Employers Don’t “Care”

photo: smallbusiness.chron.com

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

In collaboration with my colleague and Career Collective co-coordinator, Miriam Salpeter, and a group of prolific careers bloggers and friends, I introduce my December blog post contribution. This month’s collective topic involves Human Resources / Job Search Misconceptions. Hat tip to Dawn Bugni for the idea.

Please visit my colleagues’ posts on the same topic, which will be listed at the end of this blog post on Thursday. You may also wish to follow us on Twitter via the hashtag #CareerCollective.


Are you that “people person” who is tired of pushing paper and wants to make a difference in the community … in the world?

So what?

Yeah, that’s right, so what?

Human resource pros, hiring managers and recruiters are not (initially) the audiences for your save-the-world-I-want-to-make-a-difference message. Instead, they are seeing red and want to convert that to black.

What can you contribute to ensure that you offer a return on the salary and benefits–including health insurance, employment taxes, office space, supplies, equipment and training costs that are ripped from the employer’s bottom line and afforded YOU when you enter onto a company’s payroll?


That’s right – you must FILL their coffers, not be a drain, on their bottom-line.

Contain your urge to share that you “don’t want to relocate because Sam or Sarah is finishing high school at the private school here in SmallTown, USA.” Resume readers don’t care if your dream is to live closely by your aging parents and to later retire to sunny Florida.

Really, they don’t.

Right now, they ache for a solution to their problems. They feel a gap caused by that missing ‘chink’ in their employment productivity chain; otherwise, they would NOT be advertising and exhausting valuable time and energy in recruiting for a new, warm body.

Moreover, they not only want someone to plug an immediate business gap, they also want you to help make them look better to their bosses, to their customers and to their shareholders. You must be ultra sensitive to this: they care MOST about THEIR needs, not about YOUR wants … at least in the beginning stages of resume ferreting.


photo: csrwire.com

Of course, you read about culture and fit and value factors that should be articulated in your career messaging—and I agree and tout this be knit into my clients’ resume and career positioning documents! You must ensure your chemistry fits the company’s chemistry for long-term gain and employment harmony.

Pinning your primary message on this amorphous culture-fit donkey, however, may cause the job of your dreams, or the job of your bill-paying hopes to elude you. Think primary goal – attract the position for which you can be an immediate solution; and secondary (or concurrent) goal – attract a culture fit opportunity.

Thus, beneath the resume overlay you create career arteries that espouse your nuanced areas of value and fit. You show HOW you do what you do that elicits the shades of personality gray that will encourage a reader that you are a better “fit” than the next candidate.

And be patient – if your search is strategically executed, well researched and … persevering, you can aspire to a culture fit. In fact, for life-long career satisfaction, you must always be seeking this.


Once your resume passes muster (you know, that elusive, 20-second scan), if written strategically, it will hold its own well into the interview phase, supporting your nuanced, culture-cognizant conversations that say to the hiring decision-makers, ‘I’m not only a money-producing, cost-containing, productivity delivering superstar, but I have the communication acumen, collaboration talent and people influencing skills that set me apart from your average ‘Joe.’”

Following are links to my Career Collective colleagues’ posts:

5 Misconceptions Entry-Level Job Seekers Make, @heatherhuhman

How “Interview Savvy” Are You?, @careersherpa

Misconceptions about Using Recruiters, @DebraWheatman

15 Myths and Misconceptions about Job-Hunting, @KatCareerGal

Are You Boring HR? @resumeservice

Job Search Misconceptions Put Right, @GayleHoward

Who Cares About What You Want in a Job? Only YOU!, @KCCareerCoach

How to get your resume read (sort of), @barbarasafani

The 4 secrets to an effective recruiter relationship, @LaurieBerenson

Job Interviews, Chronic Illness and 3 Big Ideas, @WorkWithIllness

The secret to effective job search, @Keppie_Careers

Superstars Need Not Apply, @WalterAkana

The Jobs Under the Mistletoe, @chandlee

8 Common Sense Interview Tips @erinkennedycprw

Still no job interview? @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes

Misconceptions about the Hiring Process: Your Online Identity is a Critical Part of Getting Hired, @expatcoachmegan

Why Is It So Hard to Get a Job? @GLHoffman

30 Responses to “Employers Don’t “Care””

  1. Dawn Lennon says:

    Kapow! Yes, this is the reality…the truth…the real stuff that defines business. I love what you’ve written here: An unvarnished look at what hiring organizations want when:”they are seeing red and want to convert that to black.”

