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“Or Not” Can Sink your Search

You send out scores of resumes, some blind, some targeted. Some times you receive a response, often you do not. You get frustrated.

There can be many reasons for lack of HR Department response, so a threshold question for you: Before you hit the send button to deliver your resume to a nameless HR professional on the other end of the web, do you make sure you have dotted the proverbial I’s and crossed the proverbial T’s? 

  • Have you run your text through spell check, or not? 
  • Have you checked to ensure consistency of font type, color, and size, or not? 
  • Have you checked to make sure that you represent abbreviations, such as square footage, consistently, or not? 
  • Have you checked spacing, indentation, and title consistency, or not? 
  • Is your job history presented uniformly and chronologically, or not?
  • Have you read your resume out loud, or not?

The answer to Or Not may break your candidacy. If your Or Not answer is NO, that may be the reason for lack of response. 

Many of us have become technologically dependent, making common errors we wouldn’t have made in 4th Grade English. Technology has made us all a bit lazier, a bit less stringent editorially than when we created our resumes on typewriters and white out was the only tool to fix an error. 

In the hospital facility director profession, where accuracy and attention to detail can be the literal difference between life and death, resume mistakes convey inattention to detail. Hiring managers and directors recognize these errors. It can be the basis for passing on you.   

Review your resume. Check font size and type, double-check apostrophes, check spelling the old fashion way, focusing on common words a computer will bypass against a dictionary definition. Ensure consistency in format and language, including past and present tense.

These items matter. If your resume doesn't feel right or look right, it’s probably not right. Trust your intuition. Edit. 

Passing the Resume Hurdle

Once you have been asked to interview, do your research.  Be prepared to answer two basic employer questions:

  1. What can you do for us? 
  2. How can you bring value to us? 

If employers don’t ask these questions, find a natural way to work them into your responses. Answering in a thoughtful, quantifiable manner may be enough to get you to the next phase of the job hunt.  Avoid I don’t know or worse, don’t ask the employer what do you need from me? Prospective employers will not be impressed with these answers. 

Another best interview practice. If you live within facility driving distance, visit and observe. Go over the weekend and engage employees in conversation, posing as a patient family member. Ask questions to gain additional facility insight and refer to that knowledge during the interview. This approach will impress.   

The Power of Silence 

Frequent interviewers are skilled at creating silence. Silence is uncomfortable. Our natural inclination is to fill silence with speak, and that is when trouble occurs. We have all been in an interview and tried to fill silence, starting to talk and realizing we are going down a bad path, but-we-just-can’t-stop: It happens! 

Answer questions completely. Offer no more or less than what is asked. Be comfortable with silence. Recognize that intentional silence may be meant to draw you out.

Good luck, contact us if we can help.

Peter Martin


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Gosselin Associates provides facilities management search consulting to the health care industry...


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