The economy is shedding jobs faster than a black lab sheds hair. At last count, some 12.5 million Americans were out of work.
For many frustrated job seekers, getting a resume in front of decision makers seems daunting as responses from potential employers become rare and job offers rarer still.
While it may be fair to point to the economy as the main reason why it's taking so long to bag a job, a key stumbling block could actually be your resume.
Avoid one-size-fits-all resumeA big mistake that job seekers make: They use the same resume for every job possibility regardless of the industry or job title. It's a strategy that some recruiting experts say will get you nowhere fast.
"Always submit a customized resume," says Tory Johnson, workplace contributor to ABC's "Good Morning America" and CEO of recruiting firm Women for Hire in New York.
Johnson says most organizations today use applicant tracking systems to sort through the large volumes of resumes they receive and identify potential candidates.
When you submit a resume for a job posting, the tracking system mines data from your resume by searching for relevant keywords or phrases. If the system determines that your resume is a close match, it will save your information in a database for recruiters to review.
By submitting a one-size-fits-all resume for every job posting, you could be rendering your resume electronically invisible. Company A may use one kind of tracking software while Company B may use another, and both may pass over your resume because they don't match you with the job posting.
So what do you do?