    Yes, we need to give proof: “What can you contribute to ensure that you offer a return on the salary…?”

    Employees are the means to the profit ends. We are flesh and blood tools. Getting hired isn’t like being asked to the hottest frat party in town, it’s about using our talents and minting gold.

    Jacqui, this is an enormously compelling message that job hunters have to get if they are going to get hired and stay hired. When we get hired,it should be win-win. We get paid to do work we like and the business thrives because of it.

    Thanks so much for slugging away at this crucial message. I’m pumped! ~Dawn

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Hi Dawn,
      I love ‘return on salary’ (simply, concisely put). And yes, it’s ‘proof’ employer’s need, and we must provide that – persuade/influence with confidence that we are a good investment for them.

      “We are flesh and blood tools … Getting hired … is about using our talents and minting gold.” YES. Thanks for your imagistic words! TRUE!

      Dawn, I always love when you join the conversation, as your messages not only underscore key points but extend the story.

      Thanks for ‘slugging away’ with me!


  2. Dawn Bugni says:

    Jacqui –

    Solutions, bottom line profit, sustained growth — job search and career navigation truly is “all about them.” Careerists with that perspective advance on their own terms.

    I couldn’t add anything to this if I tried. Eloquently put.

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Thanks Dawn,
      “Career navigation” – on many levels (as you know) I really love that term! And your point, “Careerists with that perspective (that job search is ‘all about them’) advance on their own terms” is insightful.

      Thanks for your value-add remarks! (and for the kind words, too!


  3. Jacqui:
    I agree wholeheartedly with your point about jobseekers solving the employers problems! And love how you’ve positioned the importance of cultural fit (at the right time).

    I always look forward to your eloquently crafted monthly posts! Thank you!

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Thanks Hannah! Your affirming words are appreciated.

      As colleagues in the careers arena, I value your ideas and energy to help propel job seekers to career success!

      Though our opinions may diverge a bit from time to time, where they DO merge is at the heart of careerists’ needs and goals.

      Thank you for being so proactive and present in the careers space!


  4. Jacqui – Great points here! Solve the employer’s problem – and it’s not about you, it’s about them (the employer!)

    It seems that this is a concept that many job seekers don’t understand — yet!

    It’s a pleasure teaming up with you on the Career Collective!

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Hi Miriam,
      Solving problems – it’s not always easy, but important to create stories that show (versus telling) that the job seeker is a medicine to what ails a company (department, division, etc.).

      Thanks for taking a moment to comment at my post!

      I love teaming with you on the Career Collective initiative! See you next month (and in between ; )


  5. Jacqui,

    Great points – this perspective is so critical to success in the job search!

    I also appreciated you sharing that there are things we need to communicate to “get in the door” first – before we focus on cultural fit to “seal the deal”.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom!


    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Hi Megan,
      Thanks for the affirmation re: communicating certain things to get in the door first before focusing on culture fit to ‘seal the deal’ <-- I like the 'seal the deal' remark. I struggled a bit to figure how to position culture fit into this post - because culture fit IS a significant factor! Thanks for understanding my intention, hereto! Appreciate your Career Collective contributions, as well! Jacqui

  6. […] Employers Don’t “Care”, @ValueIntoWords […]

  7. Barb Poole says:

    You hit the nail on the head. Pow! If I’m hiring you (and going to keep you), I want you to show me how you either are going to ease my pain or wow me with some new and delightful something that will happen because you come on board. Make me care!
    I delight in your writings! You are brilliant with language! Happy Friday!

