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Right now there is a record number of job openings across the U.S. So getting hired should be easy, right?

Well, not so fast. It appears that part of the reason for all these job opening is that employers aren’t finding the skilled employees they need to fill roles, so they’re choosing to leave the jobs open.

At Betterteam, where we help businesses find great hires, we talk to employers all the time who talk about getting bogged down in a sea of low-quality applicants.

This job search situation does still present a big opportunity for job seekers, but you’ve got to make it easy for potential employers to find you in a haystack of unqualified applicants.

1. How Not to Get Screened Out

To deal with thick stacks of applicants busy in the job search process, most employers have some sort of screening process to help them thin things out.

This usually starts with a quick review of resumes. By quick, I mean that recruiters often spend 6 seconds or less looking at resumes. That’s if they even see them.

Often times, employers use applicant tracking systems that automatically screen resumes for them.

So how do you pass the 6-second test and get past the tracking system?

What employers and tracking systems are almost always looking for is some evidence that you’re qualified for the job – that you have the necessary skills.

Take a close look at what qualifications the employer is asking for in their job posting, and then make sure you use the same wording they do in your resume to describe your skills.

With applicant tracking systems, it’s possible the software will be looking for different keywords than what appears in the job posting. If you need some alternate keyword ideas, search for the position on O*Net and you’ll find different ways of describing the skills you’re supposed to have.

You’ll want to find ways of using both the language in the job posting and on O*Net if you need to be sure to get past both recruiters and tracking systems.

2. Don’t Get Screened, Part 2

If you get past the resume scan phase, there’s a good chance you’ll have a quick phone interview.

This is another way of screening. In-person interviews are time-consuming and costly, so it makes sense for employers to do a short phone interview to check on applicants. Once again, they’re looking to see if you have the qualifications necessary.

There’s really no way to fake that part. Either you have what they want, or you don’t.

But there’s another thing you do have control over.

Most interviewers are on the lookout for red flags – reasons why they shouldn’t hire you. Make sure you don’t raise any doubts about these.

A few red flags employers and recruiters look out for:

  • Badmouthing previous employers.
  • Being focused on money.
  • Looking for a salary well beyond what the company offers.
  • Low energy.
  • Not settled on this role/position.

If you’ve got the basic qualifications and don’t raise any red flags, you should be able to sail through this stage of the process.

From here, you’ll have one or more live interviews between you and the job you want. I’ve written up some tips to help you get through the final stage of the process here.

I hope that helps you get noticed the next time you go for a job search! It’s a great time to be looking, and there’s plenty of opportunities out there if you know how to get noticed in this market.

Written By
Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring and marketing. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.

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