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Glenford Smith | A resume for each job

Published:Thursday | August 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM

QUESTION: I can't understand why I don't get any callbacks from my job applications. I send off copies of my rÈsumÈs to various places where I think they would need someone. Yet, I have not got a callback from even one. It's really frustrating. What am I doing wrong?

- Kelly

CAREERS: Thank you for your email. I sympathise with you and want to commend your industry and conscientiousness in trying to find a job. At least you are actively sending your rÈsumÈ out.

I'm afraid, though, that you are going about it all wrong. You have sent me what you regard as your rÈsumÈ, which you have sent to the various companies. In this day and age, however, there is no such thing. Let me explain.

You must have a letter for each company or job as potential employees can see through generic letters. Every rÈsumÈ and cover letter needs to be specified to the position for which you are applying. Perhaps that is one of the reasons you do not get any callbacks.

If a company says it's looking for someone with the experience A, B and C, then you'd better list your experience with or knowledge of A, B or C clearly in your rÈsumÈ. Your rÈsumÈ and cover letter should basically be a rewrite of the job description. In other words, Kelly, you have to show that you aren't interested in merely looking for a job you are looking for this job.

You might be wondering if I expect you to know all of this when you are only sending out your rÈsumÈ to see what work, if any, the company has available. The answer is yes, I really do expect you to know this if finding a job is important to you. I know it is super time-consuming, but you are currently getting no callbacks. That is because you are doing it all wrong.

Concentrate on one company at a time. Put all your time and attention into the company that you would most like to work for. You should know the name of the person who will be getting and reading your rÈsumÈ. Find out what problems and frustrations they are having. When you present yourself, you should do so as the solution to a specific problem in a specific part of the company.

Your potential employers will not have the time to look for a generic rÈsumÈ and cover letter. You may or may not be the solution they are looking for. They have limited time. And remember, they have computer programmes that scan your rÈsumÈ for relevance and appropriateness.

You have to invest time and energy in your job search, Kelly. You must be intentional and focused. Give the employer minimal work to do; show him at a glance that you are familiar with and knowledgeable enough about his company. Show him that you have the answer to his problems, and see if he does not take up his phone and call you in for an interview.

All the best to you.

n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.