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Thanks Barb! “Pow” Love it!

      As you pointed out, it’s not just about easing current pains, it’s also about showing the potential employer you will “wow … with some new and delightful something that will happen …” Great point! Sway the reader that you will grow/expand/build/etc. the organization to a new level. Yes!

      Thanks for your complimentary words (humbled). Love your writings and posts as well.

      Happy Weekend!


  8. Walter Akana says:

    Wow, Jacqui!

    Right on! Talk about a reality check! This is clear and compelling!

    You lay out a very powerful case about what employers do care about, and why you need to address your communications to what’s important to them. (And, oh by the way, it seems several of us are on the same wavelength about this!)

    And yet, you make astute points about delivering your value in a way that hooks the employer and shows how you are the solution to their needs. I do think that cultural fit is important. Yet, I think that when you have insight into what you’re about, it does allow you to pursue employers where “who you are” will be as compelling and relevant as the skills you bring!

    Great post!

    Warm regards,

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Wow, thoughtful comment, Walter. And yes, I agree that several of us are on the same wavelength here (re: addressing communications to what employers care about).

      Here’s my big takeaway from your comment (and upon which I will further ponder): “Yet, I think that when you have insight into what you’re about, it does allow you to pursue employers where ‘who you are’ will be as compelling and relevant as the skills you bring!”

      I strongly agree! and the key pull-out from this statement (for me) is the idea of having ‘insight into what you’re about’ – the momentum and dare I say, power that may be drawn from this insight is exponential.

      Job seekers, take the time to be insightful, introspectively clarifying your unique value story (extending beyond your skills) that will, like a magnet, attract employers to unique you.

      Many thanks, Walter,

  9. Thanks Jacqui – well-put! I like the idea of the value proposition-cultural fit marriage (we could go in all kinds of interesting directions with that analogy….). I agree they’re both important, but that initially more emphasis needs to be placed on the concrete value to the employer (at least outside the job seeker’s head), a concept not all job seekers are aware of. Great post!

    – Laurie

  10. Marianna says:

    The truth shall set you free…and find you gainfully employed!

    Like a well-written novel with a happy ending, you do emphasise that culture, fit and employment do belong in the same resume!

    • Thanks Marianna!

      Love how you spin your comments with your well-woven words!

      I’m all about happy endings; while the plot may thicken in the middle of the novel, having hope and optimism for a satisfying conclusion should reign ; )


  11. […] resume fast forwarded through, or worse, muted. Receiving the resume is the cliffhanger for the hiring manager. Be sure you’re giving them a good reason to ‘stay tuned.’ Related […]

  12. […] in it for me’ (WIIFM) world of business, where the ME is the company, you must put THEIR needs first in order to get to YOUR ultimate goals.That said, I’ll offer a few traction-able action steps […]

  13. You hit the nail on the head. Pow! If I’m hiring you (and going to keep you), I want you to show me how you either are going to ease my pain or wow me with some new and delightful something that will happen because you come on board. Make me care!Thanks for sharing the informative post.

  14. […] balance topic during the initial interview date (that’s where you want to focus more on the value YOU offer), I would recommend you ask good questions that would help vet symptoms of good or bad […]

  15. […] Employers Don’t “Care”, @ValueIntoWords […]

  16. […] certainly can tailor a resume to showcase exactly how you can solve the company’s pain and improve their bottom-line. But the cover letter used correctly can achieve many things that your resume may not be able to […]

  17. […] “I.” While the cover letter touts your value, you should be familiar with the reader's areas of pain and heartily address their needs with your […]

  18. […] While the cover letter touts your value, you should be familiar with the reader’s areas of pain and heartily address their needs with your […]

  19. […] While the cover letter touts your value, you should be familiar with the reader’s areas of pain and heartily address their needs with your […]

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