Peter Cappelli, Professor of Management and director of the Center for Human Resources at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania recently offered some sound advice that could be invaluable to MBAs in the throes of a job hunt.
Cappelli, the author of “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs” says simply in a New York Times ‘Workologist’ column, “Write the résumé around the job description.”
This may seem obvious, but any of us who have labored over choosing just the right words to describe why we’re the best candidate know that it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and lose sight of just what the employer is seeking.
The reality is that companies widely use technology to scan through résumés rather than human eyes. So, those who seek to compete with thousands of other Job Hunters must master the art of résumé optimization – making their qualifications stand out to the ‘robotic’ audience that’s giving it a first read.
Professor Cappelli notes that the systems that employers and recruiters use are “designed more to cut out thousands of résumés, and less to find diamonds in the rough.” Good to keep in mind, the column also suggests, is the practice of thinking from the employer’s perspective. What key words or phrases would a potential boss search for when filling a position? Job hunters would be wise to use those terms as specifically as possible to describe experience.
Available from Wharton’s Digital Press, Professor Cappelli’s book expounds on these ideas, and explores the so-called ‘skills gap’ that many employers report when conducting recruitment efforts.
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