A Thought or Two for New College Graduates – Part Two of Two

By Dr. Robert Brown

REALITY CHECK:  There was a time not too long ago when a person interested in working for a company could visit its offices (with no appointment) and ask to speak with someone in human resources to get a feel for what the company’s needs may be.  In the 21st century, this approach will, more often than not, get you no further than the guard’s desk.  One of the “tools” that actually inhibits gaining access to employment is the Internet.  While it increases efficiencies and reduces costs for businesses, it can be a significant barrier for those looking for work because it removes the invaluable asset of human interaction.  As a consequence, job seekers are forced to hit “send” buttons to relay their information to employers, which results in a person becoming a piece of “virtual” paper among the millions of other pieces of “virtual” paper.  The applicant screeners who receive all of this information are often overwhelmed because there are so many people looking for work while just a few positions may be available.

As an example, let’s say that the screener has a pool of 750 applicants.  To be considered, each applicant must have a rating score of 400 points, based on criteria measured via applicant screening questions such as level of education and years of relevant experience. Of the original 750 applicants, 250 meet the initial criteria and are assigned a rating of 400 points. This smaller group is moved to the next round, with a higher level of scrutiny.  This reduces the pool from 250 to 75 who are now eligible for what I like to call the bonus round.  This final round results in a candidate short-list of 30.  And, now, face to face interviews begin. So, of the original 750 applicants, 4% is given serious consideration for employment.  This very real scenario is being played out in companies across America…

As a young person or not so young person with your new sack of knowledge, do as much “homework” as possible on the company or companies of interest, focusing on company niche areas and needs.  Determine if your skill sets can help to meet these needs before expending time and resources applying for a job opportunity and be honest with yourself about what you bring to the table.  Rest assured that companies will exert appropriate due diligence to ensure that applicants are who they say they are and can do what they say they can do.  Remember, your time is valuable and your focus should be to think smarter, not work harder as your job search evolves.  These are a few tips for developing an effective resume:

Tip #1:   Use a summary statement at the top of the resume.

Tip #2:   List your education.

Tip #3:   List your job experiences.

Tip #4:   Use concise language (i.e., be brief).

Tip #5:   Limit your resume to one page.

Tip #6:   Be sure that your resume is free from grammatical errors.

We are firmly steeped in an information age which is driven by technology.  We no longer live in a society in which working the same job for twenty or thirty years is the norm.  The 21st century job market requires that workers have the ability to adapt, often quickly, to changes that are globally driven.  This means using all of the tools in your toolbox, including your ntellect, inherent talents, training, education, certifications, passions and civic-mindedness.  Yes, the paradigm has shifted but you also have the capacity to shift so that you can succeed.  My hope is you will do just that.


Continue to be well.

Dr. Robert Brown

Click to Read Part One

About Dr. Robert M. Brown III

Robert M. Brown III, Ph.D. is a medical sociologist and adjunct professor who teaches courses in Introduction to Sociology, American Society, Medical Sociology, Urban Sociology, Health Policy and The Family. Dr. Brown is an advocate for students’ success in the classroom and beyond. He encourages students’ commitment to life-long learning. He also believes that higher education is an important tool for success in the 21st century which should be used in tandem with other skills sets to facilitate superior academic, work and life achievements. As a researcher, Dr. Brown provides technical assistance to federal, state and local and private agencies to promote: (1) health empowerment for at-promise and mainstream groups; (2) stress management; (3) family and community violence reduction and prevention; and (4) understanding about the reciprocal relationship between economic stress and health. He has written and published on stress, strengthening families and family and community violence. He emphasizes the importance of looking at health holistically, as a state of mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and economic well-being. Dr. Brown has been a featured guest on radio and television programs around the country as well as a speaker on these topics. Dr. Brown earned the doctorate degree in medical sociology from Howard University and he is a native of the Washington, D.C.

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