Interviewing is an issue fraught with myth, controversy and sweaty palms. There are a myriad of books and articles on the subject, many of which conflict with one another. One expert will tell you to be yourself while another will intone with a flourish, "Job search is theater!"
Back in the 1950's, a Time Magazine reporter interviewed a world-famous pianist about his work. The reporter asked: "What's most challenging about playing the piano?" The pianist thought for a moment and replied: "I do OK with the notes, but the spaces between the notes give me lots of trouble." What he meant, of course, was that he was very competent at the mechanics of playing the piano, but found the subtlety and nuance of making music, getting the "spaces between the notes" right, a continual life-long challenge.
To give yourself an advantage in the screening process, your first priority should be to concentrate on each job opening and create an email (or letter if you prefer) that speaks to the requirements the company hopes to fill. Here are suggestions for encouraging a recruiter to put your correspondence at the top of the interview pile .
Responding to all job listings with your one, perfect resume is a sure way to commit job-search suicide, even if you've created a tailored cover letter. Potential employers want to know specifically what you can do for them, so if you craft your resume for each opening, the screener is more likely to note the difference and give you the opportunity to talk in person. Here are some time-tested guidelines for writing a tailored resume:
Trying to find a job by calling people you don't know and asking them for help probably sounds dreadful, like a cross between telemarketing and door-to-door sales. After all, nobody likes rejection, and this job-search strategy is sure to provoke a rash of apologies and unreturned phone calls.
Q : Last week I was told for the third time in the past five years that my company is being acquired. While I haven't been let go yet, I know it's only a matter of time until my department is eliminated or moved to another state. Consequently, I'm revamping my resume once more. Is there any way I can minimize my changing jobs three times in the last five years, all at small companies, and de-emphasize the recent gaps in my employment –Paul, Seattle, Wash.