I just got an email from a recruiter with the subject line “America’s Got Talent, Just Not Enough.”
There are volumes of LinkedIn posts about the problems with employers, unrealistic job descriptions, and expectations. So this post isn’t about that.
I have hired hundreds of people in my career. While not all of them worked out due to a variety of reasons, most did. Here are my top 3 observations based on today’s lightening hot IT job market, remote workers, and life with COVID.
#3. Misses Opportunities to Grow.
Granted, 2020 was a barren year. 2021 a few steps better. But so many employed candidates chose to not educate themselves or grow in their existing or desired profession during those years! Top excuses:
- Covid Anxiety! You hibernated for 24 months?
- Didn’t Have Resources. Put any effort in to find any? So many free ones out there.
- Employer Didn’t Tell Me To. Uh, what?
- “I’ve been working on my ISACA CISA for two years”… That’s way too long. 6 months, tops.
- “I am working on my Microsoft MCSE”… Isn’t all exams associated with MCSE retired?
- Work On Education. Take some virtual classes . So much free content out there.
- Work On Labs. Used gear is aplenty these days. Get a lab up at home and a study book and get cracking.
- Work On Certification. If mastering a skill, why not get the certification to prove it? No excuses. Focus and get it done!
#2. Forgotten How to Interview.
T-Shirts, unshaven, and bad language rise to the top of notable bad behaviors. Here is my advice on getting back to being an ace on interviews:
- Dress for the job you want to have. Whether virtual or physical, put some effort in your appearance. Personally, I like the shirt and tie look for new IT professionals. Seasoned IT pros can get away with the turtle neck or polo.
- Cleanup for Interview. Beards are in, yes. But, uncombed hair? Unbrushed teeth? 5’oclock shadow? Just got out of the shower? No. Attention to your personal hygiene often parallels to attention to detail and ability to execute, especially in manager positions.
- Dropping the F-bomb. Which usually comes an apology right after, but again, how we communicate, verbally and in writing, equates to attention to detail, interpersonal savvy, and culture fit. Profanity should be minimal if not zero.
- Read Lou Adler’s Book: Hiring & Getting Hired. Off all the books I’ve read, this one rises to the top year after year. $1.44 on Amazon used paperback. $9.99 on Kindle. No excuse.
#1. Undersell You By Submitting a Poorly Written Resume.
Reading resumes does take experience and wisdom. In 2021, I’ve seen an upswing in really bad resumes. Here are the top mistakes I’ve noticed:
- Lots of Spelling and Grammatical Errors. One or two can slip, but 10+?
- Poor Formatting. Think really hard before downloading the Microsoft resume template and filling out.
- No Notable Achievements. Most people just list where they worked and what their job duties were. But what did you achieve while you were there?
- Lots and Lots of Product Skills. Listing 100+ products you have used once or twice doesn’t mean your a product expert. Or even your experienced. It becomes clear on the physical interview padding is occurring.
- Hire A Resume Writer. Investing in yourself. Expect to pay as $200, as much as $1500.
- Read Resume Writer Blogs. There is so much advice out there that can help you.
- Ask Your Family To Read Your Resume. Mom, dad, brother, or sister have a career? They may be a really good source for consulting.
Unsponsored Plug: Lisa Rangel with Chameleon Resumes is my favorite Resume Blogger who also offers webinars on multiple resume topics. “The Real Deal”.