Fabulous, fierce, fearless . . . and unemployed. Is that you? Don’t be embarrassed if it is. Unfortunately, you have lots of company. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor the unemployment rate is at nearly 8 percent nationwide. And while that’s bad news, it’s even worse if you’re a minority – hovering at 14.3 percent for African-Americans and 10 percent for Hispanics.
While President Obama is working his hardest to bring the country back from the brink of economic disaster by creating new jobs, the fact is that the competition for employment is stiffer than ever. With so much competition out there, even the credentials of a sistah as fabulous as yourself can get lost under the huge stack of resumes on the HR manager’s desk.
Here are a few tips to make sure that you get the edge over your competitors in the fight for employment:
- Ditch the online application. An amazing job is posted online, and thousands apply vying for the chance of a coveted screening interview. Hundreds are screened, dozens are interviewed and just one lucky person gets the job. Your goal is not to be among the thousands. Your goal is to get the job. And the best way to get the job is to skip the online application and go directly to the hiring manager, says Roderick Lewis, the author of “The Corporate Recruitment Game: What Recruiters Don’t Tell, And What Employers Try To Sell”. Avoid the online application which is designed to weed out candidates, and work to get your resume directly onto the hiring manager’s desk or hands if possible.
- Clean up your Facebook page. Your suit is stunning, you’re articulate in the interview and your credentials are impeccable. So why didn’t you get the job? Maybe it’s those wild photos of you at Cousin Leroy’s party on Facebook. Many potential employers actually check your social media pages. According to a survey done by CareerBuilder, two reasons that employers reject candidates are for posting inappropriate photos and for posting content about alcohol usage.
- Keep your personal info personal. Commenting on the interviewer’s cute desk photo of his kids and talking about your kids is great way to break the ice, right? Wrong! According to www.learnvest.com, some interviewers display their family photos as a way of getting job candidates to reveal personal information. It’s illegal for a potential employer to ask if you are married or have children, but you might reveal that information yourself by talking about your children or wearing your wedding ring. And many HR managers prefer to hire people with no commitments for demanding jobs.
Today’s job market is competitive. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to get a leg up on the competition!
Words by Yolanda Darville
Yolanda Darville is a mom, writer, communications strategist and blogger focusing on philanthropy and empowering women. Learn more about her on her blog www.bahamamommyinc.com .