Thursday, June 18, 2009

Job Searching Is A Lot Like Pizza

Still job searching? Wondering WHY you are still job searching? It could be that you need to change your "recipe".

Think about job searching like you think about your favorite food....

In this example, we'll use pizza.

Most people like pizza. It's been listed as one of the most highly consumed foods in America - and why not? There's plenty of choices. You can pick where you want your pizza from. The restaurant down the street or the restaurant a few miles down. You can pick your toppings. Cheese only? No problem. You like cheese and sausage - no problem (and it's usually readily available). Want something that's not the typical fare? Say cheese, pineapple, anchovies, and spinach? You place the order and it's ready shortly.

Most people will not compromise on their pizza. They want what they want so far as toppings and sometimes even places go. Some people will not stand for a pizza with certain toppings, no matter how much the delivery guy/girl begs them to take it.

Some people will even pay more for a pizza that they really feel has everything that they are looking for.

So how do people's pizza preference and job searching mix?

Think of yourself as a pizza and the hiring manager as someone that wants to "order" you. The hiring manager wants specific items on his/her pizza. They are very specific with the "toppings" that they want on their pizza. Each topping that they want represents a skill or qualification. When they look at the "menu" they are looking for these toppings and nothing else will do. So that means if the hiring manger wants mushrooms, then they are scanning the menu for that exact word - mushrooms. Mushrooms are also a form of fungus, however, if the menu said "fungus" instead of mushrooms, how many people do you think would order it? If you are looking for mushrooms on your pizza and you saw "fungus" on the menu as a topping - would you order it? No.

The "Resume Pizza" ..... Hold The Onions Please!

So now let's think of your resume as a pizza. The hiring manager is looking for specific toppings/skills that are on your resume - verbatim. They aren't really looking for anything extra. Nothing unrelated on your resume.

Example - Executive Assistant "Pizza"

Here's a job opening for a "High Level Executive Assistant Pizza" - these are the "Toppings":
- Handle all administrative work including meeting/calendar coordination

- Prepare correspondence including letters, emails (including dictation from CEO)

- Maintain accurate filing systems and extensive contact database

At a bare minimum, your "Resume Pizza" should include these words - verbatim - in the "work experience" section. If you have something unrelated such as "handled cash register" - consider that an "onion", something that wasn't part of the order. Why? Because the hiring manager ordered specific items for his/her "Executive Assistant Pizza", so your resume should reflect what was ordered. "Handled cash register" is not one of the requested toppings and shouldn't be on your "Resume Pizza" that is being customized to an Executive Assistant.
When you have the right toppings on your "Resume Pizza", like most people that order pizza, it increases the chances of the hiring manger calling your "pizza place" to place an "order". If your "pizza" is the best they have ever seen (meaning your "toppings" match what they are looking for) then they are even willing to pay more for your "pizza" as opposed to someone else's pizza that doesn't come as close to what they are looking for = Increased salary in job offer.

So are you hungry? Good! After you order a real pizza, sit down and create your "Resume Pizza" based on what the hiring manager is asking for.

Did this help you? Feel free to post comments below.


Sharon Cohen, Global Career Advisor said...

Love your analagy between job searching and Pizza! Very catchy and original. Do you Tweet as well?

I also like to use analagies in my Career blogs. I am the Monday, Global Career Blogger on

Sharon Cohen, Global Career Advisor said...

We are in the same Business Student Career Counselor Network group on LinkedIn.

Love your analogy between job search and pizza! Very creative blog. Do you Tweet?

I also like to use analogies in my Blog I am their Monday, Global Career Blogger. You can do a key word search: Texas Hold em Poker, lighthouse, H1B, Expat jobs.