job search thinking outside the box

job search thinking outside the boxJob Search Thinking Outside The Box


Job Search Thinking outside the box might just be the answer for those of us that don’t understand how to use keywords to find a job.  Applicant Tracking Systems have taken over a huge part of the hiring process today and if you are one that does not understand this, sending a resume can become like throwing your resume into a huge lake of other fish that understand the secret to keywords and how to attract a computer’s attention.

Computers and keywords are beginning to take over the typical job search.  Several years ago, I realized that in order to job search thinking outside the boxwork with companies to help them find quality applicants, I had to adjust my mind to how a computer would perceive a perspective employee.  The hiring process has become very automated and you may not even meet a human being today, prior to receiving a job offer.

I began to recognize this in 2009, when in order to present an applicant for a job, I no longer had any interaction with Human Resource Personnel, but had to ensure that all candidates that I wanted to present, had to “look good” to the company’s computer before we could move on to the next step in the hiring process.  Many of the placements I made were made without any interaction with me and the HR representative, and I was only involved at the end of the process.  For those of us that enjoy interacting with other people, we can find this a bit disconcerting when we are looking for a job.   Thus, the answer might be a bit of thinking outside the box when it comes to a job search.

The following article into from Liz Ryan a Contributor at Forbes Magazine illuminates some issues with companies using ATS to find employees.  You can read more on the article:  


“Before Applicant Tracking Systems made their debut, job-seekers didn’t have to worry about loading up their resumes with keywords so that a piece of software would find them in the vast virtual pile of resumes.

Now they do. Now talented people miss out on job opportunities because whoever is electronically sorting resumes on a given day decides to throw a new search term into the sorting process — a term that wasn’t in the job ad and thus won’t appear in most of the resumes that flooded in when the ad was posted.

It is time for employers to evolve past Applicant Tracking Systems and adopt a more human approach to recruiting. The smartest and most talent-aware employers have already done it.”

The irony about the fact that the computer is such a strong factor in the hiring process is that HR is a Human Relations function of a company.  Ms. Ryan brings the responsibility back to us, as a human.  When we are interested in pursuing a company or position, we take the first step to connect with a human at that organization.   Granted, with some companies, we may be directed right back the the computerized ATS system, but at least we are making our own attempt at connecting.

jobs for changeHowever, when we decide to create our own network of connections, then we find more information that we can use to create the career we desire.  Networking together, we can move away from sitting at the computer all day, with no interaction with other humans and move into finding where the job types we seek exists.   It is our responsibiity to find a job, and computer programs are not always designed for our personal success.  Computer programs can weed out good applicants, simply because of a lack of understanding of how a “job search” is done today.

There is a change to how we search for a job today.  The resumes that we have been teaching how to write for so many years, is adapting to the change.  Old, outdated words, that we were taught to use in our resumes are not always on the Computer’s Vocabulary List.  I, personally, also feel that we narrow our search when we say things like:  “I am an engineer”, “I am an Administrative Assistant”, or “I am a nurse”.  There are many more attributes that we can discuss about what we can add to a future employer.  Taking the time to understand who we really are and what we can accomplish becomes important when we begin to go outside of the old resume and job search boxes.  We are also beginning to understand that we could create multiple job opportunities, instead of one job at one company.  With this in mind, we no longer are devastated when we lose our job or it does not work out for some reason.  The talents we have are valuable to others and as a consultant we can provide value to more than just one employer, increasing our ability to create value in our lives.

I remember passing out “Resume Words”  to incorporate into your resume.  These were called “Power Words” and were job search thinking outside the boxconsidered very effective to get an employer’s attention to your resume.   Today, these “power words” are glossed over by the intuitive computer HR software and the value they bring is being lost in the responsive keywords that an employer programs into his job description.  Employers know what they want in their next employee and can program their ATS to detect what they are looking to find in the resume.  The Human is being replaced in the HR workplace.

As I read more and more about online video interviewing, it becomes very clear that the job search process is becoming more and more a matter of technology.  Personally, I like the idea of video interviews as an initial phase of the interview.  There is a lot to consider, however, by using video interviewing and this will be discussed in a future blog.

The point of this article today is for us to consider new ways of creating our job search, thinking outside the box to bring the Human factor back into your job search.  Discover your desires, goals, talents and skills and create opportunities for yourself.  Being dependent upon old ways of finding a job can be one of isolation if you depend strictly on job boards.  Your talent is that you are a human and interfacing with other humans is one way to find creative ideas to find the right job for you.

Network – Network – Network

job search thinking outside the box

 Thank you for taking the time to read.

Wishing you a Great 2017 !

D FosterandFriends

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By Debbie Foster

Experienced Business Owner, recruiter, teacher, social worker and graphics designer. Awakened at 65 years old and ready to be part of changing our world for the better. It is all about Waking Up and then Finding Your Purpose in life. We all have a purpose in life, but we have been put to sleep by the societies in which we live. Find your Purpose and create your life - the way it should be.

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