You’ve been on the job market for a little while now, and you’ve received several calls and email responses from potential employers…but these responses, phone screenings, and calls are revealing an odd pattern. These employers are asking questions that are addressed directly in your resume and cover letter, sometimes on the very first line, or in the bold heading at the top of the page. Or five times through the text of both documents. You’re not sure how to answer questions like “Have you ever done this kind of work before?” or “What state do you live in?” Or “Have you studied this subject at all?” Why is this happening? And what does it mean? Here are a few possibilities.
1. Managers aren’t reading your information fully before contacting you.
If your resume isn’t jumping off the page or your cover letter isn’t getting the attention it deserves, there are plenty of ways to fix this. Start by visiting Free Resume Builder for formatting tools and language tips that can grab a reader’s attention and help her remember your information after she puts your application aside for a while.
2. Managers would like to cross check some resume or cover letter details that sound questionable.
Sometimes phone screenings and initial contacts are established with a candidate who sounds too good to be true. And sometimes these cross checks are just standard procedure– A brief set of questions like “So where did you go to school?” can catch mismatched information and identify bad seeds before managers invest too much time in them.
3. Managers suspect you may be overqualified and would like to confirm this before moving forward.
Sometimes these conversations evolve into disclosures about the position. For example, if a reviewer says “Your resume says that you managed a team of twelve employees. Is that true?” She may go on to explain that this job won’t involve that level of challenge or responsibility. She’s testing to see if you’ll be bored in this position, if you’ll be too expensive, or if you plan to leave as soon as you find something better. Answer honestly and you’ll save time for both the company and yourself.