ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

AT THE OFFICE: Improving the job search odds

The U.S. Department of Labor reported this month that job seekers outnumber reported job openings by about 5 to 1. That helps explain job hunters' protracted searches.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported this month that job seekers outnumber reported job openings by about 5 to 1. That helps explain job hunters' protracted searches.

Competition for available jobs is fierce. With so many applicants, employers have the luxury to wait for the perfect candidate.

Here are ways to appear "perfect" for your target job:

--- Apply only for the positions for which you can make the case that you're a good fit. You'll just depress yourself and get no responses by applying for longer-shot jobs.

--- Tailor your resume for the published requirements. Show how your professional experience dovetails with the job.

ADVERTISEMENT

---If you're trying to change industries, translate industry jargon or titles to make it clear how your skills and experience are transferable.

---Research compensation structures in the industry and company so that you don't price yourself out of consideration or appear "overqualified."

---Augment your resume with a cover letter or attachment offering a strong sales, marketing, quality or productivity improvement idea.

---Give names and correct contact information for references who you know will say positive things about you. Keep your references updated so that they don't say, "I know Mary really wants to work as an events planner" when you've applied for a public relations job.

---If you're stuck with an online application system, answer every question.

---Be prepared for a first-round telephone screening. Be ready with solid answers to questions you'd expect in an interview, including "Why do you want to work here?"

---Have a clear, benign e-mail address, such as your name, rather than something silly like "boogerboy" or "easygrrrl."

---Have a clear, straightforward recorded greeting on your cell phone and landline -- no music, no kids, no sayings, no background noise.

ADVERTISEMENT

Can you do all this and still not get a response? Sure. Remember the 5-to-1 ratio. But doing these things should improve your odds of a follow-up.

(Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at The Kansas City Star. Her "Your Job" blog at economy.kansascity.com includes daily posts about job-related issues of wide interest. She can be reached at dstafford@kcstar.com .)

What To Read Next
Louis and Cyril Keller are the inventors of the Bobcat skid-steer loader and were selected as 2023 inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
So far, there are three signed tenants. They are Tropical Smoothie Café, My Salon Suites and Palm Beach Tan. Plans call for 10 to 15 total tenants.
Alerus Center staff expected a sellout of all 2,500 tickets. All 500 VIP tickets sold out.
A recruitment search will be starting in the next couple of weeks, said Annie Bonzer, Altru spokesperson.