Alvarez Technology Group president and CEO Luis Alvarez sat down with Rebecca Costa of the Costa Report to talk about job seeking and what applicants can do to improve their chances of landing the jobs they want.
The discussion opened with Alvarez’s observation on job growth – or the lack of it – in the United States as the country slowly recovers from the 2008recession.
He started by quoting the following statistics:
- By mid-2012, the U.S. had 14 million unemployed or underemployed citizens, despite the availability of roughly 4 million jobs.
- According to a study conducted by Manpower staffing agency, 49% of U.S. employers said that they couldn’t find qualified candidates to fill their job openings.
Alvarez believes that computerized hiring systems keep qualified job seekers and employers from connecting. One of the biggest culprits is keywords. If an applicant’s resume doesn’t contain keywords that match those in a job description posted on a job board or a company’s website, it may be ignored or discarded. On the other hand, employers have used technology to create job descriptions so extensive and specific that no one could meet all of the criteria.
Alvarez recommends using a combination of technology and good old fashioned legwork such as hand delivering a resume to a company’s HR department. Other advice includes:
- Don’t just upload a resume to a job board or company website and then wait to hear from someone.
- Job seekers should use social media by letting their social media contacts know that they’re job seeking, what kinds of skills they have, and what kinds of jobs they’re looking for.
- Use social media to find job openings because a lot of companies post jobs on Facebook and LinkedIn as well as Monster, CareerBuilder and other job boards.
- Use the Internet to research the companies they want to work for in order to be able to speak intelligently during an interview.
The discussion also touched on the growing trend of video resumes. Alvarez cited another study in which 89% of employers said that they would rather have a video resume than a paper one.