM, Microsoft and NBTY just to name few. With the job market over saturated are you prepared to navigate a new position with your resume? Do you understand the changes, not only in the market but, the hiring process too? Do you know what a recruiter is looking for or even how to make sure your resume reaches a HUMAN? You read that correctly; you can apply online, think you apply successfully and never realize the system has kicked you out. Why? It could be due to a number of factors including not having appropriate keywords. What’s worse? You won’t ever know the difference.
What is a frustrated job seeker to do? Stay calm and do your research.
1. What kind of format is the company calling for? If you are applying online, then you will need to make sure you have an ATS format as well as use the appropriate keywords in order to bypass the system and reach a human.
2. If the job qualifications require a degree and you don’t have one, don’t apply. When you check the answer “no” on the application, the system will eliminate your information without as much as a thank you. Unfortunately, you just wasted your time.
3. Follow companies on LinkedIn. Find out what they do, what problems they need to solve, and what role can you fill for them. The more you understand the value you bring to a company, not only have you aligned yourself to solve their problems, but you are more prepared than 90% of applicants.
4. If you are trying to figure out which direction you should go then check out http://www.onetonline.org/. This is an amazing tool that can help you simplify your job search.
5. Not every person is the right fit for every position. Have a bit of fun, learn more about yourself, and take the free personality test at http://www.truity.com/.
6. And, most importantly, as Dori said in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.”