Retooling the IT Resume: Focus on Your X-Factor


How can you improve your resume if you are having difficulty getting a job in the IT field? Let’s look at statistics so we can understand job searching in the broader context; then turn to a personal story from a job applicant who uncovered her “X-factor,” the same basic attribute you want in a cloud host.

  • Job Search Statistics
  • Uncover Your X-Factor
  • The X-Factor Cloud Host

Job Search Statistics

When you need a job, you go out and look for one. It’s that simple. Or is it? Is your resume solid? Should you consult a resume writing company to help you make a good resume? Are you looking in the right places? What’s the competition like? How many people apply for the average job, for instance?

“Many job seekers want to know, Is what I am experiencing normal?explained Alan Carniol, founder of job interview guidance service Interview Success Formula. “I think [statistics related to the job market] can help them to answer that question and feel better about their job search experience.”

In that spirit, let’s take a look at a couple of stats so we can understand our job search in the broader context – noting that although these are specific to the United States, the proportional numbers are probably within close range of other industrialized countries:

  1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that 5.0 million positions were available for jobseekers in March 2015, down slightly from the 5.1 million positions to which people could apply in February 2015. That’s actually very good: compare it to December 2012, when only 3.6 million jobs were available.

Many of those jobs weren’t apparent to the public, though: only 1 in 5 openings are advertised. In other words, the vast majority of positions are obtained through relationships and outside-the-box initiative: friendships, professional conferences, Web social networking, contacting firms “cold” without knowing if they are hiring or not, etc. Although today’s recruitment market is seeing an influx of platforms like Jobs3, so there could soon be an increase in jobs obtained through such websites as well.

Here is a table to crunch that data in a different way, if you just want to think about the advertised positions vs. those that you have to dig to find:

Total job openings Advertised job openings Un-advertised Job Openings
March 2015 5.0 million 1.0 million 4.0 million
February 2015 5.1 million 1.0 million 4.1 million
December 2012 3.6 million 700,000 2.9 million
  1. Out of the 118 applicants for the average job, only 1 in 5 are even called in for an interview. After that, of course, the numbers could trickle down even further as there are factors such as an applicant’s experience, skills, teachability, and more that usefully filter the candidates. Further, a potential employee might even have to comply with Ohio drug testing laws (or comparable ones in other states) and other legal regulations before they can even be hired. We can safely assume that the jobs with that many applicants are the advertised ones. If a job is filled through networking or other means, there really aren’t any applicants at all. Here is how dismal it looks for the bottom-feeding that must occur when we have to go through advertising channels to find positions (recognizing that, thankfully, many applicants aren’t jobless but in search of new positions):
Advertised job applications (total number of applications, a larger number than the applicant pool) Get an interview Don’t get an interview
March 2015 118 million 24 million 94 million
February 2015 118 million 24 million 94 million
December 2012 83 million 17 million 66 million

Uncover Your X-Factor

Let’s look back up at that first chart. You could think of that column on the right as the Grapevine Job Market. The fact is, though, especially if you are young or haven’t really prioritized the social aspect of your career, you may not be able to find jobs through the Grapevine. Plus, it may not really fit your personality to contact a bunch of people; that makes some of us uncomfortable.

Now look at chart 2. These odds are terrible: 4 out of 5 applicants don’t get interviews! We all want to think we are special, but there’s no way that we will land an interview without an upper-echelon resume. Here’s the thing: it’s not about your experience so much as how you express it.

Take the example of Tatiana Shevchuk, who had received several promotions at a big-name financial organization prior to layoff during downsizing. Shevchuk had impressive credentials on her resume and was shocked at how hard a time she was having landing interviews.

“My resume was simply plain. There was no ‘wow’ factor, even when I read it,” she admitted. “After 17 years with the same company, I got buried under outlining my responsibilities and accomplishments, and I could tell there was something I wasn’t describing, but I didn’t know what it was.”

Donald Burns, the founder of career coaching firm Executive Promotions, said he knows exactly what was absent from her resume: the “X-factor,” the intangible blend of friendliness, drive, and charisma that can boost any candidate’s chances. Without that boost, without that X-factor, it’s unlikely that someone will even get to the interview stage.

Burns said that there wasn’t anything particularly captivating about Shevchuk’s resume. There wasn’t any life in it. You couldn’t see her humanity. The resume didn’t make you think that you have to meet this person face-to-face.

It’s true, bringing in that X-factor by ourselves can be difficult-we are often left stumped because we have no idea how to write something that captivates and pulls attention away from the hundreds of other applicants. Thankfully, a little help from professional resume writing services jacksonville (or anywhere else, really) could make a huge difference to your application.

The X-Factor Cloud Host

When you need a job, consider retooling it to introduce your X-factor or working with a resume writing pro who can walk you through the process.

If you need cloud hosting, you want that X-factor too. At Superb Internet, the X-factor is evident in our many customer success stories.

NOTE: To read Part 2 of this article, please click HERE.

By Kent Roberts

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