The breakdown of communication between hopeful graduates and future employers

Hey Communication Minded friends! To help us say goodbye to July, we have guest blogger Timothy Holland. Timothy is a 2015 graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with degrees in creative writing and theatre. Currently in the job-hunt himself, he writes today’s post in order to offer some fresh insight into the job application process, as well as to give some tips to help you stand out in the digital and real world. Timothy looks forward to finding a fulfilling position where he can let his creativity take flight. He has previously worked as a lifeguard and performed an internship at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

The breakdown of communication between hopeful graduates and future employers

Statistically, if you are a recent graduate you haven’t found a job. Not even talking about a career where you want to spend the next 30 some years, but just a place to find some source of income. One reason that you might have problems with finding a vocation is because employers now have software tools to help them check resumes.

When my parents applied for jobs after graduating college they would go to the store, fill out an application right there and hear back from an employer within the next few weeks. They would always hear back. They would know if they didn’t get the job and not have to wonder for months on end.

Nowadays people are familiar with turning in applications and resumes online. You go to the website, fill out some questions, upload your resume, and they get back to you in four to six weeks. While you’re waiting, your resume goes through a program that will read it for the employer. It looks for a select few words, and only if you pass its guidelines will your resume then be given to your employer to read.

It is easy to understand why employers use this software in the modern age. With all the hopeful employees out there, the amount of applications coming in daily must be frightening to any one manager.

I recently had the pleasure to speak with a manager at a wholesale company. When I asked about the programs and software, they attested to receiving so many applicants that it would take days just to go through them, and within those days more would come flooding in.

I asked how a potential employee could meet with managers if they are supposed to turn in an application online and had to wait for a response. The manager recommended walking into the store about once a week and inquiring about your application, even going so far as to ask to speak with the manager. The manager commented that due to applicants never knowing when or even if they will hear back from the perspective employer, they have a right to go into the store and check on the process – unless otherwise stated by the job ad. By repeatedly seeing you (hopefully to the point you’re not a bother) the likelihood of employment goes up. You may also call them if you’re uncomfortable with being in the building or if you can’t make it to the site often. An email is okay as well; I personally consider it more convenient and polite, however emails can be easily lost where as a phone call goes directly to someone.

To battle a few of the digital resume obstacles, here are a couple of tips I learned in a few of my undergraduate classes. Carefully read the job ad and use the words that you see in the ad. Specific words like “managed,” “created,” “improved,” “trained,” and etc. Look for what they are looking for and spin yourself to fit their needs.

I wish everyone good luck in the job hunt!

Timothy Holland



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