The Perfect Person Versus the Perfect Resume

‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com. Dear J.T. & Dale: I'm having the roughest hiring experience of my 26 years of life! I've worked wherever I could land a job as an administrative assistant: One employer moved its headquarters, and twice I got caught in layoffs. I'm now a freelance writer at a fashion/music label. This job was supposed to be temporary while I looked for an AA job, but I've been here 19 months. Now I'm hearing that not being an AA for so long is working against me. I'm more than equipped to take on the AA jobs that are abundantly floating around online, but I get no consideration for any of them. Where have I gone wrong? — Tara Dale: You went wrong when you sat down at the computer to look at jobs that generate too many applicants. Picture a stack of a thousand resumes and someone zipping through them to find five people to call. That's one call per 200 resumes, and that means you need to have THE PERFECT RESUME for that specific industry/company/hiring manager. So, if you have The Perfect Resume, you can sit at the computer and probably get lucky. However, if you've been out of the field a while, YOU might be perfect, but yours is not The Perfect Resume. J.T.: I like that distinction — you might be perfect for the job, but your resume isn't. Given how time-crunched and stressed managers are, that perfect person usually is the one who'll require the least training, meaning they are looking for someone in a highly similar company or position. That's why your best shot is leveraging your current job. See if you can move into an AA position within your current organization. Also, build relationships with all their clients — you never know which one might need someone with your knowledge and experience. Dale: The only reason those time-crunched managers post jobs online is that they don't know anyone to hire. The first choice is always someone with whom they've worked, and the second choice is a friend of a friend. That means for all those people who know your work, you're better than The Perfect Resume. If all goes well, you'll be their first and last interview. JT & Dale LogoJeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, JTODonnell.com, and of the career management blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com. Please visit them at JTandDale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2011 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Photo credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less