Job Seeker Tips

By Norma Bauer, Employment Specialist, Tuesday Night Job Club Facilitator, and WCGL Board Member

Think Like An Employer

Think like an employer and you’ll improve your chances of getting that interview and ultimately, a job offer! In your heart, you know they want you, right? Let’s face it: you’re a hard worker, show up everyday, get along with everyone, have some really good skills... Who wouldn’t want to hire you, right?

...but employers don’t always see it that way. It shows right on your resume that you worked 9 years at the same place, so it’s evident that you’re loyal and get along with people. It shows that you worked three jobs at the same time, too, so obviously, you have a lot of energy and organizational ability. Well, maybe they’ll get it. But, maybe not. Employers, particularly the staff in the human resources department, spend very little time looking at each resume. They may or may not notice what is so evident to you. You have to tell them in an executive summary or the letter of application. You have to draw the line for them so they’ll see that there’s a direct connection between what they want and what you have to offer.

Generally, employers want three things:

  1. Someone with the demonstrated skill, recent experience, and credentials to do the job.
  2. Someone who’ll get along in their workplace.
  3. Someone who’ll show up every day.

Knowing this, be sure to note, on your resume (if it applies to you):

  1. Evidence that you have a skill (note how much, how many you delivered—some performance outcomes of your productivity. Get some numbers in there.)
  2. Evidence that you have the credentials: certificates of training completed, continuing education credits, on the job training you’ve received, etc.
  3. Evidence that you have experience in the field. Put it in a “Relevant experience” category so you can escape the strict chronological order that might emphasize other skills. Be sure to include any volunteer experience; it’s irrelevant that you didn’t get paid for it.
  4. Evidence that you get along with people (stable work history, merit increases, promotions, progressive growth in responsibility)
  5. Evidence that you show up every day: perfect attendance record, seldom late / tardy, reliable transportation, etc.

Avoid claims that you are (for example) honest, trustworthy, loyal. Think about what evidence you can provide that will cause them to draw those conclusions about you. Put the evidence into your resume or letter of application; it’s much more convincing than an unsubstantiated claim.

Remember, too, that people in hiring positions don’t have a lot of time. Don’t give them a wordy / generic objective. Incorporate a clear and explicit statement of the kind of position you’re looking for: Office administration? Sales? Production? Give them a clue! Don’t make them guess that you’d do maintenance if you were really hoping for a machine operator position.

In general, be factual and concise when preparing a resume.