Getting Beyond the Screener and Into the Interview
I had an interesting conversation a while back with a hiring manager who made a comment about the surprising number of resumes she gets from people seemingly overqualified or from unrelated industries. Most of the resumes she tosses aside with disinterest.
I share her comments in case you fit the profile of candidate she mentioned. If so, there are steps to take to make certain your resume is seriously considered when applying for position outside your industry or for which you are overqualified.
1. Address the issue in your cover letter. State clearly your interest in changing industries. Express your knowledge of the industry and its challenges. Point out how your background experiences make you a great candidate. If you are seemingly overqualified, demonstrate your value: better perspective, more patient, and extensive industry knowledge.
2. If transitioning to a new industry, focus your resume on your transferable skills rather than routine responsibilities. Back up your transferable skills with illustrative accomplishments. Translate industry-specific jargon into general terminology. Give less "white space" to company names if they are commonly connected with your industry. White space is just what it sounds like: white area around words. Words or phrases surrounded by white space stand out and attract the eye.
3. If over qualified, downplay your managerial responsibilities and highlight your hands-on activities and contributions. Give less "white space" to your job title. Don't quantify information such as number of employees managed, amount of budget overseen, etc.
Many job seekers feel that if they can just get the interview they can sell the interviewer on their qualifications. That may be so, but without a convincing cover letter and resume, the interview won't happen. If you feel you're being screened out unjustly, try these suggestions and see if you don't get better results.