JOBS – How to Compete

Traditional: University, Major, Major, Major, Degree, Job, Career?

Your Future: Who You Are, Career, Major, Degree, University, Job

In our last post titled JOBS, we looked at some important data about the relationship between an education and unemployment and income. It provides important evidence about why it is so important to learn.

Buzz Today Source: The Wall Street Journal. Procter & Gamble Inc. got nearly a million applications last year for 2,000 new positions plus vacant jobs. And the Texas Roadhouse Inc. gets as many as 400 resumes for a job opening within 24 hours after listing it online.

What the Department of Labor data in the JOBS post shows, is that it is not only about getting your degree, it is really about learning more in general. That is why I call this blog Learn Prosper. The data shows that for both unemployment and income, more post secondary education is always better. The data shows that an associates degree is more valuable than some education but no degree and that each degree there after – bachelors, masters, Ph.D./professional decreases your likelihood of being unemployed and increases the probability of higher income. The can be no other conclusion than the fact that learning is good for your job and income prospects no matter what the Non-Degree crowd is saying.

In the face of the BUZZ Today information we see here, combined with the data we saw about Starbucks in the last post titled JOBS, it is very clear that merely submitting resumes is not a successful way to compete. When you look at it from the hiring company(s) point of view, you can see why submitting a resume does not work in today’s job market. No one can read 7.6 million or even a million or even 400 resumes for every job.

What companies are doing is using computer software, what are called bots (short for robots) to scan candidate credentials. The approach is to eliminate resumes from consideration to narrow the candidates down to a manageable number. Here are a couple of pointers about this. When the job posting says “bachelor degree required and 3 – 5 years of experience in the field” they mean it. Recent data indicates that as many as 60% of the jobs in the future will require some form of post secondary education.

If you do not have the education and the experience listed, the bot throws your submission out right at the beginning. From there, the bot is looking for matches of key words. The match is between the words in the job posting description and the words in your application and resume. One word of advice. In this case more is not better. What the bot is looking for is matches, not volume. It’s all about the bots.

The harsh reality is that bots are really stupid. They are not designed to interpret and infer. They match key words. If you do not have the key words they are looking for, they do not advance your case to the hiring manager. This is why it is so important to follow the path of Your Future above. Working with O*NET data to understand careers that match who you are is the place to start. From there, the major you chose to study and the degree you earn will put you in area of job opportunities that match who you are. Details on how to best do that are in Your Future is Calling.

From there, it is well worth your effort to really be disciplined about the key words in the job posting to make sure that your submission has the greatest chance of the bot finding the match. Unfortunately the bots are not looking for your potential five years from now. They are looking for what you can do today. It is all about the key word matches.

The other big “gotcha” in the job market is that common phrase: “3-5 years of experience”. More on that in the next post.

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